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By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, March 2: Masjid India’s Madrasah Islamiah (religious school) has produced many Muslim scholars who have done the state proud in the eyes of the Muslim world.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said these scholars were not only among the best in Sarawak, but also the country.
The state government highly acknowledged and recognised the contributions of Masjid India to Sarawak, he added.
“Thankfully the Madrasah Islamiah is still here, just that it needs assistance from the government so that it would rise up like back in its glory days.
“One of the renowned Muslim scholars from Masjid India Madrasah Islamiah is Sarawak’s very own religious teacher, the late Dato Sri Abdul Kadir Hassan,” he said at the official opening of the Masjid India Bandar Kuching here on Friday evening.
Construction on the RM22 million new Masjid India, dubbed the floating mosque, began in September 2014. With a capacity of 1,600 people, the mosque replaced the old mosque located at India Street for over 180 years.
Abang Johari said the new floating mosque was poised to become a tourist attraction along the Kuching Waterfront, complementing other attractions such as the Darul Hana Bridge, musical fountain and State Lesgislative Assembly complex across the Sarawak River.
Sarawak Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, who was also present at the opening, described Masjid India as another unique symbol of Sarawak’s unity.
The Head of State said the Masjid India community had helped make the state more diverse in terms of culture and blending well with the state’s multiethnic and multireligious society. — DayakDaily