Monday, August 18, 2008

PM : Upgrade Older Mosques

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.

Speaking in Malay at the start of the National Day Rally at University Cultural Centre, he said that mosques built over 20 years ago are showing signs of wear and tear, and need a new lease of life.

'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.


saedah said...

Salam Brother Mud,

Two years ago I had the liberty of interacting with some of the key personnel from madrasahs for a half a year course and I must say that I was touched by the predicaments faced by the madrasahs and at the same time by the concerns shown and assistance given by institutions other than MUIS. From my personal interactions and observations, I gathered that our asatizah's are very passionate and dedicated teachers who put others before themselves. SubhanAllah. But I feel that what's lacking is the 'aggressiveness', certain work ethics and mindsets that's predominant among their counterparts in the government schools which are pertinent for the success and sustainability of an organisation. MUIS efforts in providing trainings for the asatizahs deserve our applause but I feel a follow up in the form of work attachments to government schools would make the trainings more effective. I hope this had been carried out or is the pipeline. :) My prayers go to the Madrasah students and staff.
Sorry brother.... I am an opportunist. I know some relevant people will be reading this. Hope you don't mind. :)
Delete it if you feel that it is not appropriate. I do understand. :)

MudPie said...

Wa'alaikumussalaam Saedah

No, I dont think your post is inappropriate, so it is up there.

I dont think there are "relevant people" reading this blog .... haha.

Thanks for posting!