Strategies for Effective Development of Waqf Properties in Malaysia

MG_3247 INCEIF and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) today, jointly organised a roundtable on `Managing waqf properties in Malaysia’, to discuss strategies for effective development of waqf properties in order to maximise the benefits to the rightful beneficiaries.

Waqf, as an important Islamic institution that underlies economic development, has been effectively utilised since the early Madinah period to inspire economic growth and expansion. The benefits it has provided encompasses economic, commerce, education, health, social and spiritual dimensions.

IDB over the years has played a significant role in developing waqf properties in many Muslim countries. The experience it has accumulated over the years in various jurisdictions is beneficial in the effort to find solutions in jurisdictions where waqf property development face challenges. Malaysia, which is home to a large number of waqf properties, stand to benefit from a concerted effort to develop the properties to their full potential.

The roundtable provided some exposition on the developmental role of waqf in history, the relevant Shariah rulings which make waqf a very flexible instrument for development and IDB’s experience in waqf property development in various jurisdictions. Among the topic of discussions were the various forms of waqf property development, financing requirements, management of the developed waqf properties and suggestions on ensuring perpetuity of benefits to its beneficiaries.

Some of the suggested ideas discussed in the workgroup sessions were:

  1. Formation of a national committee of eminent persons to come up with an implementable Waqf Development Plan at a national level
  2. Establishment of a national database on national Waqf properties such as location and usage of the properties to expedite the development of each property.
  3. Creation of an entity similar to Cagamas Bhd to securitise waqf properties.
  4. Develop new strategies to link the development of waqf properties to mainstream economic development instead of solely for charitable purposes only. This will ensure the effective mobilisation of the capital.

In his welcome remarks, INCEIF President & CEO, Mr Daud Vicary Abdullah said: “As a university that focuses exclusively on Islamic finance, INCEIF believes not only in textbook teaching but also in discussions and dialogues to impart knowledge.  Today we are here to discuss how to effectively manage waqf properties in Malaysia. I think most of us here today are in agreement that waqf with effective administration and implementation has great spiritual and economic potential. What we are trying to do today could be significant and timely in charting the way forward for the management of waqf properties. I am confident that we should be able to galvanise our combined knowledge and experience towards that end. We may not be able to find all the answers to our questions today but it certainly will be a significant start.”

Deputy Undersecretary of Treasury Mr Mustafar Taib represented Secretary General of Treasury Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah at the event. Also present was Bank Negara Malaysia Deputy Governor Dato’Muhammad Ibrahim. Over 50 people, including representatives from the financial sector and waqf departments of various Islamic councils in Malaysia and Singapore attended the roundtable.

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