KANGAR: The listing of Alwi Mosque, the oldest mosque in Perlis, as a National Heritage Site is a huge honour for the local community.
The mosque committee secretary Zakaria Kob, 65, said the listing was the highest recognition for the mosque which was built in 1933 from donations by the local folks.
Zakaria said the local community at that time had chipped in to build the mosque.
He said based on the stories passed down by the older generation, residents in the town initiated a donation drive to build the mosque so that they could perform their religious obligations in daily life.
"The residents raised RM68,684 from donations and tithes while the state government contributed RM20,000.
"The mosque was opened on Feb 10, 1933, but the donation drive to build it actually started back in 1920s.
"We are very grateful for the listing and may the older generation who contributed for the mosque construction be well rewarded in afterlife," he said.
An elderly resident, Busu Ibrahim, 84, regarded the listing as a rightful recognition.
"The mosque was here before I was born and I grew up and aged with the mosque.
"There are so many fond memories as this mosque was the centre of Muslim community in Kangar at that time," he said.
For Aziz Man, 68, Alwi Mosque will forever be a symbol that has united the Muslim community in Kangar for decades.
"It was built from the sacrifices made by the older generation," he said.
Meanwhile, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azlan Man welcome the listing and regarded it as a huge recognition for Perlis.
Azlan said the state government's diligency in making sure that the mosque's restoration works strictly complied with the National Heritage Department specification to preserve its original shape, had finally paid off.
"The restoration and upgrading has entered the second phase involving the construction of quarters for staff and a meeting room for imams and mosques' committee members all over Perlis," he said.
The New Straits Times reported yesterday that Alwi Mosque and Penang Free School in Penang have been declared as national heritage sites.