CORONAVIRUS | Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has called upon charity organisations and zakat collection centres around the country to "rise" and help Malaysians in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak and movement control order (MCO).
In a televised address to the nation this afternoon, in which the premier announced the extension of the MCO to April 14, Muhyiddin said he hoped zakat collection centres will play a more “proactive” role, even in aiding those not previously listed as recipients.
“Help them. They may not be listed as zakat recipient before this, but in the current affected economy, they will be among those who qualify for zakat,” he said.
He added that he had, during today’s cabinet meeting, instructed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department on religious affairs Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri to mobilise the Zakat Collection Centre of the Federal Territories to identify those who qualify for aid.
The zakat collection centres in other states should do the same, he said.
Muhyiddin added: “I call upon all charity organisations in this country to rise to the occasion by helping the needy regardless of race and religion during this trying moment.
“The difficulties they are facing are unprecedented. And I believe all of you can do something meaningful to ease their burden.”
Meanwhile, in a separate press conference, Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir said up to RM10 million economic stimulus package announced by the state government would be disbursed to the needy via the Kedah Zakat Board (LZNK).
“We will decide the methods (on dispersing the aid), among them, through the LZNK. In the board, there is already a list of those who qualify for zakat aid. In the current situation, there are those who previously did not qualify, who now do.
“The group is called asnaf al-Gharimin (debtors who need aid to provide for self or family). They who are suddenly in a position where they have insufficient funds, so they can apply to the zakat board.
“Holders of Kad Kida (Kasih Ibu Darul Aman) also qualify,” he said.
The state Kida programme helps mothers manage household expenses, purchase essential goods and obtain medical services for the family.
The initial duration of the MCO, which began on March 18, was to have ended on March 31.
However, the government decided to impose an additional two-week extension due to the expected continued rise in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the country.
To date, Malaysia had recorded 1,796 cases of Covid-19, including 17 deaths.
Up to 172 new cases were recorded today, marking it the 11th straight day with over a hundred daily recorded cases. There were a record 212 cases last Monday.
Meanwhile, of the 1,796 cases, 183 patients have fully recovered and been discharged.
Keep up with the latest information on the outbreak in the country with Malaysiakini's free Covid-19 tracker.