PM joins 700 to break fast at mosque in Jurong West

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong presenting a box of dates for worshippers during iftar at the Maarof Mosque yesterday. With him are (from left) mosque chairman Rashid Ramli, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli and the Islamic Religio
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong presenting a box of dates for worshippers during iftar at the Maarof Mosque yesterday. With him are (from left) mosque chairman Rashid Ramli, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore's chief executive Abdul Razak Maricar and deputy CEO Esa Masood.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

The Maarof Mosque in Jurong West was a hive of activity yesterday evening as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli joined 700 people for iftar, or the breaking of fast.

Together with residents in the area, and religious, community and grassroots leaders, they feasted on a spread of rice and traditional Malay dishes such as sambal goreng as well as assorted kueh.

Before the meal, PM Lee was given a tour of the $16.8 million mosque, which opened in late 2016 and is one of the largest in Singapore.

The four-storey mosque has a floor area of 2,500 sq m and can accommodate 4,500 worshippers.

It boasts features such as signs in Braille and special listening zones in the prayer halls to cater to congregants and visitors with disabilities.

Mr Masagos, who is also the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, told reporters on the sidelines of the event that he was glad to see people of different religions and races taking part in the iftar.

SPIRIT OF INCLUSIVENESS

This is a very special way how Muslims in Singapore celebrate something significant not just among themselves, but also with everybody. This is how we can continue to maintain and grow our relationship with every community.

MINISTER-IN-CHARGE OF MUSLIM AFFAIRS MASAGOS ZULKIFLI

"This is a very special way how Muslims in Singapore celebrate something significant not just among themselves, but also with everybody," said the minister, who took over the Muslim Affairs port-folio last month, after his predecessor Yaacob Ibrahim retired from the Cabinet.

"This is how we can continue to maintain and grow our relationship with every community," he added. Hariz Baharudin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2018, with the headline 'PM joins 700 to break fast at mosque in Jurong West'. Print Edition | Subscribe