Sabtu, 14 April 2012


Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin - A Journey of life
(Photo Source from Google)
The Second mosque at Putrajaya namely  Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin or known as Masjid Besi (Iron Mosque).  The  Construction of this unique mosque began in April 2004. Known as ‘Masjid Besi’ because it was built by using six thousand tons of steel  with contributed  more than 70% of the entire building.

The Architecture of the mosque lead by kumpulan  Senireka under  Dato Ar. Nik Mohammad Mahmood and built by main contractor ; Ahmad Zaki Resources Berhad. The mosque is able to accommodate up to twenty thousand people at one time. The area of entire Mosque covering more than 73,000 square meters and it built up  to cater to approximately 24,000 the government servants working around the city center and expected 28,420 resident  as well as areas within Precincts 2,3,4 and 18 in the future.

The concept of the mosque is must be built in  airy, light and transparent which make it unique and recognise as a new modern architecture of mosque in Malaysia and not influence by traditional concept and Mughal.

The architecture of the mosque is used wire mesh for the outer walls for natural light to come in and for ventilation purposes.

The "Iron Mosque" features a district cooling system, and without assembly of fans or an air conditioning system. The mosque employs "Architectural Wire Mesh" imported from Germany and China, which is also constructed at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, as well as the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris. The main entrance is reinforced with Glass Reinforced Concrete to increase the integrity of the structure and uses fine glass to create an illusion of a white mosque from afar.

The path towards the mosque crosses a skyway known as the Kiblat Walk which stretches an area of 13,639 m². This skyway contains landscaping adapted from the ancient castles of Alhambra. The interior is decorated with Al-Asmaul-Husna calligraphy of the Thuluth variation. 


The entrance to the main prayer hall is adorned with verse 80 of Sura Al-Isra from the Qur'an.[3]

There is also a Mihrab wall made of 13 meter-high glass panel imported from Germany inscribed with 2 verses from Sura Al-Baqarah on the right-hand side and Sura Ibrahim on the left. The mihrab wall is designed so that no light will be reflected, creating an illusion that the verses are floating on air. The 40-feet long edges of the mosque's roof are able to shelter the people praying outside of the main prayer hall from rain. (Wikipedia)

The construction of this mosque estimates RM 200 million awarded to Ahmad Zaki Resources Berhad. However the awarded cost actually not included the foundation works like piling and pilecap.  

Not many of us aware that the foundation works contract was awarded to  Pembinaan Mitrajaya Sdn Bhd  under contract name “Cadangan Kerja Cerucuk Bagi Pembangunan  Sebuah Masjid, "Kiblat Walk" & Kerja Yang Berkaitan Dengannya Di Atas Sebahagian P.T 116 (Plot 3V1 & 3OSV) Presint 3, Putrajaya” on 5 September 2003 with contract sum  RM 9,909,943.10. 

The foundation cost only contributed 5% from overall construction cost of the “Masjid Besi”.  My Quantity Surveyor once said to me, "Just imagine in the engineering view can the load of RM 200million seating on RM 9.9million as foundation"

The original design of foundation used to Bored piles type and it have been revised to Spun piles type by alternative proposal in order to gain the contract. ( Cost Reduce)

Bored piles are usually preferred over driven piles in limestone areas due to the following concerns:
·         Should there be cavities with roofs of inadequate thickness, there will be risk of collapse of the roofs if piles bear on the roofs. Bored piles can penetrate through the cavity roofs and socket a sufficient depth into the bedrock. The capacity of the bored piles will be ensured. Bored piles also overcome the problem of premature termination of driven piles on hard lenses, floaters or  overhangs above bedrock.
·         Due to erratic limestone rock surface, piles tend to deviate during driving although provision of pile shoes and proper control of driving energy may be able to reduce this phenomenon. Pile deviation results in excessive pile length and pile damages. Quite often the integrity of piles can be affected without showing visible signs of damages.

