Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg (right)
16/03/2023 04:07 PM

KUCHING, March 16 (Bernama) -- The concept of waqf should go beyond charitable donation of a property, building or land, said Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the concept should be broadened into other areas, especially in research and development (R&D), as it is the key in developing society as a whole.

In emphasising R&D, he said, the state government is establishing the Sarawak Infectious Disease Centre (SIDC), which hopefully will benefit mankind in understanding diseases.

“Research needs funds. Therefore, if you are planning to waqf the extra (belongings) that you have, that is the place for you.

“If Muslims want to survive in the future, they must spend money on research. Waqf is beyond just giving buildings or properties; it can also be in a form of development (research),” he said when opening the International Conference on Waqf and Endowment 2023 here today. 

Abang Johari said waqf and endowment has been an integral part of Islamic culture for centuries and it has played a vital role in supporting various social, religious and educational causes.

He said in Sarawak there are 490 registered waqf assets and RM11.86 million cash value in waqf.

“In addition to government initiatives, there are also several private and non-governmental organisations involved in waqf activities in Sarawak.

“For instance, the Sarawak Islamic Council oversees and regulates the establishment and management of waqf properties in the state, while the Sarawak Islamic Religious Department and Tabung Baitulmal Sarawak provide guidance and support to waqf institutions and beneficiaries,” he added.