Monday, April 28, 2014

A ‘floating mosque’ for Kuching

KUCHING: A ‘floating mosque’ will be constructed on the Sarawak River to further enhance the tourism appeal of the city.

Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said work on the project, which will serve as an ‘extension’ of the historical Indian Muslim mosque located between India Street and Gambier Street, would start next year.

“The mosque will not be very big. It will just be enough to cater to existing requirements,” he told reporters  after officiating at Bintangor Sports Day 2014 at Kampung Bintangor here yesterday.

Abang Johari said the existing Indian Muslim mosque had historical values as many religious teachers received their training there before furthering their studies in Singapore.

“The basic of Islam started there (Indian Muslim mosque) and we will maintain its current location, but we will construct another mosque which is more comfortable.

He said the location of the mosque, Anglican Church and Chinese temples, which are within walking distances from each other, would symbolise the religious harmony enjoyed by city folk.

“Religious harmony is one of the features we have that we want to share with our visitors,” Abang Johari said, adding that details of the proposed mosque would be announced soon.

He said the idea to build the mosque was conceived by Yang di-Pertua Negeri Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud to reflect Sarawakians’ high religious tolerance despite practising different religions.