Thanks to technology, zakat payment can be made online through the many channels available
by AZALEA AZUAR / pic source: PPZ-MAIWP
SINCE its inception in 1990, the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council Zakat Collection Centre (PPZ-MAIWP) believed that sincerity and an efficient management would encourage Muslims to pay their zakat (tithe).
Starting with an average collection of RM13.5 million, last year it reached a total collection of RM756 million.
PPZ-MAIWP chairman Datuk Seri Syed Ali AlHabshee (picture) said the public’s confidence in paying the zakat has grown within 30 years.
“This shows that we have managed to convince them that we are indeed carrying out our responsibility to help the asnaf (poor) who are in need,” he told The Malaysian Reserve on Wednesday.
Despite this improvement, Syed Ali is still unsatisfied with the rate of Muslims paying their zakat as he believes that there should be more.
“We are focusing on reaching RM800 million this year, and we only have two weeks left until 2021 is over,” he added.
PPZ-MAIWP also took into consideration the pandemic as the cause of some companies and individuals being unable to pay their zakat.
Therefore, Syed Ali felt that it is the responsibility of large corporations with over 1,000 or 3,000 employees to step up programmes like salary deductions to allow their workers to pay the zakat.
“Of course, there is no coercion, but we must remember that Muslims will be given tax rebate when they pay the zakat,” he explained.
Apart from being a responsibility, paying zakat has many benefits, including a 100% rebate from income tax as well as being able to assist more people through zakat.
Another great benefit is the “Wakalah Scheme”, which is the return money they receive after paying their zakat. In turn, they can use that money to help those in need.
For instance, if an individual pays RM25,000 and above per year, they will get a 25% return.
“We trust you, so it does not matter who you give the money to or who you feel deserves it as long as it’s distributed to eligible asnaf.
“So, the person who pays his zakat will feel valued because he can also distribute the money to others in need,” said Syed Ali.
PPZ-MAIWP is raising awareness for more Muslims to pay their zakat by going to the ground, organising campaigns and reaching out to more individuals on social media.
It is PPZ-MAIWP’s mission to turn the poor who have never paid zakat into a group that is able to pay and help others. It is now working closely with the MAIWP, or centres that distribute the zakat to the poor.
“I have encountered a man who was not able to pay the zakat, but now is able to do so. Although it is not much, he was happy to take on the responsibility.
“People would not receive zakat if there were no zakat payers,” added Syed Ali.
He pressed that a small amount of RM50 or RM100 a month, depending on their income, would still go a long way.
With the Covid-19 pandemic and the rise of digitalisation, PPZ-MAIWP has come up with ways of making zakat payments easier, where payees do not need to queue up at the counters or kiosks.
“Thanks to technology, zakat payment can be made online through the many channels available,” said Syed Ali.
With digitalisation, he is confident that more people can pay their zakat and PPZ-MAIWP can reach its target.