Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Masjid Sultan in Singapore

The Sultan Mosque is a good historical landmark and is also convenient for checking data on the early Malay doctors.

The new Masjid Sultan was built in 1928, after the Straits Settlement and Federated Malay States Government Medical School was started by the British in Singapore in 1905. 

Some of the early Malay doctors who studied medicine in Singapore between 1905 and 1928 could have come to pray in the old mosque. The dental school was not started before 1928, so no dental students should be in the name list. Old photos of the early Malay doctors before 1928 should show the old mosque (low building with 3-tiered roof) and not the recent mosque with domes, minarets and arched doorways.

Photos around 1928 when the new mosque was ready should show a brand new mosque and without trees. The trees could have come in much later.

The doctors who were studying in the late 1920s (around the time the new mosque was being built) could have also seen the new mosque being built, unless they went for Friday prayers elsewhere.

What I do have on record from the Research on the Early Malay Doctors for this date, 1905-1928?

I have 8-9 early Malay doctors who were in Singapore before 1928. They would have prayed in the former Masjid Sultan. It would be great to find photos of them at the old mosque, if any.
  1. Dr Abdul Latiff bin Abdul Razak 1910/1911
  2. Dr Samsudin Kassim 1912
  3. Dr Ali Othman Merican (he was in Singapore briefly and left for Hong Kong)
  4. Dr Pandak Ahmad bin Alang Sidin 1916
  5. Dr Mohamed Ibrahim bin Shaik Ismail 1916
  6. Dr HS Moonshi 1916
  7. Dr Ismail M Ghows 1917
  8. Dr Kamil M Ariff 1917
  9. Dr SM Baboo 1917

It is quite difficult to tell apart the old mosque from a low building which could be part of a Malay palace. Most Malay palaces are single-storey and low-lying, except Istana Kg Gelam. A photo of Dr AO Merican in Malay attire (baju Melayu with kain sampin and tanjak) in front of a low-looking building could be the old mosque (Masjid Sultan) or could be part of an old  palace (Istana Sultan Kelantan). It is hard to tell.

I have only 3 names of doctors who could have seen the newly built Masjid Sultan. It would be great to find photos of them at the newly built mosque, if any.
  1. Dr Abdul Samat bin Pagak 1928
  2. Dr Nizamuddin bin Ahmad 1929
  3. Dr Che Lah bin Md Joonos 1930