GEORGE TOWN, Dec 5 — Construction work to rebuild Sungai Nibong Besar Mosque started today, Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman announced today.
He said the contractor cleared the site today to allow access to heavy machinery.
“The contractor has started marking the points to construct the beams at the construction site,” he said in a statement.
He said the original plan by the Public Works Department (PWD) in Penang was for the construction work to continue in January next year.
“PWD was able to complete the amended plans for the mosque so the contractor can start work early,” he said.
The Masjid Jamek Sungai Nibong Besar Committee held numerous demonstrations at the site, in Komtar and even outside the state legislative assembly last month demanding that the work start immediately.
They handed memorandums to the state government and Ahmad Zakiyuddin requesting that the process be sped up.
The original mosque was built in the 1880s and is believed to be one of the oldest mosques in the state.
In 2010, the mosque committee decided to demolish and build a new mosque as the old mosque could no longer accommodate its growing congregation.
The old mosque building was demolished in May and the site left vacant as the PWD looked into the alignment of the proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT) that passed by the area.
The mosque committee had handed over RM4.65 million collected by its congregation to the Prime Minister Department’s Implementation Coordinating Unit (ICU) in April and the federal government also allocated RM1.8 million for the construction of the mosque.