THE quaint little mosque nestled next to the carpark in Holland Village will close by the end of next year, after operating for some 40 years.
The site that Kampong Holland Mosque sits on has for years been earmarked for redevelopment, but it was only yesterday that the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) made clear when it would have to make way.
The announcement was accompanied by a raft of measures - including the upgrading of the nearby Mujahidin Mosque - aimed at ensuring that the religious needs of the community will continue to be met.
Muis said in a statement that it had been informed by the Housing Board that the mosque's Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL) would not be extended beyond Dec 31, 2013.
'The mosque site will be affected by the redevelopment plans in that area, together with the adjacent parcels that are being cleared as part of the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme,' it added.
The mosque has been under the TOL scheme since 1991, with its lease made renewable on a yearly basis.
Built in the 1970s and slightly bigger than a five-room flat, it has been known to accommodate some 300 worshippers during the fasting month.
Muis did not give the actual date of closure, but advised worshippers to start visiting nearby mosques. These include the Tentera Di Raja and Darussalam mosques in Clementi, Jamek Queenstown and Mujahidin mosques in Queenstown, Jamiyah Ar-Rabitah Mosque in Tiong Bahru, Kampong Delta Mosque in River Valley, and Al-Amin Mosque in Telok Blangah.
Of these, the Mujahidin Mosque, which is 1.5km away, is the closest. It will be upgraded to accommodate 4,500 congregants, up from its current capacity of 3,500. A lift will also be built, and a dedicated space made for the Kampong Holland Muslim Committee (KHMC), which will be set up to continue the programmes and activities of the Holland Village mosque.
Several members of this committee will be invited to sit on the Mujahidin Mosque management committee.
The new committee will also look into providing a shuttle bus to ferry Muslim residents from the Holland Village and Buona Vista areas to Mujahidin Mosque for Friday prayers and religious festivities.
Mujahidin Mosque chairman Muhammad Khairul Jameel Yahya, 35, extended a warm welcome to all congregants of the Holland Village mosque.
'This mosque doesn't belong to us, it belongs to the community. We are always ready to welcome anyone. We are also ready to embrace and work with the members of the KHMC,' he said.
Still, the news of the closure hit Kampong Holland Mosque chairman Shamsudin Shadan hard.
'I knew this place was going to be redeveloped,' said the 80-year-old. 'But I didn't know when... I thought we had more time.'