However, bored pile solution is costly and slow in construction compared to driven piles. Stringent construction control is required to ensure the quality of bored piles. Due to the nature of overburden material and limestone bedrock, difficulties can be encountered:

·         Many ex-mining areas become dump grounds. Boring would be frequently hindered by debris in thedump such as concrete blocks, steel bars, metal scraps etc
·         Bored holes are not stable when slime or very soft/very loose material, a common feature of examining remnants is encountered. Although casing can be provided to overcome this problem, collapses of bored holes are still possible as slimy soil can enter the casing through gaps between the casing and uneven limestone rock surface. There were cases where grouting treatments were needed prior to bored pile construction due to the existence of slimy material.

I was involved in the foundation construction of the mosque started on November 2003 after being transfer from Electrified Double Track Project ( Rawang to Ipoh ).  I am lucky because have an experience working in Putrajaya and able to see the larger construction at that time.  During that time,  Putrajaya are not as we seen today.  Many building at precinct 3 is under construction and the worst thing is not many food stall to serve for the construction staff like us. The nearest food stall in Putrajaya that time located at Pusat Komuniti in Precinct  8 and precinct 9 and also Dengkil.  

The original design of Masjid Besi

The foundation of  “Masjid Besi” using the driven method of spun piles with various of size. The original design of “ Masjid Besi” shall consist 2 numbers of minaret because I still remember  apart of dome area, there have 2 number of large pile cap with 36 of pile group need to construct.

The location of minaret to be constructed (red circle)

We having difficult time during constructed the two of minaret’s pilecap because we need to excavate more than 5m below ground level compared with other pile cap due to the constrain  area.  The concreting work of this pile cap has been carrying out twice because of large size and weight of concrete can affected the stability of form work.

Beside that that, the most critical at that time during concreting work for the minaret’s pilecap were to get continuous  concrete supply  because  by the same time the MOF 2 ( Ministry of Finance Building phase 2) project also in progress.  Therefore we have made an early arrangement with concrete plant from Buildcon and Lafarge at Pulau Meranti in order to avoid any delay of concrete supply.

The main challenge of this project because it can classified as a fast project and our Client want all works shall be completed within 6 months.  Even though our commencement dates of contract schedule on September 2003, the construction works for the piling start on middle of October 2003. By November 2003, we have 8 piling rig on site to complete the task.

The most things that we really hate during this construction once the rain is falling down.   As usually in Malaysia, between November – December was in raining season.  Our life like shit because the ground is too muddy and by the same time work need to carry out.  Our piling rig need to use a lot of steel plate to support the weight and to avoid stuck in mud.  The construction of pile cap need more time to pump out the water because our progress behind from schedule.  Our client doesn’t want to accept any reason due of rain because the contractor shall planned their job properly.

The worst thing since our site just near with the Putrajaya lake and we need to ensure that none of  mud water to be discharge to the lake.  Once it was happened, the next thing you known that our Project Manager suddenly taken the medical leave and shut down his phone because cannot stand the “F’ work from the authority.

The other instruction given from my Clerk Of Work to make sure our worker aware and strictly enforced the area of mosque especially at proposed  Dome area ( Prayers area) is prohibit from pee as respected to the mosque chastity.

The other sweat memory that hard to forget was  the security system provided by authority. At that time, any construction vehicle must got their sticker as a ticket to get into the area of  Precinct 3 while the worker also need to obtain the security card. The security guard always asking both of this pass and card as an enforcement to the system.  However when come a new year, normally it take time for us to receive the new security card because it was involved a thousand application to process by authority compared with car sticker.

However the new security guard from Nepal too strict not allowed any worker to pass in event though we have a car sticker. He said "car sticker only for a car". So i asking him back " I'm  understood that sticker  for car but the car need a driver so that it can move".  The funny time when he replied " Sorry sir, my boss said sticker for car, card for man, without sticker car cannot pass in, without card, man cannot pass in. Now car can go in but man cannot go."  So i opened the door and walk out the car and say back to him. " okay now car can go in because it have sticker  but i cannot because i don't have a card." Then i saw he blur.

In same time the car behind me which also my friend from same project have a same problem with me. He also walk out the car and say to that security guard.  "My boss will scold me if i come late to the office, let the car go in so that it can tell my boss that i cannot work today because i don't have a card".

