Mosque Construction and Upgrading
The 20th century wrought many changes to the lifestyle of the Malays Nationalism, independence, urbanisation, industrilisation, globalisation and population increases, occuring somewhat in parallel motions, imposed big challenges on the Malay-Muslim society. For centuries, a predominantly agricultural community, the Malays became rapidly urbanised in the past 50 years. They now lead in government and public administration and are prominent in the corporate environment. For the Malay, the world around him may have changed but he continues to remain constant to his faith.
There is thus an urgent need for the fundamental social structure of Malay society to be replicated in the new ever-changing environment. Without a doubt, the mosque provides cohesion to the community of Muslims wherever they are. The Albukhary Foundation responded by undertaking to construct mosques and surau in new townships, commercial centres and residential suburbs throughout the country. It has now built or is in the process of constructing more than 20 mosques, it has also renovated and upgraded older mosques to meet the needs of the growing congregation.
Facelift for Masjid Negara, Kuala Lumpur
Masjid negara or the national mosque is the official venue of national religious events. The first-ever national mosque in Malaysia, it is a symbolic structure that affirms Islam as the official religion of the nation. It was built in 1965 as a bold and modern statement of the aspirations of an independent Malaysia.
As the national mosque, Masjid Negara has multiple functions. Apart from being a place of prayer, religious discourse and learning, it is also the venue of international Quran-reading competitions, festive celebrations and state funerals. It is also a popular tourist attraction welcoming Muslims and non-Muslim alike.
From the start, Masjid Negara has been a Kuala Lumpur landmark, with its 73-metre high minaret rising above the pointed star concrete roof that crowns the 15000 capacity prayer hall and function rooms that are surrounded by reflecting pools, water fountains and terraced gardens.
Given its multiple functions, Masjid Negara is a high maintenance public building. It first underwent renovations in 1987, about 20 years after it opened its doors to the public. With this, the once-pink concrete roof was clad with green and blue tiles. Weathering and frequent usage necessitated another renovation. In 2003, the Albukhary Foundation embarked upon a three-year programme to renovate the mosque. It undertook rectification works on the dome, minaret, roof, electrical and lighting systems. The mosque was also given a fresh coat of paint, from ceiling to walls, both inside and outside. The lower and upper gardens were rehabilitated and a new entrance built to facilitate easy access.
The renovations were completed at the end of 2005. With this, Masjid Negara can continue to stand tall, beckoning believers and non-believers alike to its well-maintained premises.
The Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture started the National Heritage department in March 2006 under the National Heritage Act (Act 645). The department undertakes research, conservation and enforcement to ensure compliance with the Heritage Act. Responsible for establishing and maintaining the National Heritage Register, the department’s functions include documentation, development and international recognition of Malaysia’s national heritage.
To ensure continuous conservation initiatives are undertaken to preserve our heritage, the department launched a Heritage Fund, and the Albukhary foundation is one of the significant contributors to this fund.
Taman Botani Perdana (1988 - 2015)
The century-old park, popularly known as ‘Lake Garden’ is the oldest recreational park in Kuala Lumpur. It sprawls over 101.12 hectares and is gazetted as a public park. Nestled in the heart of the city, the park is an oasis of tropical flora and includes mature rainforest trees and houses mini-parks such as the Orchid Park, Hibiscus Park, Herbal and Conservatory Park and the Bird and Deer Park. A popular attraction with tourists and locals, the city authorities are upgrading this urban park to a world-class botanical park.
Albukhary Foundation supported this government initiative with a generous contribution to Kuala Lumpur City Hall, which is responsible for management of this public park.
Malaysian Cancer Research
Beginning 2011, the foundation became a key sponsor of the Cancer Research Initiatives Malaysia (CARIF), an independent organisation involved in cancer medical research in Malaysia. It will provide financial assistance over the next five years in the battle against cancer in Malaysia.
Working in partnership with local and international researchers, CARIF started as a laboratory in the Sime Darby Medical Center in January 2001. In August of the same year, CARIF moved into a custom-build facility.
