Masjid Abdul Kadir

A historic mosque that port workers of the past built

Masjid Abdul Kadir

Believed to be about a century old, the peach-coloured mosque with a simple nostalgic appearance lies just ten minutes’ walk from where the shoreline used to be before being reclaimed for the port’s container terminal.

The mosque was in fact built by Indian Muslims who worked at the port during the British colonial era. Hence the Tamil Muslim name of Abdul Kadir. It was also once known as Masjid Kling (‘Kling’ was an informal local reference to Tamil Muslims).

The mosque’s other name is Masjid Bagan Tuan Kecil. ‘Tuan kecil’ in Malay means ‘small sir’. It is said that the name is derived from the local label for William John Butterworth, Governor of the Straits Settlements in the mid-1800s, who was short in height.

While the exterior is somewhat austere in architecture, the interior was recently elegantly renovated with carpeting and a mosaic of elaborate wall tiles from the Middle East.

Another old mosque, Masjid Kubang Buaya, which is smaller in size, lies along Jalan Kampung Gajah, further north of the Kampung Benggali area.