Musa: USIA must adapt to changing times

Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin (center) witnessing the <i>zakat</i> handover from Zairenah Irene Siyu, Kop-Pusamaju Chairman (second from right) to Yang di-Pertua USIA Tun Datuk Seri Panglima Sakaran Dandai (third from left), in conjunction with USIA’s 26th General Assembly held at Wisma USIA. Accompanying Zairenah is husband and Founder of Kop-Pusamaju, Arsit Sedi (far right)

By Shalina R
Pictures by Oliver Majaham

2013 marks the 44th year since the establishment of United Sabah Islamic Association in 1969. Officially known as USIA, the association has been integral in the historical development of Islam in Sabah.

Under the leadership of Tun Mustapha Harun, USIA’s first Yang di-Pertua and Sabah’s Chief Minister at that time, the association played a significant role in the state’s missionary movement which has resulted in the establishment of MUIS (Majlis Ugama Islam Sabah) in 1972. For over four decades, USIA has remained committed to its missionary movement that focuses on the welfare of Muslims statewide.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman

Today, response to world development and in line with the Prime Minister’s transformational programs, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman called upon USIA to strengthen their approach by incorporating modern methods.

“Increasing the use of technology through ICT that is in line with technological advances, will expedite and facilitate the delivery and acquisition of information. Full utilization of modern technologies will provide many opportunities for a unified dakwah.”

“In addition, USIA should explore other disciplines such as science, technology and management among many others. This will strengthen USIA further and thus making it a proactive and innovative organization. With a diversity of knowledge, USIA will be able to reach its targeted group effectively in providing a better understanding of their mission.”

Musa also urged the association to encompass a wider range of services such as accommodating the educational needs, increasing level of skills and the economic development of the Islamic society.

The State government has always been supportive of the religious organizations in Sabah. Musa said, “The state government's commitment to religious and spiritual development is not only expressed in the form of support, but also translated into the channeling of aid as well as special provisions for each year.”

Sakaran Dandai

The Chief Minister’s speech was delivered by Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin, Deputy Chief Minister cum Agricultural and Food Industry Minister, at the launch of USIA’s 26th General Assembly held at Wisma USIA recently.

Tun Datuk Seri Panglima Sakaran Dandai, the current Yang di-Pertua of USIA, also expressed his appreciation of the unwavering support given by the government in Sabah.

“USIA’s leaders and members recognise  the benefits of working closely with the government to enable it to help the Muslims in the state,” said Sakaran.

“It is not easy for us to perform the duties of dakwah individually. We need and often receive help as well as support from the government leaders,” he added.

A non-governmental organization, USIA converted 71,471 people to Islam within the first 6 years of its establishment. – Insight Sabah

Delegates from across Sabah attending USIA's 26th General Assembly at the main hall of Wisma USIA

Posted on January 6, 2013

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