MUIS, MBMF And Tranparency

The last few days, there have been some murmurings about MUIS’ decision to increase the amount that every Muslim contributes to the Mosque Building and Mendaki Fund (MBMF).

Beginning from 1st June, MBMF contributions will increase between $1-10.

There are of course, several perspectives to this issue.

First, MBMF helps the community to build masjid and run Mendaki activities.

Mendaki also contributes a portion of the funds to other Muslim organisations it supports.

Second, MBMF is a very efficient way to collect funds. Rather than wait for Muslims to send in their donations or organise standing orders to deduct part of their salary, MBMF reverses method. Muslims are assumed to agree to donate and only opt-out if they do not want to contribute. This ensures maximum contribution.

However, while there is benefit to the system, there are certainly obvious flaws.

The main flaws are centred on the lack of transparency and consultation.

First, it removes the intention from the donor. The donor do not decide to contribute. The money is taken from him.

That donors can opt-out does not negate the fact that those who remain may not necessarily intend to donate.

or even if they agree, that decision was taken away from them from the beginning.

Second, and more importantly, is the lack of transparency and consultation.

While we can appreciate some of the work done by MUIS and Mendaki, there is still a lot of problems with regard to its institutional and functional designs.

Both organisations’s finances are primarily supported by the Muslim community.

Whether it is through MBMF, zakat harta, fitrah, waqf etc, the bulk of financial support comes from the Muslim community.

And yet, they are not accountable to the community.

When was the last time MUIS held a consultation session with the Muslim community to seek our input in their performance and actions?

When did the Muslim community, the body that pays for MUIS and Mendaki’s main expenses, appoint the leaders of these two organisations?

MUIS and Mendaki leaders are appointed by the government.

They report to the government.

But we pay their expenses.

And when the government discriminate against Muslims, both organisations have taken the government’s position.

And there have been quite a number of reports on how some Muslims in need were turned away by MUIS and Mendaki.

We pay their expenses, support their programs and help them operate…but are not consulted.

Instead, they reported to and are appointed by the government.

And turn away some in need.

Yes, Muslim organisations need support.

But the support should come with accountability.

And at times, it may be better to use the money that is deducted for MUIS and Mendaki to help those we know are truly in need.


Source: Almakhazin SG

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