The Sarawak government has approved an allocation of RM6.5 million for the construction of the Masjid Al Mushtasfa in the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH).
It is understood that the mosque will be an upgrade of the current prayer hall (surau) which has been operating since April 2020.
To ensure the works can go on, the government has allocated RM6.5 million for the facility which is expected to cater for Muslim health workers and patients.
According to a report by Borneo Post, the medical staff of the hospital had informed the Premier of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, about the limited space they had for prayers at the hospital, hence his agreement towards their proposal to upgrade their prayer hall at the cost of RM6.5 million.
The funding will see the prayer area itself enlarged into what will be called Masjid Al Mushtasfa in the future.
This is not the first time the Sarawak government allocated funds for worship places in the hospital with the government allocating some RM600,000 for an interfaith prayer centre for non-Muslim patients and their families in the past, and RM350,000 for a similar centre in the SGH Heart Centre in Samarahan.
Surau vs Masjid
My brief understanding after reading articles from several sources online is that, a prayer area (surau) is small designated area which can be used for prayers by Muslims but it however cannot be used to conduct Friday prayers (Solat Jumaat).
However, a mosque is not only a bigger in terms of size and capacity, but also can be used to hold Friday prayers. This means the Masjid Al Mushtasfa, when completed, will be able to be used for Friday prayers.
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- SEE article source: BP