Jakim leaves it to states to decide on zakat aid for Rohingya
It is up to the Islamic Religious Council of each state to decide whether to provide assistance to the oppressed Rohingya using zakat (or tithes), said Islamic Development Department (Jakim) director-general Datuk Othman Mustapha.
He said although there were views that Malaysia's poor should be given priority to receive zakat compared to the Rohingyas, it was not wrong to give the assistance on humanitarian grounds.
"We already have recipients of the monthly zakat and in the Federal Territories alone there are 27,000 monthly recipients. Maybe the remaining could be used to help the group (Rohingya refugees).
He said this to reporters after launching the “Salam Kasih Ramadan” programme, organised by the Malaysian Islamic Aid and SalamFM, in Putrajaya today.
Othman said other suitable forms of aid, like fundraising in mosques could also be channelled to the refugees.
"Malaysians are generous and like to donate. Donations collected every Friday at large mosques can reach up to RM20,000. It can also be used to help them," he said.
On Tuesday, Othman agreed with Pahang mufti Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Osman's statement that the zakat could be used to help the refugees.
Rahman said the Rohingya refugees could be categorised as among the groups eligible to receive zakat including the destitute, the poor and Muslim converts.