Since the security guard really cannot be tolerate regarding on entrance pass, it has cause jammed at security post until the Manager of security come and told his security man to let the card with sticker to go in.  I really respect the security guard that obey to the instruction given but some time i lost my patience and want to give them a punch.

As a leader, when give the instruction please give cloud and clear and to make sure your staff  really understand with the order. Sometime the word "lorry" can interpreted by other meaning.  As example if you give an order, "Do not let any lorry pass through your post in order to avoid any stealing of steel within this area" . So automatic we understand the word  lorry which related with stealing cases means as a below:

But some other think that this concrete mixer also the lorry.

The incident happened in midnight when our concreting works was in progress. Suddenly i received a call from batching plant mentioned that their concrete truck cannot pass the security guard. I rush to the guard post and ask them to let the truck pass in.  The security guard said, they just received instruction from his boss not allowed any vehicle enter this section after 1a.m.  I show them that we have a permit to work during midnight from Putrajaya Authority and wonder why his boss give that such instruction. He said the instruction given because they got complaint that a lot of steel reinforcement was missing from this section and the gate need to close after 1a.m.  Just imagine what are you going to do in 1a.m.

The problem is who want to pick up the phone in middle of the night. Even i tried make a call to Putrajaya Manager which in-charge in security but  he did not pick up the phone. After fail to persuade the guard, i called my sub-contractor and lorry driver discussed try to threat the security guard. So give the instruction to the lorry drive to make u- turn and throw all the concrete inside the drum at front of the entrance gate. So the driver's of concrete truck make a u-turn and ready to discharge all the concrete as i instructed.

I just said to security guard. " Everybody have an instruction to follow, i have an instruction from my boss to finish the concrete work tonight, the truck driver have instruction to make sure the concrete supply delivered and get signed from my self,  if not the driver salary will cut off so as a best solution, this concrete supply  i have to discharge here as a proof to my boss that why i cannot complete my task, by the same time all the concrete driver done their responsibility in delivered the concrete as instructed.  While you also can show to your boss that you have done a great job by stopping all the truck from your sector and i think it is win - win situation".

Then the security guard started feel uncomfortable with that action. Just imagine 3 nos of  concrete mixer with contain 6.0 cubic meter each lorry ready to throw out all at front of the security gate. At the end, we won in the psychology game because the security guard let the concrete mixer truck pass through. Maybe in the security mind how they want to answer to his management  the 18 cubic meter of concrete in front of their gate and who want to clean it because with the such volume definitely will blockage the road. But if that guard think further ahead, if the road blocked by the concrete how we want to go out from our project site in that night. If that happened sure we will sleep at cabin's office.

Other than that, we also have to change the method of driven spun piles from using hydraulic hammer to injection piles ( Jack in Piling System) due to vibration impact to the nearest building.

In Malaysia,  jack-in piling system was first developed about 12 years ago. It started with a low jacking capacity of 20 tonnes for small RC piles of 10 tonnes working load as an alternative to the tanalised  timber piles. The jack-in capacity was increased to 60 tonnes and later 90 tonnes.

In the mid-nineties, there were enquiries from the consultants and the government authorities to look into developing a jacking system that could go beyond the 100 tonne capacity. Such a system was found in China and the jacking capacity was 400 tonnes and later increased to 600 tonnes. It handles square concrete, 250mm to 550mm in size; circular concrete spun piles, 0.3m to 0.6m diameter, and steel H-piles. The working capacity of piles installed is similar to normal driven piles, in the range of 1000kN to 2500kN if ground condition permits.

The jack in piles system quit slowly compared with hydraulic hammer but it not a big deal because we managed to complete the job within contract period by end of February 2004. Even I feel sad because our company lost in tender when  Ahmad Zaki Resources Berhad have been awarded as main contractor but I’m proud become  part of the Construction Of Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.   It was officially opened by the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin on June 11, 2010.

Until to-date, every Friday noon i will spent my time  to" Masjid Besi" for performance my pray and refresh some of sweat memories  in the journey of life.