KUALA TERENGGANU, April 7 — The myWakaf initiative is expected to collect more than RM10 million in funds over a three-year period in line with its plan to further expand projects for needy groups in cooperation with state Islamic Religious Councils nationwide.
Chairman Datuk Mohd Redza Shah Abdul Wahid said the myWakaf initiative has entered its second phase with the recent launch of the myWakaf portal aimed at making it easier for bank customers to channel funds to their project of choice.
“We see that in the first phase, funds at the branches have exceeded RM1.5 million.
“There will be an increase with the launch of the MyWakaf portal, but we were already receiving contributions even before the launch,” he told reporters at the recent Terengganu Financial Carnival organised by Bank Negara Malaysia.
The portal already features six projects located in several states, including a haemodialysis service at the Tunku Fauziah Hospital in Perlis, a boat wakaf project in Perak, the Sekolah Menengah Islam Seremban in Negeri Sembilan, and the Al-Bait wakaf fund in Sarawak.
myWakaf working committee chairman Mohd Nazri Chik said several state Islamic Religious Councils are in the process of identifying new myWakaf projects.
“myWakaf is part of AIBIM’s agenda to promote wakaf development, whether in the form of collection, financing or other models that we will jointly explore with the religious councils, which by law are the sole trustee on wakaf matters in Malaysia,” he said.
The myWakaf initiative is a collaboration between six banks under the Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM) — Affin Islamic Bank Bhd, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd, Bank Rakyat, Maybank Islamic Bhd and RHB Islamic Bank — and state Islamic Religious Councils.
The myWakaf portal enables easier, more effective and tax-exempt wakaf contributions by individuals to selected education, healthcare, investment and economic empowerment projects.
To a question, Mohd Redza said myWakaf could possibly expand its scope to affordable housing, but pointed out that this could deter potential contributors as the public perception is that affordable housing is a government-related project.
“However, if we turn around the concept to affordable housing for eligible zakat recipients such as the poor and orphans, then there is a possibility,” he said.
International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) chief executive officer Prof Datuk Dr Azmi Omar recently urged more banks to consider wakaf funding as a tool to collaborate with other stakeholders to boost affordable home ownership.
Wakaf, currently used as form of financing in the property sector, tends to focus on commercial and middle- to high-end properties, he pointed out. — Bernama