Monday, May 31, 2010

Punggol Mosque up by 2013

$15m mosque will be most expensive one ever built here

A NEW mosque to come up in Punggol will be the most expensive one ever built here.

To cost $15 million, it will sit at the junction of Punggol Place and Punggol Field, near Punggol MRT station, and be up by 2013.

These details of what will be Singapore's 70th mosque came from Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim yesterday, when he opened Al-Mawaddah mosque in nearby Sengkang.

'Now that the site has been decided on, we can form a committee to raise funds and make preparations for the new mosque, God willing, for the people of Singapore,' said Dr Yaacob, who is also Minister for the Environment and Water Resources.

The mosque, on a site the size of 10 tennis courts, will serve about 4,000 worshippers, mostly Punggol residents, three-quarters of whom are aged 45 or under.

Mr Mohd Alami Musa, president of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), said yesterday that the design of the mosque might well follow that of Al-Mawaddah, which had its soft opening in May last year.

Al-Mawaddah has eco-friendly features such as solar-powered lights and cooling vents. It is also one of the first mosques here to eschew the traditional Islamic dome. Its modern look is an outward sign of Muis' efforts to reach out to the nation's young Muslim families by designing its mosques to function also as centres of community life.

In a nod to Sengkang's relatively young population, Al-Mawaddah has, for example, a youth corner, classrooms, and a marriage solemnisation area.

The Punggol mosque will cost nearly twice what it would have cost just five years ago. Mr Alami said this was due to rising construction and land costs.

It will ease the strain on Al-Mawaddah, whose congregation swells past 6,000 on religious holidays, thrice the usual crowd, said its chairman Mohd Rafii Abdul Hamed.

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