Dec 20, 2006

Tun Mahathir to build "Peace Mosque" in southern Thailand

(Channel News Asia) KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia's ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad is heading a project to build a "Peace Mosque" in troubled southern Thailand after brokering talks between the Thai government and Thai Muslims, one of his sons said.

Mukhriz Mahathir, the third of Mahathir's four sons, said his father had decided to build the mosque in the southern Thai province of Pattani after the meetings on Malaysia's northern Langkawi island late last year.

"We feel that our job to bring the two parties together in the negotiating table has succeeded," said Mukhriz, who also attended the talks.

"What is important is to ... build an icon for peace that also shows that Islam does not condone violence, and that a masjid or a mosque should be a centre for peaceful activity," he told AFP.

Mukhriz said teachers from a religious school in Pattani had offered the use of land in a small village called Kampung Jawa, and that a ground-breaking, attended by Pattani authorities was held on November 27.

Mahathir and the Perdana Global Peace Organisation he chairs have started fund-raising efforts for the 500,000 ringgit (140,000 dollars) needed to construct the mosque, which will be built by Thai contractors, he said.

No date for completion has been set for the "Peace Mosque," which will accommodate up to 350 people.

Mukhriz also said Mahathir was still willing to offer his services to mediate again between the Thai government and Thai Muslim leaders.

"We are actually waiting to see what other role we can play," he said.

"We offered them our continued services, but as of now we have yet to hear from them as to whether they want us to be involved."

Mahathir, 81, has been recuperating since a mild heart attack in November but stepped out last week to meet his old foe, billionaire George Soros.

Mukhriz said his father was recovering "quite well."

"He's already started going horse-riding again, so it must mean he's doing well," he said.

More than 1,700 people have been killed in three Thai provinces bordering Malaysia since January 2004, with the unrest blamed on ethnic Malay separatists, Islamic extremists and criminal gangs. - AFP/de

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1 comment:

bosoul said...

Alhamdulillah jika betul apa yang diberitakan ni....
mari berdoa bersama agar tercapai...