BUILT in 1898 with British, Moghul and neo-classical (Greek and Roman) architectural elements, the Panglima Kinta Mosque in Ipoh needs to undergo restoration work.
The mosque committee chairman Toh Muda Panglima Kinta Datuk Ab Wahab Azizul Hassan said the conservation project is expected to cost RM5.3mil.
He said the walls of the 119-year-old mosque, which is gazetted as a heritage building, were made with materials such as pounded clamshells and egg white.
“The mosque was built for 15,000 Straits Dollars in 1898, and during that time the cost of cement was very expensive, and therefore other materials were used as a substitute.
“Today, it is the other way round and it will cost a great deal to ensure the walls of the mosque are restored using the original techniques and materials,” he told reporters at the mosque’s open day in conjunction with the Hari Raya celebrations last Sunday.
Tourism Perak Management Bhd Chairman Datuk Mohamad Kamil Shafie officiated the event.
During the event the Mosque Tour Guide programme was also launched.
Ab Wahab said during a impromptu visit by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir to the mosque two-months ago, he had pledged to assist with funds for the urgent repair work for the mosque, which includes addressing water seepage.
He said the previous mosque committee had constructed additional new buildings because at that time the mosque was not declared a heritage building yet.
“So my plan is not to disturb the original structure, and maintain the mosque in its original style.
“We need to think ways of raising funds to meet the project’s costs, as it is important to save the mosque for future generations,” he said, adding that since the mosque was included on tourist itineraries, some 2,000 tourists have visited the mosque since October last year.
The mosque is one of eight mosques listed under a heritage trail in 2014. The others are the Indian Muslim Mosque (built in 1908), Kampung Paloh Mosque (1912), Ubudiah Mosque (1917), Pakistani Mosque (1930), Ihsaniah Iskandariah Mosque (1938), Sultan Idris Shah mosque (1978) and the Muhammadiah Mosque (2013).
Ab Wahab said the mosque committee had taken steps to get tour guides for the mosque with assistance from the Abim Islamic Outreach Centre so tourists get informative explanations from the guides on the architecture, history, and Islamic understanding.
In his speech, Mohamad Kamil said the mosque was the earliest established in Ipoh.
“The architecture is very unique, and many tourists, including those from foreign countries have visited this mosque. I am also very impressed with the tour guide programme, which will attract more visitors to the mosque,” he added.