leekuanyew

Reflect on Mr Lee's legacy and do good, Muslims urged

Muslims in Singapore were reminded of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's contributions to the community and nation in a Friday sermon prepared by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) for the 68 mosques.

The sermon was on the theme of how Muslims should use their limited time on earth to do good deeds.

It called on worshippers to reflect on Mr Lee's legacy and contributions, and think about what they could do that will leave an impact on others, as Mr Lee had.

"The passing of Singapore's first Prime Minister has touched the hearts of many Singaporeans, including members of the Muslim community.

"He played a huge role in our multiracial and multi-religious society," said Ustaz Irwan Hadi Mohd Shuhaimy, reading the sermon yesterday at Toa Payoh's Muhajirin Mosque.

"He led a team of leaders who worked with him to develop Singapore to become a prosperous country that is envied by many. This was achieved, among other things, through the harmonious relationship between people of different races, economic development and an excellent education system."

The sermon added: "Let us think of the contributions that we have made and the impact of our actions on those whom we will eventually leave behind."

Mr Iskandar Kastari, 92, a retired driver who was born in Central Java and came to Singapore in 1943, welcomed the sermon's theme, and said Mr Lee was "a good man who helped improve the lives of the poor".

Mosque vice-chairman Hamri Hunar, 76, recalls having to go door-to-door to raise funds to build a new mosque in Toa Payoh in the early 1970s.

But funds were still short, and Mr Lee mooted a Mosque Building Fund, where, since 1975, deductions have been made from the salaries of Muslims through the Central Provident Fund mechanism every month, enabling the mosque to be completed - and another 23 to be built since then.

"(Mr Lee) has done a lot for the Muslim community in Singapore," he said.

Minister in charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim, who was at the mosque, told reporters: "At the end of the day, it's really for us to reflect on how we can learn from his example and the example of other pioneers on how we can contribute to make Singapore a better place for all."

Mr Lee, he added, was deeply concerned about the community: "He was always wanting to know more about the community, always asking, 'Is everything okay? What more can be done? Is this the better way of doing things?' "

zakirh@sph.com.sg