"The mosques and surau could be developed into a network of well-managed retail outlets to sell quality and halal products," Deputy Premier Najib Tun Razak told the closing session of the 2006 Hadhari Continuing Community Mosques Convention in Kuala Lumpur, the state-run Bernama news agency reported.
Najib suggested that among the businesses which could be carried out at the mosques' premises are a restaurant, cafe, bakery, hair salon, tailor shop, stationery shop, polyclinic and micro-credit shop.
He argues that this could help stimulate the country's economy.
"As the businesses have ample market, they will definitely open up more businesses and job opportunities as well as generate good profit to the mosques and the local Muslim community."
The convention, organized jointly by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Islam Hadhari Secretariat, was opened by Premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Wednesday, December 6.
The five-day event was attended by more than 1,000 participants from the public and private sectors.
Islam Hadhari is the brainchild of Abdullah, who maintains it is derived from the core principles and teachings of Islam.
He believes the concept has the capacity to generate strength for a nation with its emphasis on various matters including knowledge, economy, culture, moral values and defense.
The deputy premier said versatile education is an integral part of a multi-faceted mosque.
"This function can be a new dimension and image to the mosques and will be commendable," Najib said, adding that the mosque can then be some sort of an open university.
He said classes should focus on untraditional subjects like information technology, food processing and bookkeeping to attract the youths to the places of worship.
"It will do a world of good if the mosques could also be an effective community service center for a meeting, gathering, official function, tithe payment, weddings, counseling and other matters related to the community."
The senior official said the mosque would become a center of excellence, producing a new generation who "love the mosque, and develop high moral values at the mosque."
Najib underlined that mosque management should be assigned to professional, qualified, creative and far-sighed people.
"We are recommending the setting up of a body as a referral and provider of mosque management courses on a continuous basis."
He suggested that mosque committees be made up of experts in the different areas.
Malaysia, the current chair of the umbrella Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), offers the image of an ideal Muslim country, heading towards the status of developed nation with huge buildings, beautiful cities and a fast track economy.
It has also entered the space club after launching in October 4 Southeast Asia's first space center, in a major milestone for its plan to see the first Malaysian astronaut blast off next year.Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16