Dr Abdul Rahman signing the plaque at Surau Al-Malique.

KOTA SAMARAHAN: The state government has formed a committee to coordinate the construction of mosques and surau throughout the state, says Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs & DBKU) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi.

“We have formed a committee chaired by myself, the deputy chairman is Sarawak Islamic Council (MIS) president Datuk Misnu Taha and it is joined by Public Works Department (JKR), Land and Survey Department (JTS) and district councils.

“We would convene a meeting once a month to go through the applications for building new mosques and surau. There is a need to be coordination in terms of the applications.

“This is because some of the applications were channelled to MIS, some to Islamic Affairs Department (Jais), some to myself, some to assemblymen and MPs and some even applied directly to the Chief Minister.”

He was officiating the earth-breaking ceremony of Surau Al-Malique here on Wednesday (Oct 14).

Dr Abdul Rahman said the applications would be compiled for the sake of uniformity and that the construction of the mosques and surau were implemented in an orderly manner.

“There needs to be guidelines that must be adhered to before the mosques and surau are built and usually we would ask where the nearest mosque or surau is from the area.

“Because if there is another mosque or surau in the vicinity, the worry is that the new surau will not have a huge number of goers.”

Dr Abdul Rahman said in terms of building new mosques and surau, a crucial aspect was land size where ideally the plot of land identified must be large enough for the building as well as future upgrades.

“The mosque and surau will not only be used by our generation, it will be used by our children and grandchildren. Maybe in the future, a surau will be upgraded into a mosque.

“There is a need for the land to be vast for that to happen and these are among the components that we pay attention to.”