Arabic-style break-fast session a nod to heritage

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the break-fast session at Masjid Alkaff Upper Serangoon. He was flanked by the mosque's executive chairman Kassim Kamis (right) and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli. Muis chief executive Esa Maso
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the break-fast session at Masjid Alkaff Upper Serangoon. He was flanked by the mosque's executive chairman Kassim Kamis (right) and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli. Muis chief executive Esa Masood is seated opposite him. Also at the event was Potong Pasir MP Sitoh Yih Pin, who is not in the picture.ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong joined 400 Muslims who broke their fast over a meal of kabsa rice and bamia mutton at Masjid Alkaff Upper Serangoon yesterday.

The Arabic-style meal was a nod to the heritage of the 89-year-old mosque. Built in 1930 by the Alkaff family - wealthy Arab traders who came to Singapore from Yemen in 1852 - the mosque features a combination of architectural styles, such as a pencil-like minaret, characteristic of Islamic Ottoman architecture.

At the event yesterday, PM Lee met Ustaz Mohaimin Tokyan, the only Islamic religious teacher in Singapore who can teach the Quran in braille. Ustaz Mohaimin, who is himself blind, has been conducting classes since 2017.

PM Lee was accompanied by Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli, Potong Pasir MP Sitoh Yih Pin, Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) chief executive Esa Masood, as well as community and grassroots leaders of Potong Pasir estate.

Charmaine Ng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 29, 2019, with the headline 'Arabic-style break-fast session a nod to heritage'. Print Edition | Subscribe