Monday, February 23, 2015

Masjid Assyakiriin in 1987 - Bintulu's new divisional mosque

View of Minaret under construction, circa 1987
View of Minaret, completed with landscaping done (circa July 1988)

View of Minaret today, taken on 17 February, 2015.
Note the changes in the background.  On the far let is the new hotel called "Promenade Hotel" opened in 2014.

Masjid Assyakiriin as seen in 1988.  View from minaret towards the main mosque building complex.
Befitting its status as a new administrative division on 1 January 1987, a new divisional mosque was deemed necessary to meet the growing Muslim population in Bintulu due to the first economic boom (1979 -1983).  The mosque is located about 6 kilometers from the old Bintulu town center.  Planning for the mosque started in 1985 but actual construction works only started in 1987 i.e. after the laying of foundation stone on 24 March,1987. The above picture shows the mosque viewed from the minaret.  What is interesting in this new planning is the location of the minaret.  In most mosque throughout Malaysia the minaret is normally part of the building. Here the minaret is separated from the main building and represented a new design planning concept in Malaysia.  The many arches are inspired by the mosque in Cordoba, Spain.  The blue dome is in the form of a starfruit cut in half.  The mosque could accommodate 2000 people and is equipped with library, indoor gardens, fountains and function rooms.  The mosque compound is fully landscaped.  On the 8th of July, 1988 the mosque was officially opened at a cost of RM 6.5 million.

Visitors and VIP's touring the mosque during its opening on the 8th of July,1988.
Note the orchid tree at right of the picture.

Indoor garden landscaping, 1988.
Note:  I was fortunate enough to be involved with the landscaping of the mosque from day one when I was the officer in-charge of the landscaping of Bintulu town in the BDA or Bintulu Development Authority during the 80's till early 1990's.   The whole planting works and maintenance were undertaken by staff from BDA but the supply of planting materials were sourced from private nurseries. The collection of orchids for the 'orchid tree' was obtained from Orchidwoods, Kuching.