Airports and skyscrapers are fine, but not Quran Village? FT minister hits back at critics after backlash over RM150m mega project

Annuar today revealed that the Quran Village will consist a new 5,000-capacity mosque, a 'Quranic Science and Prophetic Biography' centre, a hostel and event space, a market, and an arts centre. — Picture via Twitter
Annuar today revealed that the Quran Village will consist a new 5,000-capacity mosque, a 'Quranic Science and Prophetic Biography' centre, a hostel and event space, a market, and an arts centre. — Picture via Twitter

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 — Tan Sri Annuar Musa has hit back at critics who lambasted him on social media for promoting the so-called Quran Village, a mega project set to be built in the administrative capital of Putrajaya reportedly at a cost of RM150 million.

The Federal Territories minister compared the negative reaction towards the mega project with other ventures such as airports, undersea tunnels and skyscrapers that have been lauded by their developers and the wider public.

“There are those who were proud when building airports, even when there is already an airport nearby. Proud of undersea tunnels, although there are two bridges across the sea.

“Proud with building towers when Kuala Lumpur is ‘littered’ with them. But when it comes to building mosques, Quran centres, they start getting negative,” Annuar posted on Twitter today.

He did not elaborate on those projects, but his remarks appear to be a dig on controversial projects such as the Kulim International Airport, Penang Undersea Tunnel, and several skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur such as the Merdeka PNB118 and The Exchange 106.

Annuar was lambasted by critics earlier today after unveiling the design for the planned Quran Village which would span 20 acres and started construction next year.

According to him, the federal government has already agreed to the project in principle and its funding has been approved by the government.

“It is the only project in the Muslim world. Let Malaysia be the pioneer,” he tweeted this morning.

 

Following the backlash, Annuar has sought to clarify the issue of the project’s funding.

 

He clarified that the Quran Village development will be jointly managed by local council Perbadanan Putrajaya and the Restu Foundation, while the funding will come from wakaf and private funds.

He also justified the project as being merely an extension of the existing Nasyrul Quran Complex in Precinct 14, Putrajaya — a Quran printing facility run by the above-mentioned foundation.

Annuar had in August told Parliament that the RM150 million Quran Village will include the construction of hostels, exhibition halls equipped with laser and holographic technology to “showcase the Quran”.

However, another report by his ministry’s media Wilayahku in August said the project could cost up to RM190 million, and is set to complete by 2025.

In his tweet today, he revealed that the Quran Village will consist, among others, a new 5,000-capacity mosque, a "Quranic Science and Prophetic Biography" centre, a hostel and event space, a market, and an arts centre which will be dedicated to Malaysia, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates and Brunei, respectively.

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