For Penang Chinese Muslims, a mosque to call their own

Located at the junction of Burmah Road and Khoo Suan Ewe Road, the 121-year-old Titi Papan Mosque is the first in the state to offer sermons in Chinese, August 13, 2014. — Picture by K.E. Ooi
Located at the junction of Burmah Road and Khoo Suan Ewe Road, the 121-year-old Titi Papan Mosque is the first in the state to offer sermons in Chinese, August 13, 2014. — Picture by K.E. Ooi

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GEORGE TOWN, Aug 13 — After six years, Penang’s Chinese Muslim community finally have a mosque of their own.

Located at the junction of Burmah Road and Khoo Suan Ewe Road, the 121-year-old Titi Papan Mosque is the first in the state to offer sermons in Chinese languages.

The small building which can fit roughly 50 people was built in 1893 for the Peranakan Jawi community.

The state government decided to set it aside for the Chinese Muslims recently after receiving applications from the minority community from 2008.

“The purpose of a Chinese mosque is to show the universal and multicultural root of Islam,” Penang religious affairs committee chairman Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim said in a press conference at Komtar today.

He stressed that the state was not segregating its Muslim faithful when asked, “but we just want to show that Islam can be multi-ethnic and multi-cultural”.

He said that part of last Friday’s sermon delivered at the mosque was in Mandarin.

He was unable to furnish the number of Chinese Muslims in the state when asked.

Abdul Malik said the Titi Papan Mosque will be managed by Chinese Muslims as they had formed the bulk of the committee last year and had planned to use the place of worship to carry out programmes for their community.

“The state government also plans to build a Chinese mosque with a unique Chinese architecture in the future to reflect three different cultures — Malay, Chinese and Indian,” he said.

Penang also has the historical Kapitan Keling Mosque which sometimes features guest speakers who deliver sermons in Tamil, catering to the large Indian Muslim congregation there.

The 121-year-old Titi Papan Mosque can fit roughly 50 people and was built in 1893 for the Peranakan Jawi community. —Picture by K.E. Ooi
The 121-year-old Titi Papan Mosque can fit roughly 50 people and was built in 1893 for the Peranakan Jawi community. —Picture by K.E. Ooi

Muslims make up 61.3 per cent of Malaysia’s 28 million population, the majority of whom are Malay.

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