IPOH – The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah has accepted the post of co-chairman of the United Nations (UN) Humanitarian Financing Panel.
He said UN Scretary-General Ban Ki-moon himself offered the post to him.
“My readiness to accept the responsibility was driven by the realisation that it is a test of Allah to evaluate my readiness to sacrifice time, thoughts, energy and material which are all gifts of Allah,” he said when speaking at the Perak state-level Maal Hijrah celebrations here today.
Sulan Nazrin Shah said after attending several discussions and briefings as well as visits, he had learned in more in-depth the sufferings endured by so many people who were in great need of assistance.
“Preliminary estimates show the UN needs US$25 billion annually to finance humanitarian programmes all over the world. The need for this enormous sum of funds a a big and new challenge,” he said.
In this regard, Sultan Nazrin Shah said he was planning a new approach to introduce Islamic financial instruments to strengthen funds in financing humanitarian programmes throughout the world.
“The world now has a negative perception on the funds from Islamic institutions suspected of being involved in terrorist activities. This negative perception should be corrected through the active involvement of Islamic organisations and institutions in channeling funds to finance humanitarian programms.
“The win-win formula is being formulated to harness Muslim financial sources to invest more productively in Islamic financial instruments to help mankind,” he said.
He also said the views of ulamas (Islamic religious scholars) were important to enable the resources of endowment and tithe to be used for humanitarian programmes.
Statistics showed 80 per cent of refugees were Muslims and it also showed a large percentage of the refugees were from regions controlled and occupied with Muslim majorities, he said.
“Figures also show, the largest portion of the assistance needed is for programmes in regions and countries in which the majority of the people are Muslims.
“And statistics also show the percentage of assistance received from Muslim leaders, countries and institutions is the smallest,” he said.
Sultan Nazrin Shah also said Muslims needed to understand the spirit of humanity as reflected by the Ansar community in 1437.
“The spirit of the Ansars should be understood, explored and appreciated to bring back the spirit. In conjunction with the hijrah celebration this year let us instil the spirit of the Ansars in our hearts,” he said. – BERNAMA