LABUAN: approximately 70 officers, lecturers and staffs of Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Labuan International Campus (UMSKAL) were present to be part of the Corporate Social Responsibility Programme (CSR) at the Madrasah Tahfiz Al-Quran Sri Merinding, Kampung Layang-Layang, yesterday.

The Chairman of the Working Committee, Associate Prof. Dr Syed Nasirin Syed Zainol Abidin said that the programme, which had started at 8 am were held in conjunction with the celebration of Maulidur Rasul Main Campus level happening at the end of this month in Kota Kinabalu.

He also said that the Dean of the Labuan international Finance Faculty (FKAL) had mentioned that UMSKAL would be contributing a set of kitchen cabinetry, three clotheslines, a shoe rack and two dining tables for the programme.

“UMSKAL CSR programme will benefit 60 students at the Madrasah Tahfid Al-Quran Sri Merinding, “ he said when interviewed after presenting the contribution of RM1,680 to the principal of the school, Haji Arif Aliskah.

Also present were Zamri Mohamad Tuah, Senior Vice Registrar representing the Director of UMSKAL, Associate Prof Dr Murnizam Haji Halik and Senior Assistant Registrar of FKAL, Norhanizah Adnan as well as the Program Coordinator, Che Din Md Salleh.

Syed Nasirin said that fellow UMSKAL rolled up their sleeves tackling the surrounding areas of the school, mowing the lawn, cleaning the windows, made the hilly paths and planting mango, rambutan and coconut trees. He hoped that the UMSKAL’s contribution would help to advance the school and the development of the Islamic studies whilst nurturing the relationship of both USMKAL and the school.

“ Such programme is in line with the aspiration of the university’s Vice Chancellor, Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Harun Abdullah in community-driven of UMS with those in need, “ he said.

He also said, as the sole national institute of higher learning in the Federal Territory of Labuan, UMSKAL is forging a closer relationship with organisation, which has a direct link to the development of Islamic studies, in particularly the Al-Quran.
More interestingly, said Syed Nasirin that the university staffs, led by Ruby Zawati Timbang, Senior Assistant of Accounts had cooked a feast for everyone to enjoy. The Director of UMSKAL, Associate Prof Dr Murnizam thanked all the staffs that had made the program a success and hoped that such activities will continue in the coming years.

Meanwhile, Haji Arif had said that the madrasah would need at least RM10,000 to cover various expenses including salaries of the instructors, ration and daily needs of the student as well as utilities. He also said, even with the contribution and aides provided by several parties including the government agencies and departments, private entities, NGOs and individuals, it not necessarily able to cover the cost as it fluctuates every month.

There are about 60 students aged between 8 and 22 years old who hail from Sabah, Sarawak, Peninsular, Brunei, Indonesia and Australia apart from the locals. The school, which was established in 1996 with an area of about three acres of land, offers courses in memorizing Al-Quran involving the reading of Yassin verse, daily prayers and obligatory practices before and after bedtime.

“ We also teach them fishing, farming and to be active in sports and recreations including how to mingle with the local community, “ he said.

He is proud that some of his students were able to memorise 30 chapters of the Al-Quran in the span of four months, which is an excellent record in this country with the vision of opening similar schools throughout Malaysia and abroad.

Another accolade shared by Arif is that the school produces its own food products, coconut pudding and yogurt, with fairly good demand from restaurants, government agencies and departments that occasionally hold refreshments and community events.

Arif had expressed his gratitude to not only the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, but towards the Federal Territory Minister, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Labuan MP, Datuk Rozman Isli and the Political Secretary to the Federal Territory Minister, Mohd Rafi Datuk Alli Hassan, which also had provided financial aide and other necessities. He also extended his gratitude to Labuan Corporation, PETRONAS, Labuan Liberty Port Management (LLPM), the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department and the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council.

Arif explained to cover their expenses, students are taught fishing, farming and small-scale business at the same time, to instil self-reliance and diligence. The school will open A-Quran classes for adults and teens early June to meet the demand of the public; especially those who want to deepen the study of the Al-Quran.