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PUTRAJAYA, May 24 ― Zakat agencies need to step forward not only by providing financial and food aid but also to help raise the education of Asnaf (hardcore poor) children through the distribution of books, Education Minister Maszlee Malik said.
Aid in the form of books would indirectly inspire the have-nots to build their dreams of eradicating poverty, said Maszlee at the launch of “Zakat Semarak Ilmu” (Zakat to spread knowledge) programme here yesterday.
“If they were to invest in education, they would be investing in a brighter future,” he said in his speech.
The “Zakat Semarak Ilmu” programme is co-organised by the Ministry of Education, the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP), Zakat Collection Centre (PPZ) and the Malaysian Translation & Books Institute (ITBM) who will distribute donations from zakat in the form of books.
"Such efforts should also be commended and initiated as a form of encouragement to zakat payers so at least they know where zakat collection is channelled, not just in the form of food and money, but also involves the provision of books for the sake of knowledge,” he said.
Maszlee said the same contribution should also be extended to non-Muslims within the B40 group.
“The B40 group comprises all regardless of race or religion and the idea of zakat is to help non-Muslims too," he said.
In yesterday's programme, more than 4,600 Asnaf students from schools in Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur would benefit from the distribution of books published by ITBM worth RM700,000. ― Bernama