Aria Putera Ismail
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 -- SME Bank distributed some RM1.16 million in zakat (tithe) to eight strategic partners including three hospitals and five public institutions of higher learning at a zakat presentation ceremony here today.
This is the first time SME Bank, an agency under the purview of the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development (MED), is collaborating with strategic partners to distribute the zakat to targeted groups.
Group president/chief executive officer Aria Putera Ismail said all this while, SME Bank has been distributing zakat to individuals in addition to the states where the bank operates.
"The selection of organisations in the medical and education sectors is based on our previous experience in helping ‘asnaf’ (eligible zakat recipients).
"The costs and expenses in both sectors have risen sharply due to inflation and the uncertain economic environment," he said in a statement today.
Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital and National Cancer Institute each received RM220,000, while Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Universiti Malaya (UM) and International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) each received RM100,000.
Aria said the hospitals themselves will determine the recipients and the amount that the eligible patients receive, while the universities will give priority to students who are pursuing business or entrepreneurship-related courses and have a minimum CGPA of 3.0 for each semester.
All the zakat recipients are selected from the B40 group.
Since 2009, SME Bank has paid more than RM25 million in zakat.