Premier suggests incorporating architectural elements of other cultures for new mosques in Sibu
Posted on : 11 Jul 2022  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari beats the ‘beduk’ as Dr Annuar (third left) and others look on.

SIBU (July 11): Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg suggested incorporating architectural designs of the non-Muslim community for mosques built in newly-developed areas in Sibu.

He cited a mosque in Piasau, Miri as well as the Islamic Information Centre (IIC) at Jalan Ong Tiang Swee in Kuching, where both buildings have elements of Chinese architectural design.

“I have discussed with Nangka assemblyman Dr Annuar Rapaee (to) maybe in areas where there are non-Muslims, we can build mosques that incorporate the architectural design of the non-Muslim community.

“We live in a multi-racial society so when there is such architecture, including mosques in China, we can carry out our ‘dakwah’ and increase the understanding of non-Muslims about the teachings of Islam,” he said when officiating the opening of the Al Qadim Mosque here tonight.

Earlier, Abang Johari noted that Sibu was growing rapidly in terms of Islamic development.

For this reason, he said there were two major mosques being constructed at Sibu Jaya and Kemuyang at the moment.

“The mosque at Sibu Jaya will be the centre of Islam development in the area. Its architectural design is a bit different than the usual ones that we have.

“The other mosque at Kemuyang will incorporate modern design with no pillars inside the prayer hall. The mosque is big to accommodate the needs of the people in Sibu,” he said.

Abang Johari also commended Dr Annuar and Muslim leaders in Sibu for a job well done in restoring the 160-year-old Al Qadim Mosque.

He said the newly repaired and restored mosque has an enhanced look but retained its original design and would easily attract visitors.

“When visitors come, they can see personally the development of ‘dakwah’ in Sibu spreading to all parts of the division including to Mukah.

“As the oldest mosque in the state, we can say ‘dakwah’ started at the mosque and later on spread to most places in the central region.

“Subsequently with the modernisation of our state, the population is growing and this enables us to expand our house of worship here,” he said.

Abang Johari said Al Qadim Mosque has made a significant contribution to the development of Islamic teaching in Sarawak, particularly Sibu.

It was founded by Abdul Salam Minangkabau from Minangkabau, Indonesia, he said.

“Some said the mosque was built in 1861. Some claimed it in 1833 and also 1881.

“The founder built the mosque using timber from Song, Kapit with nipah leaves as its attap on ‘gotong royong’ basis with local Muslims in Sibu then.

“The founder also was assisted by Haji Mohamad Abdullah, Syed Othman Syed Mokhsin and Omar Mahyah in building the mosque,” he said.

He said the mosque had undergone repairs in 1935, 1950 and 1968.