Mosque gets temporary reprieve

Mosque gets temporary reprieve
The Kampong Holland Mosque has been allowed to renew its Temporary Occupation Licence, up till April. It sits on a site earmarked for redevelopment.

SINGAPORE - Congregants of the Kampong Holland Mosque, originally slated to close by the year end, need not say goodbye to their place of worship just yet.

The lease for the mosque - which sits on a site earmarked for redevelopment - was to have expired on Dec 31.

But the Housing Board has allowed it to renew its Temporary Occupation Licence, up till April.

The news was welcomed by the Mujahidin Mosque just 1.5km away, which is expected to absorb most of the Kampong Holland congregants. Mujahidin is undergoing upgrading, and the renovations will be completed only by end-March.

Kampong Holland Mosque, which is slightly bigger than a five-room flat, has been in Holland Village for over 40 years. During Friday prayers, it hosts almost 500 congregants.

Mosque chairman Shamsudin Shadan, 82, is sad to see it go. He said there is a strong sense of community among its congregants.

"We've been here for decades," he said in Malay. "It's not just a mosque."

The Mujahidin Mosque will be able to accommodate 4,500 congregants after the upgrading, up from 3,500 currently. A dedicated space at the mosque will be set aside for congregants of the Kampong Holland Mosque to resume their classes.

Mujahidin Mosque chairman Khairul Jameel Yahya said in Malay: "We at Mujahidin Mosque are always ready to accept anyone, no matter which area they come from.

"They are all part of the Muslim community, and we must provide them the best service."

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