Tiny mosque living on borrowed time

  • ASEAN+
  • Sunday, 09 Jan 2005

BEHIND the shops, bars and eateries in hip Holland Village is a place to pray: a 33-year-old mosque made of wood and concrete, painted yellow and blue, with a zinc roof. 

Every evening, dozens of members of the neighbourhood's Muslim community gathered there for classes and courses, said the chairman of the mosque management committee, retired army captain Shamsudin Shadan, 73. 

On Friday afternoons, there is even a sermon in English for non-Malay-speaking Muslims, such as converts and foreign workers. 

Curious visitors often peek into the mosque, which is situated next to a brightly-lit coffee shop, Shamsudin said with a chuckle. 

Just 158 sq metre in area, the place of worship, which cost S$15,000 (RM34,545) to build, packs in up to 300 worshippers during the fasting month. 

But the mosque is living on borrowed time. 

The site of the mosque had been earmarked for redevelopment, though the details of this and when it would happen had yet to be finalised, said its spokesman. 

This did not stop worshippers, who plan to appeal, from refurbishing the place in 2001 at a cost of about $80,000 (RM184,240).  

Holes in the zinc roof were plugged, sliding windows were installed and the prayer floor given a new carpet. Air-conditioning was also installed in the prayer hall. 

Shamsudin, one of the many Muslims who have been living in the neighbourhood for decades, has been worshipping there since 1973. 

Said Shamsudin: “Of course, our dream is a bigger mosque to fit in everyone. But we don't even require that. So long as this place is preserved to benefit the community, I'm happy. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network 

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