Ethnic mosques not undermining Muslim solidarity: Pertim

MELAKA, Aug 21 (Bernama) -- The Melaka Chinese Muslim Association (Pertim) has allayed any fear Muslims may have over ethnic-based mosques in the state, saying they do not undermine Islamic solidarity in the country.

Pertim president Mohd Mansor Yap Abdullah said the Chinese Muslim mosque to be built at a cost of RM7.5 million on 2.5 hectares near the 1Malaysia Square here was representative of all the communities in the country.

"For example, the Indian Muslims in Kuala Lumpur use Tamil in the delivery of the Friday sermon, like how the Chinese Muslim mosques in Kelantan and Perak use Mandarin in their preaching.

Nevertheless, other communities also perform prayers at these mosques," he told Bernama.

Construction of the Melaka Chinese Muslim mosque, which has received an allocation of RM5.9 million from the federal government and RM1.6 million through contributions from various quarters, will begin at the end of this month. It is expected to be completed in early 2014.

Mohd Mansor Yap said the language used or the name of the mosque only reflected the identity of any one community, but the more important thing was the individual's intention to perform prayers.

He said that though the Friday sermon would be delivered in Mandarin, it would have to be approved by the Melaka Islamic Affairs Department (JAIM). The use of Mandarin would facilitate the process of preaching to the estimated 3,800 Chinese Muslims in Melaka, he said.

Mohd Mansor Yap said the association would consider installing a screen to display the Bahasa Malaysia translation of the sermon delivered in Mandarin for the benefit of other communities using the mosque.

He said the first Chinese Muslim mosque in Melaka and the third in Malaysia would feature Chinese architecture, with the construction of two domes, a large tower, two archways and a layered roof as attractions to draw the Chinese Muslim society to the house of worship.