Summary on the Sheung Shui Masjid Project
“This precious piece of land (2,046 Sq. meters) was acquired in Sheung Shui in 2006 with a lease premium of HK$9.35 Million to construct an Islamic Centre and a 200-bed elderly care home. This was after more than a decade long struggle by the late Haji Ali Deen, the founder of UMAH and after overcoming obstacles and objections from the local resident community in that area. Through the generous grant of the Qatar endowment fund, the land premium was paid, together with local donors and organizations such as IUHK and the BOT.
A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed with the Ministry of Finance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 30 September 2009 after the late King Abdullah pledged to finance the construction project. According to the Agreement Memorandum, the project was to be named as ‘King Abdullah Islamic Centre and Elderly Home.’ Moreover, to efficiently supervise the Sheung Shui Masjid Project, in 2013 another Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed, according to which the ‘The Incorporated Trustees of the Islamic Community Fund of Hong Kong’ (BOT) were entrusted the project pending the outcome of the litigation by unauthorized parties claiming leadership of the organization. Since then, BOT has contributed to keep the project alive by lending more than One Million Hong Kong Dollars (HK$1 Million) for penalty land premium to the Lands Department to maintain the lease of this precious land.
In the light of the Court Judgment of May 2015, the MOA made at the order of the court between BOT and the seven-member Mosque Construction Project committee is considered null and void.
In July 2016 the Saudi Consulate in Hong Kong sent a letter to the government of HKSAR that they want to postpone the project for some time. After meetings with the Home Affairs Bureau in October 2016, the Lands Department of the HKSAR Government gave a deadline of January 31, 2017 to give a concrete timeline and financial capability to go ahead with the project. UMAH conducted a city-wide signature campaign in January 2017, met continuously with community leaders and finally formed a Sheung Shui Masjid Action Committee in December 2017.
Since the Ministry of Finance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has still not given a reply despite reminders in letters and meetings for the last year, the committee has decided to go ahead with fundraising efforts from March 2018 to safeguard the amanah of the Hong Kong Muslim community. We are also meeting with government officials and departments to push forward with a youth-oriented approach for an innovative healthy ageing concept to be implemented in the elderly care home”.
In this regard, we would like to invite all to support us in this fundraising campaign.
May Allah (s.w.t.) grant us this opportunity to realize the decades long dream of providing a place of worship and service to all elderly residents of Hong Kong.