Potential and Strategy of Zakat Collection from Foreign Workers
The present study attempts to identify the level of understanding and the practice of foreign workers as regards to zakat and fitrah in the Federal Territory; to identify the amount of potential collection and number of foreign workers in the Federal Territory who are zakat payers; to recommend the best zakat collection management and marketing strategy to attract foreign workers in the Federal Territory to pay zakat of income and fitrah at the Zakat Collection Center (PPZ); and to analyze the factors that contribute to the probability of Muslim foreign workers choose to pay zakat and fitrah in Malaysia.
The survey was undertaken via a questionnaire designed to be completed by random respondents, who are the Muslim foreign workers in Federal Territory regardless of the professions, which range from low-skilled workers to high-skilled workers. Two areas under the Federal Territory (Wilayah Persekutuan) namely Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya are involved. The usable data collected is 426. Methods of analysis are used in the study including descriptive analysis, cross tabulation analysis with the use of Chi-square tests, correlation analysis, steps in estimation of potential zakat collection and regression analysis. The findings show that despite good general knowledge and awareness of foreign workers on zakat, they have very limited knowledge and awareness on zakat system in Malaysia. Majority of respondents is paying zakat fitr during Ramadhan but barely paying other types of zakat. In all cases of zakat, foreign workers in study are paying zakat in their own countries but majority of them are willing to pay zakat in Malaysia in the future.
However, the efforts should be taken by both authorities and zakat institutions to well develop good and efficient method of zakat collection among foreign workers. The religiosity factor has to be addressed carefully to at least to change Muslim foreign workers outlook in life to become potential zakat payers. The mosque is recognized as an important Islamic institution to act as a catalyst in the evolution of zakat management in Malaysia. Nonetheless, target of potential zakat collection should be more on higher educated foreign workers by giving special incentives to them if they are paying zakat in Malaysia.