The Census of Population in 1980 spurred the Malay/Muslim leaders into collective action to raise the education and socio-economic development of the Malay community. This desire to build a better future led to the formation of "MENDAKI" in 1981, an acronym for "Majlis Pendidikan Anak-Anak Islam" or the Council on Education for Muslim Children. In 1982, MENDAKI was formally established as foundation. The first congress focused on elevating the education of Malay/Muslim children. As the community's needs evolved, MENDAKI widened its focus to improve the development of the Malay/Muslim community.

The second congress that was held in 1989 endorsed the reconstitution of MENDAKI to expand its role towards the promotion of educational, economic, social, and cultural condition of the Malay/Muslim community in the long term. MENDAKI was incorporated as an Institution of Public Character and recognised as the Council for the Development of Singapore Muslim Community. Since its inception, MENDAKI has assisted over 70,000 beneficiaries annually through programmes and initiatives.

Yayasan MENDAKI ("MENDAKI") Milestones: 1981-2022

Time Key Milestone
1981 1980 Census of Population showed that the Malay community's performance in educational and socio-economic spheres needed to be improved. This caused the Malay/Muslim community leaders to galvanise their efforts to address these issues.

Held MENDAKI Education Congress, which was officiated by Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Registered MENDAKI with the Registrar of Societies, Dr Ahmad Mohamed Mattar was appointed the President of MENDAKI Council.

Introduced MENDAKI Weekend Tuition Scheme.
1984 CPF Check-Off Scheme Bill was passed in Parliament. Under this scheme, a minimum of 50 cents is donated to MENDAKI under the Mosque Building and MENDAKI Fund (MBMF) by every Malay/Muslim worker. This strengthened the spirit of self-help within the community.

Held Singapore Malay/Muslim Development Congress, or MENDAKI II Congress.

Expanded MENDAKI's role beyond educational matters to include social, economic, and cultural.

Registered MENDAKI as a company, Dr Ahmad Mohamed Mattar was appointed as the first Chairman of MENDAKI Board of Directors and the late Hj Ridzwan Dzafir as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
1990 Set up MENDAKI Holdings Pte Ltd to enable the holding company to enter business ventures that would benefit the Malay/Muslim community.

Introduced Tertiary Tuition Fee Subsidy (TTFS), which is an education subsidy for Malay students that covers their tuition fees at local government tertiary institutions in accordance with Singapore Constitution. It is a Government grant administered by MENDAKI on behalf of the Government which dictates the criteria for the disbursement of the TTFS.

Launched Amanah Saham MENDAKI. It is the first halal capital guaranteed financial product.

Launched Malay/Muslim Community Development Fund (MMCDF).
1993 Mr Abdullah Tarmugi was appointed as Chairman of MENDAKI.

Received ISO 9001 certification.

Set up Regional Training and Publishing Centre Ltd.
1996 Renamed the Weekend Tuition Scheme to MENDAKI Tuition Scheme (MTS).

Opened the first Student Service Centre in Bukit Batok.

Launched MENDAKI Global Fund targeted at CPF holders.
1999 Held the Knowledge-Based Economy (KBE) Convention to prepare the Malay/Muslim community for the next millennium based on the following three strategic thrusts:
  • Developing and Maximising Potential in the Community
  • Active Participation through Facilitation
  • Strengthening and Upgrading Current Efforts.
2000 Formed MENDAKI Club for Malay/Muslim young professionals and students to engage our youth in affairs concerning the community, Singapore and the world.
2001 Dr Yaacob Ibrahim took over from Mr Abdullah Tarmugi as Chairman of MENDAKI Board of Directors.
2002 Set up the Education Trust Fund (ETF), a community-driven fund initiated by the Malay/Muslim Members of Parliament, to provide financial assistance to children from low-income Malay/Muslim families to ensure that every child gets the resources to succeed in school.

Introduced MENDAKI Policy Digest, which is published annually, to improve on the accessibility of information to the community by providing a more comprehensive perceptivity of current issues through the lenses of policymakers, implementers, and individuals. The Policy Digest's collaborative platform facilitates insightful discussions on the important issues currently faced by the Malay/Muslim community.

