Renovated mosque caters for the elderly

WORSHIPPERS at the Al-Istiqamah Mosque in Serangoon North can now enjoy new and more elderly-friendly facilities after the completion of year-long upgrading works.

The $1.2 million upgrade, which was completed this month, aimed to improve accessibility for the elderly and people with limited mobility.

The new features include a lift to the three-storey main mosque building. Ablution areas and toilets have also been upgraded with the addition of anti-slip tiles.

Retiree Syed Munir Hamid, 65, who walks with a cane, said: "I don't use the lift much because I prefer to pray on the first floor, but it's a good idea."

The reception office, administrative office and teacher's room were also given fresh fittings such as new carpeting and furniture. The upgrading work did not increase the mosque's capacity to accommodate 3,300 worshippers.

"With the new lift and upgraded ablution area, we can attract more of the elderly and continue to ensure that the mosque continues to be family-friendly," said Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim, as he opened the upgraded mosque yesterday afternoon. The upgrade was the first major renovation for the mosque, which was built in 1999.

The works started in August last year under the second phase of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore's Mosque Upgrading Programme. Sixteen mosques are involved in this phase, which started in 2012 and ends in 2017.

Four other mosques completed their upgrades this year: the Jamiyah Ar-Rabitah Mosque in Tiong Bahru, Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque, Mujahidin Mosque in Stirling Road and Al-Amin Mosque in Telok Blangah.

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