In 1897, the court decided in a dispute between members of the royal family that the Kampong Glam property belonged to the British Crown. An ordinance was then enacted by the British government to provide an income for Sultan Hussein's descendants.
The building continued to serve as residence for the family until 1999, when redevelopment plans for Kampong Glam were announced.
After its reopening in 2005, further renovations were carried out between 2011 and 2012. The redeveloped centre was launched in September 2012.
The schools were funded by donations from their founders, trustees and philanthropists including the Haw Par brothers and Tan Kah Kee (1874–1961) and organisations such as the former Sun Tian Gong temple at Malabar Street. The schools were known for its calibre of teachers and students, including famous alumni such as Chinese magnate, Lee Kong Chian (1893-1967) and former President of Singapore, Ong Teng Cheong (1936-2002). The building was conserved in 2011 by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
Although the school taught the tenets of Islam to Muslim boys when it first started, it began accepting girls in the 1940s, and was eventually converted into a full girls' school for the next two decades. In 1992, an extension building was added to the madrasah to provide better facilities for the students. Today, its students are also taught Mathematics, Science and Malay language in addition to Islamic studies, Arabic and English.
According to former residents, the majority of the Chinese population staying at Bali lane were Hokkiens from Jinjiang county. In each coolie quarter, different gods were worshipped according to village clan, and the celebration of the gods’ birthdays helped residents to maintain close ties with each other. Newcomers were allowed to stay for free and repay the rent after they found work. Such coolie quarters gradually phased out over time with the decrease of entrepôt trade.
Here, a whole array of services was available. Bussorah Street was reputed for its 'sheikh hajis' (pious men known in the community for their knowledge of the haj) who would prepare the pilgrims for their journey. When the time came for them to depart, prayers were usually held at Masjid Sultan and there would be a huge send-off.
Although air travel has since replaced the ship as the main mode of transportation to Jeddah, former residents still continue to call Bussorah Street “Kampong Kaji” today.
The mosque was designed in the Indo-Saracenic style, with domes, minarets and balustrades. The building’s most striking features are its two large golden-yellow domes. Donated glass bottles from the community were incorporated into the base of the dome. In front of the mosque lies the grave of Tunku Alam, the grandson of Sultan Hussein.
Education & Community Outreach Division
National Heritage Board
For more heritage trails, please visit - http://www.nhb.gov.sg/NHBPortal/Places/Trails