It is led by a 33-strong all-Malaysian team that includes award-winning researchers, whose goal is to identify new ways of detecting at-risk Malaysians, new cancer treatments and establish cutting edge services not available in the country.
Wawasan Open University
Albukhary Foundation is one of the main sponsors of Wawasan Open University, contributing towards the construction of the tower block in the main campus in Penang.
University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)
The Foundation made a financial contribution for the construction of the permanent campus of UTAR in Kampar, Perak.
Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology University (AIMST)
The foundation also responded to the fund-raising drive of the Malaysian Indian Congress to build the AIMST campus to meet the demand for medical practitioners in the country.
Heart Foundation of Malaysia Head Office
The Albukhary foundation built the head office of the Heart Foundation of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. Construction involved two main blocks - one for office & administration and the other is an accommodation facility.
Haemodialysis Centres were built in the states of Perlis and Johor to serve the needs of kidney patients in the far north and far south of Peninsular Malaysia.
School Uniform Donation Programme
In 2002, the Albukhary Foundation launched the school unifrom programme, donating school uniforms to needy stuents from 300 schools throughout Malaysia. In205, the government took over this responsibility. Since then, the Albukhary Foundation has turned its attention to distributing sports uniforms to the rural poor. Each set consists of a pair of tract top and bottom, a pair of shoes and socks, and a cap This is an ongoing annual programme.
Yeak Ping Lian, Savant Syondrome Artist
Yeak Ping Lian is profiled in the Wisconsin Medical Society as autistic servant, in posession of prodigious talent in striking contrast to his mental handicap. The teenager has been proclaimed an artistic genius for producing outstanding artworks. His vibrant acrylic painting of a rooster protecting a hen entitled “Prospoerous Year” impressed art circles in Malaysia and overseas.
At the age of four, Ping Lian was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder and Autism. His mother Sarah Lee gave up her job and through a combination of home-schooling and other informal channels, motivated Ping Lian to talk, read, write and draw. He took to drawing as soon as he could hold a pencil and started to attend art classes at the age of eight. Here, he caught the attention of teachers with his unique brush work.
Since then, Ping Lian has participated in exhibitions. His artworks, done mainly in charcoal, pencil ink, marker pens and water-colours, portray famous Malaysian landmarks such as the Kuala Lumpur railway station, Christ Church in Melaka and the PETRONAS Twin Towers.
Sarah Lee’s husband died of a heart attack in 2004. She is now left alone to raise Ping Lian and two other children. Inspired by her indomitable spirit, the Albukhary Foundation made ageneraous contribution to help the single parent raise her gifted special child.
Shaaira Nasir, Medical Undergraduate
With just a year and a half to complete her medical studies at the University College Dublin in Ireland, Shaaira Nasir found herself on the verge of aborting her studies because her family ran into financial difficulty. She was left stranded without the means to make ends meet overseas. Desperate, she approched the Malaysian Embassy in Ireland, which alerted the Albukhary Foundation of her plight. The foundation stepped in so she could graduate and return to serve the people of Malaysia.
JAWI Reading Programme and Educational Column
Together with media owner, the Utusan Group, the Albukhary Foundation embarked on a Jawi reading programme to encourage the use of the language through articles published in the Utusan Melayu newspaper. During a two-year period, more than 62000 copies of the newspaper featuring the column were distributed to 43700 primary schools in Peninsular Malaysia. The Jawi Programme has since been replaced by articles in the Education Supplements of Utusan Malaysia, a widely circulated Malay newspaper belonging to the media organisation.
The Albukhary Foundation recognises that one of the most robust expressions of national achievement is success in sports. While sporting glory fosters national pride and unity, participation in sports tends to build character, discipline and zeal to win. While not its primary focus area, the foundation has, nonetheless, in its own way supported selected individuals and sporting organisations realise their goals. By far, its biggest success is its support of lawn bowls, a sport that has done the country proud in the world championships.