by RAHIMI YUNUS
CARE of the dead is fardhu kifayah (communal obligation) for Muslims and that includes bathing, enshrouding, prayers and burial.
When a Muslim dies, the family members and other Muslims in the local community must manage the mortal remains with respect, care and love.
Besides being their duty, handling the deceased serves as a reminder to the living that no one escapes death thus it calls for self-reflection and repentance.
Handling of the remains of loved ones is typically carried out in mosques and surau hence it is essential to equip the houses of worship with sufficient resources.
Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) donated five hearse vans to selected mosques and surau in Peninsular Malaysia worth almost RM123,000 this year to fulfil the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) to the community.
Since 2016, the country’s largest electricity utility has invested almost RM2.6 million to repair and modify 48 vans, lorries and four-wheel drive vehicles to be donated to mosques, surau and non-governmental organisations in need.
TNB president and CEO Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan said through social responsibility efforts which include education, socio-economic development and environmental sustainability, TNB continues to build a bridge of friendship with the community through donations.
“It is hoped that with the presence of this hearse, it can help assists the management of the dead and foster the spirit of cooperation within the community,” he said at the van presentation ceremony to five representatives of mosques and surau at the An-Nur Islamic Center Complex located at TNB Bangsar Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur (KL) recently.
He said TNB has always been generous in sharing its prosperity with the community as a sign of gratitude for the blessings obtained.
Also present at the event were TNB chief corporate officer Datuk Wira Roslan Ab Rahman and TNB Power Generation Sdn Bhd MD cum TNB Islamic Workers Welfare Association president, Datuk Nor Azman Mufti.
The five recipients of the hearse donations were the ArRahman Mosque in Gua Musang, Kelantan; Taman Temerloh Jaya Mosque in Temerloh, Pahang; Pertubuhan Khairat Kematian Kampung Ganda in Gerik and Surau Nurul Iman Fasa 3 in Seri Manjung, Perak; and Surau At-Taqwa in Taman Kota Cheras, KL.
TNB received 50 applications for the hearse assistance this year and five were selected based on the needs of the mosques and surau.
The contribution is a manifestation of the utility company’s concern to facilitate the management of the Muslim mortal remains in areas in need, going in tandem with the practice of the company’s core values.
Taman Temerloh Jaya Mosque chairman Dr Abdullah Ismail said the donation helped the qariah members (parishioners) of the mosque to carry out their duty on the dead smoothly.
“We used an old second-hand van before and sometimes it just would not start. There were several times our van had stopped in the middle of the road due to breakdowns.
“We had made efforts to get a better van and Alhamdulillah, this TNB contribution solves that problem,” Dr Abdullah said.
“Additionally, this contribution will strengthen the fraternity between our qariah members and the community because we can continue to take care of their welfare, especially the affairs after death. Thank you TNB,” he added.
Secretary of Pertubuhan Khairat Kematian (mutual benevolent association) Kampung Ganda in Gerik, Perak, Mohamad Tarli Saleh said the hearse contribution has eased the financial burden of the organisation as it no longer needs to rent a van when transporting coffins.
“We are very grateful as we no longer need to look for a van externally. Previously, the khairat members endured a heavy financial load because contributions from the members were used to pay vehicle rental.
“With the hearse van provided by TNB, we do not need to rent anymore. Alhamdulillah,” he said.
For Surau Al-Taqwa Taman Kota Cheras in KL, the search for a hearse van sponsorship concluded with TNB.
“We sent applications everywhere and finally our prayer came true with TNB. The van had also been modified appropriately so we do not need to fork out money,” secretary of the surau, Abu Bakar Mohd Yusof said.
A representative from Masjid Ar-Rahman Gua Musang, Asharun Uji said the hearse van contribution is invaluable to the qariah.
Before TNB’s contribution, the mosque management had to use an oil palms transport vehicle to transport the deceased.
“This is very beneficial to the local community of rural Gua Musang. Previously, when there was death in rural areas, we had to use a Hilux which was used to transport oil palms.
“We had to clean and wash the vehicle before using it as a hearse. I would like to express many thanks to TNB. The contribution is huge and invaluable to us,” Asharun said.
Besides the hearse van initiative, TNB gives back to the community through many other programmes including the Baiti Jannati and Mesra Rakyat projects, “My Brighter Future” (MyBF) and “Better Brighter Vision”.
The Baiti Jannati project lives up to its namesake, which can be translated into “home sweet home”, through an allocation of RM50,000 each for the disabled, the underprivileged, senior citizens, single mothers and the asnaf (those deserving of zakat) to repair, build or buy houses.
Similarly, the Mesra Rakyat project makes it possible for the bottom 40% (B40) among non-Muslims to repair, buy or build their homes via an aid worth RM50,000.
MyBF is a conditional bursary programme open to Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera students from the lowest-income families who have received offers to further their studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics or technology and vocational education training courses at selected public universities.
For the Better Brighter Vision initiative, TNB provided new spectacles to selected students in the B40 households to ensure that they are well-equipped and have a much more comfortable and conducive environment to study in.
Under the Better Brighter CSR programme umbrella, TNB is committed to playing its role of “Powering the Nation” in becoming a prosperous, fair and equitable nation for everyone.
It strived to be a key contributor to nation-building while delivering top quality services to Malaysians in a sustainable manner.
The group’s CSR initiatives are also aligned with its Reimagining TNB strategic plan, which targets to propel the company to be a top 10 power company globally by 2025.