YAN, April 10 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Islamic Economic Development
Foundation (YAPIEM) is to open up 30 more Ar-Rahnu branches (Islamic pawnshops)
in the country to help about 360,000 people targeted this year.
Minister in the Prime Minister''s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom
said with the additional branches, YAPIEM would provide an allocation of RM652
million for the benefit of those in the target group.
"Since the scheme started in 1993, we have succeeded in helping 4.7 million
people throughout the country with RM6.7 million of cumulative financing.
"This positive development by YAPIEM had attracted the attention of the
prime minister and Finance Ministry in facilitating the opening of the 100th
Ar-Rahnu YAPEIM branch by the end of 2010," he said after opening the Ar-Rahnu
branch in Pekan Yan Kecil, here, today.
Jamil Khir said apart from that, the micro-credit programme of Ar-Rahnu had
also attracted the interest of countries in the region to implement a similar
programme based on the model of this country.
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Among the countries were Indonesia (mortgage company), Brunei (Bank Islam
Brunei) and Thailand (Koperasi Pattani Berhad) which started operating in
2004 after getting guidance and advice from Malaysia, he said.
"In addition, 50 per cent of the non-Muslim community have also showed
interest in carrying out the Ar-Rahnu YAPEIM micro-credit transaction.
"The branches which have attracted interest from non-Muslims are in Bagan
Datoh, Perak, and Klang, Tanjung Karang and Sungai Besar in Selangor," he said.
On the RM10 insurance coverage charge for Haj and Umrah pilgrims by private
companies, Jamil Khir said Tabung Haji did not impose extra payment on pilgrims
registered with it.
He said such payment had already been included earlier in the package
provided by the pilgrims management board.
"Such extra payment as imposed by the private companies is regarded as a
good approach to help sickly pilgrims and to cover any loss of baggage while
performing the pilgrimage."
However, Jamil Khir advised the companies to give prior explanation on the
extra insurance charge in order to avoid any confusion.
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