Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah today called on waqf managers to embrace digital finance in order to enhance the efficiency of waqf collection and distribution. Pix by Saifullizan Tamadi

KUALA LUMPUR: Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah today called on waqf managers to embrace digital finance in order to enhance the efficiency of waqf collection and distribution.

He said this is because the possibilities presented by the connectivity of mobile devices are unlimited.

"In time of rapid change and discovery, we must consider how digital finance can be harness to enhance the efficiency of waqf collection and distribution.

“Waqf may be calculated and monitored using smartphone apps, for example, that present funding options to donors based on their personal preferences.

"Indeed, portals and apps have already been created to collect cash waqf, such as through crowdfunding schemes, and to finance small businesses." he told the Higher Education Forum (HEF) 2018, Islamic Economies @4IR:Waqf revival conference at the Royale Chulan Hotel today.

“However, technological advances are being made everyday, and emerging breakthroughs in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology and biotechnology will no doubt further enhance the potential of the waqf system in ways that we cannot imagine today.”

Sultan Nazrin added that current laws and regulations, along with innovative products and methods, could not guarantee the effective revival of the waqf institution.

“The success requires a ‘softer’ element, upon which the long-term sustainability and viability of waqf ultimately depends.

"That element is trust of ‘amanah’, which can only be established through the action of responsible individuals and the financial community collectively.

The two day forum, which starts today and involves nine international and two local speakers, is aimed at reviving waqf, which is an old institution in Islam and to explore and analyse the importance of future sustainability of Islamic finances.

At the forum today, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh announced that a Waqf Chair will be set up at Universiti Malaya, adding that an announcement will be made soon on the person selected as the first holder of the Chair.

He said currently, there are 13 public universities that have incorporated waqf foundations into their structure.

“There is much to be done, and to be learned from working and collaborating.

"Forums such as this will allow some of the best minds to meet, discuss and debate issues which will enhance the waqf model and the continuous engineering of higher education.”

“The ministry has also started embarking on various innovative programmes to generate positive changes to achieve long-term, financial stability in higher education, as outlined in the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015 – 2025.” Idris said.

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