Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque gazetted as national monument

The National Heritage Board (NHB) announces the gazette of Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque as the 68th National Monument in Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
The National Heritage Board (NHB) announces the gazette of Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque as the 68th National Monument in Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
A staff at Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque looks at the gallery depicting the history of mosque. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
A staff at Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque looks at the gallery depicting the history of mosque. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
The National Heritage Board (NHB) announces the gazette of Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque as the 68th National Monument in Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
The National Heritage Board (NHB) announces the gazette of Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque as the 68th National Monument in Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Mr Mohammed Irwan Abdul Wahid (in black), 31, prays in the main prayer hall of the Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque on Dec 18, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Mr Mohammed Irwan Abdul Wahid (in black), 31, prays in the main prayer hall of the Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque on Dec 18, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
The National Heritage Board (NHB) announces the gazette of Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque as the 68th National Monument in Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
The National Heritage Board (NHB) announces the gazette of Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque as the 68th National Monument in Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

SINGAPORE - A mosque built by a prominent Arab family in Singapore 84 years ago was named a national monument on Thursday.

The Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque at 66 Pheng Geck Avenue is the 68th national monument, and the sixth mosque on the list, the highest order of preservation status in Singapore.

The national monument was opened by the Alkaffs and is one of the two mosques established by the family in the 1930s. The other one is the Alkaff Kampong Melayu Mosque, at Bedok Reservoir Road.

NHB's director of the Preservation of Sites and Monuments division Jean Wee said: "The Alkaffs...are known as (one of ) the earliest Arabs to arrive in Singapore after 1819. Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque is gazetted as a reminder of the significant contributions by the Alkaff family."

The Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque has retained most of its earliest structures despite undergoing several expansions and renovations, with the most recent one completed in March. Now managed by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), the mosque can accommodate up to 2,500 worshippers. It serves mainly the local Muslim community in the Potong Pasir, Bendemeer, Kallang Bahru and Bidadari areas.

Muis' director of mosques Mohd Helmy Isa said: "With the preservation, Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque will continue to be a hub of activities for the local Muslim community."