Introduced Collaborative Tuition Programme for students of all races in collaboration with other Self-Help Groups.
2003 Established the Community Leaders Forum (CLF), where forty community leaders together with the Malay/Muslim Members of Parliament held a dialogue with then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong to identify strategic areas for the community to focus their attention and efforts to uplift the community.
2004 Formed MENDAKI Social Enterprise Network Singapore Pte Ltd (SENSE), a subsidiary of MENDAKI, as a social enterprise to build the community and shape lives through lifelong learning, career opportunities, and professional development.

Introduced Family Excellence Circles (FEC).

Awarded the National Volunteerism and Philanthropy Award for Non-Profit Organisation.
2007 Unveiled the Action Plan for Strengthening Malay/Muslim Families with the objective to strengthen families with multiple difficulties through a wrap-around care concept.
2010 Introduced Community Leaders Forum Leadership and Advancement Benefaction Scheme ("CLF LABS") to carve out an avenue where fresh ideas are incubated and tested as part of the next phase of enhancing community foundations.
2011 Revised TTFS criteria so more local polytechnic and university undergraduates could benefit from it.
2012 Organised MENDAKI Learning Festival to commemorate MENDAKI 30th anniversary. More than 30,000 visitors attended the 3-day event at Singapore Expo.

Launched the Online Programme Registration System to enable registration for MTS to be done online. This also started the digital transformation of MENDAKI to enhance our beneficiaries' experience.

Opened MENDAKI satellite centres at Pasir Ris and Woodlands (namely MENDAKI @Pasir Ris and MENDAKI @Woodlands) to make our services more accessible at the heartlands.
2014 Opened more satellite centres at MENDAKI @Assyakirin, MENDAKI @Muttaqin, MENDAKI @JamiyahAr-Rabitah and MENDAKI @Al-Ansar.
2015 Restructured MENDAKI Organisation Structure according to the following three key pillars/units:
  • School Ready
  • Perform in School
  • Future Ready.

Set up Youth Spaces at three ITE Colleges.

Offered MTS at six mosques.

Introduced MENDAKI Signature Pedagogy: Ethics of Care (EoC) Framework in MTS curriculum.

Set up Big Heart Student Care Centres (BHSCC) at 30 school-based student care centres catering to students of all races. The BHSCC are operated by the Self-Help Groups Student Care Limited (SHGCL), a joint venture between all the Self-Help Groups.

Formed the Future Ready pillar/unit to prepare our youth for the ever-changing future economy.

Organised the NextStop Seminar to enhance awareness of Malay/Muslim youth on future of work. The seminar is held annually since 2016.

Launched the 'Raikan Ilmu' (Celebrate Knowledge) campaign to promote the culture of learning within the Malay/Muslim community.
2017 Organised the inaugural MENDAKI Education Symposium to emphasise the importance of early education.

Mr Masagos Zulkifli Masagos Mohamad took over from Dr Yaacob Ibrahim as Chairman of MENDAKI.

Became one of the key partners in M3. M3 is a collaborative effort between three key community institutions - Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), MENDAKI and MESRA.

Opened MENDAKI @Choa Chu Kang.

Piloted KelasMateMatika@CC (KMM@CC).

Formed MTS Review Steering Committee chaired by Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Deputy Chairman of MENDAKI.

Signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) to collaborate on research and analytical studies that seek to enhance the quality and teaching of Malay/Muslim students. This includes the study on identifying determinants of MTS students' academic performance, which was completed in May 2022.

Awarded the Knowledge Ready Organisation Award.

Dedicated the month October as the Raikan Ilmu month and launched the inaugural Raikan Ilmu month to create a movement within our Malay/Muslim community to embrace lifelong learning as part of our culture. Over the years, Raikan Ilmu month has gained significant mindshare within the community.

Launched MENDAKI Heritage Gallery at Wisma MENDAKI to commemorate MENDAKI's 35th anniversary and in conjunction with the launch of Raikan Ilmu month.

Opened MENDAKI @Jurong.

Set up the Youth Mentoring Office (YMO) to spearhead mentoring efforts in the Malay/Muslim community and build a strong mentoring culture and ecosystem, where youth are connected and actively contributing to the aspiration of a Community of Success.

Attained the Singapore Quality Class with People Certification.

MENDAKI, together with the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) and the People's Association Malay Activity Executive Committees.

Council (MESRA) launched the M3 @Wisma Geylang Serai as part of the M3 collaboration.

Closed MENDAKI @Al-Ansar and MENDAKI @Assyakirin.

Introduced MENDAKI 5-year Workplan (2021-2025).

