SINGAPORE - The new Yusof Ishak Mosque will not only serve the Malay-Muslim community, but also act as a bridge to the other communities, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim said on Friday.
Speaking at the launch of the mosque's design roadshow at the An-Nur Mosque at Admiralty Road, he said that the mosque, slated for completion in 2016, will embody the values of multiculturalism and inclusiveness that the late former president stood for.
The name of the new mosque at Woodlands Drive 17 was revealed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last Sunday during his National Day Rally, when he paid tribute to the contributions Singapore's first president made to nation-building, and as part of wider remarks honouring Singapore's pioneer generation ahead of the country's 50th anniversary next year.
"The primary function of a mosque is obviously to serve the needs of a religious community - in this case the Malay-Muslim community. But having named the mosque after him, it's also important that we try and encourage as many programmes as possible to bring non-Muslims closer to the mosque," Dr Yaacob said.
"I'm sure he will want that to happen, because having his name there, it's almost a national institution."
The design of the $15-million mosque, which will have a capacity for 4,200 worshippers, draws inspiration from Mr Yusof's official and private residences, and will make use of eaves, a verandah and balustrades that are distinctive of a tropical Malay house. It will also have a pitch roof instead of grand domes.
Mufti Mohamed Fatris Bakaram said that he also hopes the new mosque will further instill the values of piousness, community spirit and an attitude to always strive, that Mr Yusof came to be known for.
Members of the public are invited to give suggestions on the design, facilities and programmes at the roadshow at An-Nur mosque, which will run for the next fortnight.