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GEORGE TOWN, April 1 -- Residents in the Air Putih area have urged the state government to help resolve the issue of a mosque site in a housing area.
Bandar Baru Air Putih Residents Association adviser, Mohamad Pazli Ismail said the 1.21-hectare mosque site was included in the master plan approved by the Penang City Council involving the housing area which has more than 3,000 Muslims.
“We have been fighting for this since 2012. We are not urging the developer MTT Properties & Development Sdn Bhd to build a mosque but we are urging them to hand over the site of the mosque to the Penang Islamic Religious Council as the trustee.
"Currently, the developer is only lending us the use of the public hall in this area as a surau and it is without the consent of non-Muslims," he told reporters in a press conference, here, today, after handing over a memorandum to Penang PAS commissioner Muhammad Fauzi Yusof to act as an intermediary to resolve the matter.
Mohamad Pazli said the residents' association does not want the mosque site to be redesignated from the original plan or used for other development, as in the case of the school construction site in the area which is now being developed as a commercial centre.
He hoped that the issue could be resolved amicably, saying that the developer should be consulting the residents to resolve the matter.
Meanwhile, Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman, when met at a separate event, said the issue had never been brought to his attention.
“I did not know about this issue. However, I have taken note of it and will immediately do a review and will issue a statement as soon as possible.
“Whether it is true that there have been promises or it (matter) has been resolved in other ways or something like that, we will check,” he said.