Politics

Phuket Central Mosque rises near airport


PHUKET: Komol Dumlak, Chairman of the Phuket Islamic Committee, has called on people to not criticise the construction of the project now branded as the ‘Phuket Central Mosque’, and has denied claims that the mosque is being built using government funds.

Through a report by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket) yesterday (Sept 15), while still using the police rank of Sub-lieutenant as his formal honorific title despite not having served as a police officer for decades, Mr Komol said, “It is a place where everyone benefits together, without discrimination.”

Mr Komol said that the project, under construction next to Thalang Technical College on the main road leading to the airport, is situated on nine rai and two ngan of land provided by the Royal Forestry Department.

In total there will be eight to nine buildings at the site, he said.

Of the main buildings, one will be the ‘Phuket Central Mosque’. The others will include an Islamic Ethics Training Center and a Phuket Islamic Affairs Administration Center.

“There will also be Phuket Provincial Foundation School to help the poor and the underprivileged who have no place to study or any way to pay expensive tuition fees,” Mr Komol said.

“Students will come together at this centre whether they are Thai, Buddhist or Christian. This centre will be a centre where both Thai and English [languages] can be learned and all classes can come and study here where we will take care of the poor and the underprivileged,” he continued.

Construction of the main mosque is about 70% complete, fully funded by donations of more than B2.3 million, Mr Komol said.

So far more than B20mn baht has been spent on construction of the entire complex, Mr Komol added.

In total, donations of B40mn are needed to complete the complex, he said.

“Many more decorations need to be done, with around B20mn still needed to complete the project,” he added.

“The mosque will become the face of our Phuket province. We can build the central mosque here and then people can pray, whether they are taxi drivers at the airport or foreign guests, as they all will have to pass along this road,” Mr Komol said.

“Therefore, we are all welcome to come together and donate to the mosque because the Central Mosque is now accepting donations,” he added.

Mr Komol called on people “to understand that the budget for building the Central Mosque is not a budget from the government”.

“Not even one baht, we collect from the people,” he said.

“Do not create conflict. Also tell people who create conflict to stop doing it because we are in Thailand. We love Thailand too. We love all Thai brothers and sisters. We are in the same nation,” he said.

Regarding the Islamic Ethics Training Center, Mr Komol said that one rai had been “donated” to the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation (PPAO) for the centre to be built.

“It will be a centre for training and displaying various products, and used to perform important ceremonies of the nation and important ceremonies of the King with a capacity of approximately 1,000 people,” he said.

“It will be a three-storey building of the PPAO, but the Office of the Phuket Islamic Committee is the one who requested it.

“The PPAO gave the budget for construction. This is part of the budget was approved by PPAO President Rewat Arerob and Vice President Thiwat Seedokbub, and all members of the PPAO,” he said.

Not noted in the report was that the budget provided by the PPAO totalled B56mn ‒ even more than the B40mn Mr Komol said was required to build the entire complex.

Also not noted in the report was that the Anti-Fake News Center in its investigation of fake news claims that the project was to cost B250mn, had confirmed that the land provided by the Royal Forestry Department for the project covered more than 19 rai, not nine rai as claimed by Mr Komol yesterday.

 





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