New religious leader for Muslims from March
Muslims here will have a new religious leader from March 1, when mufti Mohamed Fatris Bakaram, 49, retires after nine years in office.
Dr Nazirudin Mohd Nasir, 43, who is currently deputy to Dr Fatris, will take over as the mufti, Singapore's highest Islamic authority and oversees key religious rulings for Muslims here. The change was announced yesterday by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis). Dr Nazirudin will be the fourth mufti in Muis' history and the second oldest one appointed.
In a statement from Muis, Dr Fatris said he decided to step down to make way for new blood to lead the community. He noted it was his responsibility to develop the next generation of devotees and religious leaders.
"I am happy to see through the development of the next generation of religious scholars in Singapore with a good mix of knowledge, training and experience, who are ready to take over from me and guide Singaporean Muslims in their religious life," he added.
During his term as mufti, Dr Fatris led the development of progressive religious policies and programmes to strengthen the next generation of Islamic scholars and teachers. According to Muis, this included further developing the Asatizah Recognition Scheme, a national accreditation programme for religious teachers that requires them to abide by an ethical code.
Muis said Dr Fatris will continue to serve the community as a senior associate member of the Fatwa Committee, which decides Singapore's religious rulings.
Dr Nazirudin, who has a PhD in theology from the University of Oxford, helped Muis develop policy in fatwa development and religious teacher training. Of his new role, he said he was deeply humbled by the appointment, and thanked Dr Fatris for his guidance.
There will also be a change at the helm of self-help group Mendaki. Madam Zuraidah Abdullah, 57, who was Mendaki's chief executive officer more than 10 years ago, will return to lead it from April.
The current senior assistant commissioner in the Singapore Police Force will be appointed the chief executive-designate on March 1, before assuming the top post on April 1, when current CEO Rahayu Buang, 49, returns to the Ministry of Social and Family Development, Mendaki said yesterday.