MENDAKI became a part of the SGTeguhBersatu Taskforce, which was convened to strengthen the last-mile delivery of national support measures under the Resilience Budget and lead targeted initiatives that support the Malay/Muslim community through the COVID-19 situation.

The SGTeguhBersatu Taskforce also includes representatives from other M3 agencies, MUIS and MESRA, as well as representatives from Malay/Muslim organisations (AMP Singapore, Federation of Indian Muslims, Pergas, PPIS and SMCCI) and NTUC.

MENDAKI provided the following support for the community under the SGTeguhBersatu:
  • Students received the ITE Interim Allowance (amounting to $10 per school day per recipient to cover transportation and meal allowance) so they can continue with their ITE education even when their family income was affected due to impact of COVID-19.
  • Laptops were loaned to students from preschool to ITE levels to help them in their home-based learning while we facilitated their applications for a new laptop through IMDA Neu-PC Plus Programme.
  • Students benefitted from the TTFS re-applications in 2020 to support the education of students whose families have seen a reduction in income.
  • Workers and jobseekers were linked to relevant growth sectors through Virtual Career Fairs and Helpline, Cari Kerja App and Kiosk, and SGUnited Jobs Initiative.
During the Covid-19 period, MENDAKI continued to provide our programmes to our beneficiaries and community via online and digital means despite the circuit breaker or social distancing measures.
  • MTS was conducted digitally through e-MTS
  • KMM was conducted digitally through eKMM
  • Several workshops, seminars and events were also held online. These include e-Brunch with MENDAKI for parents, Success in PSLE Mathematics for P5 and P6 students, e-Education Symposium, e-mentoring for those under the Empowerment Programmes, and e-Future of Series for youths as part of Future Ready initiatives.
  • Raikan Ilmu events and activities were also conducted digitally, including the Anugerah MENDAKI award presentation ceremony cum Launch of Raikan Ilmu 2020.

Introduced MyMENDAKI, a one-stop service portal to facilitate easy access to all MENDAKI's services and programmes such as educational programmes, financial assistance schemes, volunteer programmes and many more.

Reduced MTS fees from $210 to $10 to make the quality and affordable tuition more accessible.

Signed an agreement with MiRXES to establish the MENDAKI - MiRXES Scholarship for Malay/Muslim students who are pursuing undergraduate or post-graduate studies in Life and Biomedical Sciences.

Signed an MOU with SkillsFuture Singapore to provide valuable opportunities for Malay/Muslim community to upskill and reskill to enhance their employability and career development.

Formed the Programme Evaluation Office (PEO) to implement suitable evaluation framework and processes to assess the effectiveness of various M3 programmes including those led by MENDAKI. PEO works closely with the other M3 agencies to train the Programme Managers to conduct impact assessment of the M3 programmes under their purview.

Closed MENDAKI @Muttaqin and MENDAKI @JamiyahAr-Rabitah.

Deployed Care Advisors at all MENDAKI satellite centres and Youth Spaces. Jobseekers who approach MENDAKI satellite centres for skills upgrading will be guided and referred to training service providers at national level such as e2i and NTUC Learning Hub.

Refreshment and renamed Empowerment Programme for ITE students and Mentoring for MTS students as #amPowered @ITE and #amPowered @MTS respectively.

Signed an MOU with NTUC to tap on their capabilities and networks to support and strengthen the competencies of Malay/Muslim workforce and secure job placements in emerging and growth sectors.

Signed an MOU with GIC, a global long-term investor, to provide scholarship opportunities to deserving students who are keen to pursue a career in the finance industry.

Signed an agreement with Bitsmedia to establish the MENDAKI - Bitsmedia Scholarship for Malay/Muslim students who are pursuing undergraduate studies in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in local autonomous universities.


7 September 2022 - Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Manpower, and Deputy Chairman of Yayasan MENDAKI and Mdm Zuraidah Abdullah, CEO of Yayasan MENDAKI shared exciting highlights at the media conference on MENDAKI's 40th Anniversary Celebration in conjunction with Raikan Ilmu 2022.

At the media conference, we shared that Raikan Ilmu 2022 will return with a mix of close to 40 physical, hybrid and online events as well as activities across the 11 M3 towns.

MENDAKI will also step-up efforts to engage our members, volunteers, donors, partners, parents, and students to reflect on the past four decades and how we can forge ahead to build a Community of Success ahead.

Media Reports