SIBU: University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS) has been appointed consultant for the conservation work of the two-century-old Al-Qadim Mosque here by Sibu Muslim Welfare Trust Board (Lakis).Lakis chairman Dr Annuar Rapaee said UCTS would first carry out studies on the conservation work which would take four months before the actual construction work begins.
“The first phase of the task is to make sure the mosque building can be conserved to its original structures,” he told reporters after attending the closing of the Islamic Leadership and Family Seminar at Sarawak Islamic Complex recently.According to him, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Lakis and UCTS in March for the restoration of the Al-Qadim Mosque in Kampung Nyabor Road to its original structure at an estimated RM1.8 million.
Speaking at the signing ceremony then, Dr Annuar said no improvement or upgrading works could be carried out on the mosque because it had been gazetted as a heritage building.“According to history, the architecture of this mosque is a combination of architecture design from Sumatera, colonial era, and the Middle East, and that is what has to be conserved,” he said.He said the works to restore the mosque to its original form is not easy as the building was built over 180 years ago.“We’re fortunate to have the team from UCTS led by Prof Dr Azizah Salim to provide their expertise.“Among the features to be restored included the tower which was demolished some 80 years ago to pave way for development.
“The Muslim community here have requested for the tower to be erected back. This is one of the features of the conservation work that we are doing,” he said, adding that the mosque was built from belian wood and attap leaves before the White Rajah’s era.Meanwhile, Minister of Housing and Tourism Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Datuk Abang Openg officiated at the closing of the seminar organised by Sarawak Islamic Religious Department.Sibu Resident Hii Chang Kee, Sarawak Islamic Religious Department’s deputy director of operation Ustaz Khalidi Ibrahim and Islamic Religious Officer Sibu Ustaz Shamsudin Basir were also present.