SINGAPORE - Muslims in Jurong West and Woodlands can look forward to two new mosques by 2016, which will be built to accommodate the growing numbers of worshippers in these areas.
Each mosque will take up about 2,500 sq m of space and cost about $15 million, said the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) at a media conference on Monday.
Right now, Muslim worshippers in Jurong West can attend mosques in Jurong East and Taman Jurong.
The Jurong West mosque will be built near the junction of Jalan Bahar and Jurong West Avenue 2.
In Woodlands, which currently has a mosque in Admiralty Road, a new facility will be built along Woodlands Drive 17.
Mosque-building committees have been appointed for each one to raise $5 million of funds for interior furnishings, and to reach out to the local communities for feedback and donations.
Both areas were selected because of the growing number of Muslim congregants there, said the chairmen of both committees.
Jurong West committee chairman Noordin Abdul Sukor, 58, said: "We believe the Muslim population in Jurong West to be about 20,000, and a new mosque is needed to accommodate their spiritual needs and religious education."
Retired teacher Mohammed Ayub Johari, 72, who chairs the Woodlands committee, said that the mosque in Woodlands also has to accommodate worshippers from the Marsiling, Sembawang and Admiralty areas.
With rising expectations of Muslims for places of worship, the challenge for Muis now is to optimise limited resources to build "functional mosques" that cater to the religious needs of congregants as well as run relevant and much-needed services for the community, said Minister in charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim, who met the committee members on Monday.
He also praised the move to mix Pioneer Generation members like Mr Ayub in the committees with younger members.
"This will allow a transfer of skills, knowledge and experience in mosque-building and fund-raising from the more experienced generation to the younger ones... and if old methods don't work, the younger ones can help to change them to something more fresh, more exciting," he said.
Construction will start later this year on both mosques, which can each handle up to 4,500 worshippers during peak periods, said Muis.
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