KOTA KINABALU July 12, 2012: The rate of Zakat Fitrah for Sabah this year has been set at RM7, Sabah Islamic Religious Council (MUIS) announced yesterday.
Its chairman, Datuk Hj Mohd Suhaili Said, said the obligatory tithe payable by every qualified Muslim residing in Sabah remains unchanged from last year.
“The rate is based on (the value of) 2.7 kilograms of rice, which is the average amount consumed a month by the majority of population in Sabah,” he told reporters in announcing the 1433 Hijrah’s tithe.
Suhaili said the estimated collection for Zakat Fitrah this year is RM8 million, coming from about two million Muslims in Sabah.
The collection for Zakat Harta, the tithe payment for property or assets owned, is however expected to reach RM30 million, he added.
Suhaili cautioned the public to avoid being cheated by bogus or unauthorized Amil (collectors) when paying the tithe.
He advised them to insist on being shown the authorization letter should they have any doubt on the status of the Amil.
According to him, MUIS has this year appointed 2,134 tithe collectors from across the state.
“Those trying to collect tithe without authorization are committing an offence and can be charged under Section 67 (Sabah Tithe Enactment), and are liable to a fine of up to RM5,000 or imprisonment of up to three years or both if found guilty,” he said.
Suhaili also advised the public to immediately report to the police and MUIS any individual impersonating as authorized Amil.
He urged Muslims to settle their Zakat Fitrah early to allow the money to be channelled to the Asnaf (needy) ahead of the Hari Raya.
Zakat Fitrah is a religious obligation for the Muslims and should be paid annually before the first of Syawal (Hari Raya).
Also present was Sabah Zakat Centre (PZS) assistant secretary Zarat Khan Abdul Rahman.