KUALA LUMPUR: 12 September 2019 – SME Bank an agency under the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development (MED) has been paying zakat amounting more than RM25 million since 2009 and today, RM1.16 million is being distributed to eight strategic partners comprising of three hospitals and five public institutions of higher learning during a zakat presentation ceremony held in Kuala Lumpur.
This is the first time SME Bank is choosing strategic partners to benefits from the zakat distribution. Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital and National Cancer Institute each received RM220,000; while the Islamic Science University of Malaysia (USIM), National University of Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), University of Malaya (UM) and International Islamic University Malaysia (UIAM) each received RM100,000 respectively.
Aria Putera Ismail, Group President/Chief Executive Officer of SME Bank said, "All this while, SME Bank has been distributing zakat to individuals in addition to the state where the Bank’s operate. Collaboration with selected strategic partners in distributing the zakat to targeted groups is the first for SME Bank. The selection of organizations in the medical and education sectors are based on our previous experienced in helping the eligible ‘asnaf’. The costs of expenses in both sectors have risen sharply due to inflation and uncertain economic environment."
Aria added, "For the medical organizations distribution, the hospitals themselves will determine the recipients and the amount that the patient will receive while for the education category, the universities will give priority to students who are pursuing business or entrepreneurship related courses with a minimum CGPA 3.0 for each semester. All zakat recipients are ‘asnaf’ from the B40 group."
In Wilayah Persekutuan respectively and beginning from 2015, SME Bank has successfully distributed RM3.54 million zakat to 168 ‘asnaf’ from various categories for the Wilayah Persekutuan. The recipients of the zakat are single mothers, senior citizens, people with disabilities and orphans who fulfilled the criteria for ‘asnaf’. Among the forms of zakat donated include cost of living expenses, medical expenses, purchasing of machines for businesses, refurbishing houses and surau, paying the educational fees and purchasing books. In addition, SME Bank also used this zakat fund during Ramadan in assisting the ‘asnaf’ both locally and abroad such as in Syria.
Also present during the event were representatives of the Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan (MAIWP)/Baitulmal and representatives from the respective strategic partners.