Upgrade older mosques
IT is time to focus on upgrading older mosques, now that community efforts to build new and modern mosques have proven successful.
To do this, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday night suggested starting a mosque upgrading programme.
'This can be done by upgrading and adding new facilities to our old mosques. For example we can provide activity rooms for youths and lifts and ramps for the elderly,' he said.
'The community can then enjoy mosques which are up-to-date, and meet the needs of the modern Muslim community.'
Mr Lee made these comments as he praised the Malay community?s success in building mosques in new Housing Board estates for over 30 years.
Money for this comes from the Mosque Building and Mendaki Fund. Working Muslims contribute to it, giving monthly donations, ranging from $2 to $11, depending on their salary. Wealthy Muslims can choose to give more.
So far, 22 mosques have been built, and the 23rd, Al-Mawaddah Mosque in Sengkang, will be ready by December.
Mr Lee also suggested hiving off some of the fund to boost religious education programmes
One beneficiary could be the joint madrasah system. Three of the six madrasahs here come under the system, as part of an initiative to lift academic standards at Islamic religious schools here.
Mr Lee said that the schools need more resources to upgrade their programmes. They have been raising funds on their own and getting support from the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis).
The Government had considered funding them, he said, but felt it would be difficult to justify this, as madrasahs do not come under the state school system.
So this is where the Malay-Muslim community can step in to support them, he said.