RHB Islamic Bank has signed a partnership with Majlis Agama Islam dan Adat Istiadat Melayu Perlis (MAIPs) to empower microentrepreneurs from the bottom 40% income group (B40) and Asnaf communities in the state of Perlis, Malaysia. The bank has contributed RM60,000 (US$13,358) as part of its value-based intermediation (VBI) efforts. The partnership will provide mentoring, training and other tools to improve the economic well-being of the community.
“Through this partnership, a community center in Taman Desa Asnaf, Batu Bertangkup that is operated by Akademi Transformasi Asnaf MAIPs, a subsidiary of MAIPs, will be transformed into a facility that accommodates training rooms and a fully-equipped baking center,” said Adissadikin Ali, the managing director and CEO of RHB Islamic Bank.
Training courses on preparing and producing frozen foods and pastries will be conducted at the facility to benefit the local Asnaf community. Additionally, the bank contributed RM450,000 (US$100,192) in corporate Zakat payment to MAIPs.
Representatives from the bank and MAIPs conducted a 10 km cycling tour to hand-deliver the corporate Zakat contributions to 33 Asnaf families. The bank also partnered with Universiti Malaysia Terengganu in July 2022 to enhance awareness on marine preservation as part of its VBI efforts in line with its ‘Ocean Harmoni’ initiative.
Empowering microentrepeneurs from B40 contributes to SDG 1 of no poverty, SDG 8 of decent work and economic growth and SDG 9 of industry, innovation and infrastructure. The Malaysian government has implemented several policies to empower the B40 notably the iTEKAD, a microfinancing initiative through which Islamic financial institutions support and facilitate financing for B40 and Asnaf microentrepreneurs through social finance.