- POSTED: 22 Aug 2014 15:26
- UPDATED: 22 Aug 2014 23:24
The new mosque will accommodate up to 4,200 worshippers and the structure will cost S$15 million to construct.
SINGAPORE: Preliminary plans for the Yusof Ishak Mosque were unveiled at the launch of a two-week Design Roadshow, aimed to garner feedback from congregants as well as the community-at-large about the design, facilities and services of the new mosque on Friday (Aug 22).
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had announced during his National Day Rally on Aug 17 that the mosque would be named after Singapore's first President to honour his contributions to nation-building.
The 26th satellite mosque to be funded by the community through the Mosque Building and Mendaki Fund (MBMF), Yusof Ishak Mosque will accommodate up to 4,200 worshippers and the structure will cost S$15 million to construct.
Over S$800,000 — out of the targeted S$2.5 million — have also been raised by the Muslim Bulding Committee (JPM) to furnish the new mosque, which is slated to start construction in the first quarter of 2015 and will be completed by end-2016.
Located at Woodlands Drive 17, the mosque’s design will be a blend of traditional mosque characteristics with Malay heritage, incorporating distinctive features of a tropical Malay house, such as overhangs and verandah.
The designs are in line with what the late president stood for - modernisation and progressiveness, while keeping true to one's heritage.
Elder-friendly facilities like lifts and ramps will also be built to cater to the increasing number of elderly congregants. An interactive pod will also be available for the youths to make use of.
SOCIAL COHESION AND RACIAL HARMONY
Speaking to the media at the event, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim said that he hopes that the new mosque would be able run programmes that will involve the community at large, promoting social cohesion and racial harmony in Singapore.
“Clearly, our late president was a pillar in terms of the values which he holds dear, especially in terms of multi-racialism and inclusiveness. The primary function of a mosque is obviously to serve the needs of a religious community, in this case the Malay Muslim community. By having named the mosque after him, it is also important that we try and encourage as many programmes as possible to bring non-Muslims closer to the mosque,” said Dr Yaacob, who is also Minister for Communications and Information.
"Having his name there, it's almost a national institution, so while we meet the needs of the Malay-Muslim community, in terms of our religious needs, I think we should also do programmes that bring the communities together so that we can continue to promote social cohesion and racial harmony that we have here in Singapore," he added.
With this thought in mind, the mosque will offer programmes that involve non-Muslims, including talks in English on education and journalism. These are subjects associated with Yusof Ishak, who was a journalist at Malay newspaper Utusan Malaysia.
Together with the recently unveiled Maarof Mosque at Jurong West, Yusof Ishak Mosque was first announced in 2010 to meet increasing demand for prayer spaces at both locations. Once complete, the mosque will help ease the overcrowding at the nearby An-Nur Mosque at Admiralty Road.
The public is encouraged to pen down their thoughts, ideas and suggestions and submit them at the roadshow, which will be located at the An-Nur Mosque till Sep 5.