With special thanks to Joel Gurprit Singh and friends for these beautiful pictures. We’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
作者／本刊记者 Sep 16, 2009 11:37:55 am
【本刊记者撰述】今天是马来西亚日， 七十名“为国家祈福，为和平斋戒”（Fast for the Nation, Peace for Malaysia 2009）活动的发起人和参与者今天清晨五时聚集用餐，正式开始一天的斋戒活动，以行动尊重马来西亚多元文化，拒绝暴力，为国家祈福。
清晨五时，七十名发起和参加“为国家祈福，为和平斋戒”（Fast for the Nation, Peace for Malaysia 2009）活动的不同种族马来西亚子民，聚集在八打灵再也戏院旁边的莲花茶餐厅用餐，为一天的斋戒活动拉开序幕。
接着，纳吉前特别官员（special officer）的奥玛慕斯达法王（Omar Mustapha Ong）的父亲慕斯达化王自动请缨发言，他提及1969年的五一三事件，并表示支持首相纳吉的“一个马来西亚”。
其中，玛丽娜马哈迪（Marina Mahathir）、回教姐妹组织活动经理玛斯嘉丽莎（Masjalizah）、雪州大臣办公室研究员杨淑雯、妇女辅助会（Women’s Aid Organisation）执行董事艾薇卓西亚（Ivy Josiah）、马来西亚律师公会人权小组主席邱进福、前律师公会主席安碧嘉（Ambiga Sreenavasan）等人都出席了今早的聚餐。
现年30岁的凯文罗汉（Kevin Rohan Thomas）则指出，他并不是纯粹是为了斋戒而参与这项活动，相反的他想做一些不同的东西来庆祝大马日。
A big applause to the organisers. I enjoy every minute of the fasting although I was quite sceptical at first. Great to know how our Muslims friends or colleagues fast too.
PEACE to all Malaysian and the World at large. ~ See Kim Wah
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A small group of us met at the Canteen, Malaysia Hall in Bayswater this evening to share the cause with our fellow Malaysians back home. ~ Steven Lee.
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"Fasted 24 hrs. First 12 hrs without anything, next 12 hrs without solid food. - Tan Jien Seng
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Sorry the picture is not clear. But I'm happy that we did it. Especially Daphne Iking. With her busy schedule and a full day theatre rehearsal she managed to fast. I'm so proud of her. It's the least we can do for our beloved country.
Thanks for encouraging us to be a part of this.
Mas & Daphne
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"They (non-Muslim staff) actually thanked me for persuading them to sign up! Except for 20+ yr. old C who was so weak with hunger by 5pm, she could hardly talk, much less sell ... am not planning to tell my boss about this! ~ Can’t Reveal Name in case Boss finds out!
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This year, just like any other year, we celebrate Hari Malaysia together with our client but this year with a twist. We have asked our entire client that coming to our office including our staff to fast for the day in conjunction with the fast of the nation celebration. Attached is a couple of picture for the fast of the nation collection.
After the recent hoo-ha of the cow head protest and the sheer helplessness I felt, it was a relief to hear that I was not alone. There’s something about civil society in Malaysia that gives me hope that my country is not as bigoted or narrow-minded as the politicians make her out to be.
It’s initiatives like Peace4Msia, Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia, Rescue the Pulau Ketam Dogs, and so many others that make me feel proud to be a Malaysian. It’s people like Haris Ibrahim (who I’ve never met), TVSmith, Regina (founder of the Pixel Project), the IRC gang and the Comic Fiesta Committee, Marina Mahathir, my godfather, Anthony Pinto, and countless others who make me proud to be alive in this country.
Fasting yesterday was an eye-opener for me. Like I’ve said before, I’ve never done a full fast, so I was rather surprised by the results. I didn’t really feel the hunger pangs (by this I mean the sharp, stabbing pains I get when I skip breakfast) at any time yesterday. I didn’t really feel thirsty either which was a blessing when my colleagues made coffee (I did not advertise to them that I was fasting till it was nearing lunch time. See: My Twitter ).
Instead, most of the time I went about my business as I did usually (except lunch; I stayed in the office playing Scribblenauts till Jerry asked for my Sachiko to try the game for himself). This included acting a bit over the top (my colleagues will tell you this is nothing unusual) and shooting at people with Marauderz’s nerf gun.
It was only later in the day that I started feeling sluggish. By later I meant around 6pm onwards, when I was eagerly counting down to the end of the fast with NikiCheong on Twitter. I couldn’t wait till 7.14pm came around, and at 7pm, Grayfox and me went downstairs to search for food. When we went back to the office, I was happy to realise it was already 7.15pm and bit into my chicken sausage bun (sorry couldn’t go vegetarian).
I didn’t have heavenly bells and what not ringing when I bit into the bun. Instead, I simply recognised the food for what it was. Sustenance. And then I went home to have dinner with my family.
That night, I slept early, slightly worried that I didn’t manage to do a kind deed as Peace4Msia suggested. While chatting with a few friends, something the good Reverend Sivin Kit said suddenly clicked in me, which led to this entry. Before I slept, I said a prayer for my country, thanking the Father for the blessings he’s showered, and that today went off so peacefully.
Erna said that being kind wasn’t always synonymous with being nice, and I agree with her. Sometimes you have to be cruel, to be kind, they say. Fasting, in a way, is an embodiment of that. You starve your body to clear the mind.
It’s like living in Malaysia, really. Only when you step out of the ugliness and the hate and the prejudice can you accept Malaysia in all her imperfection. We’ll always have arguments, we’ll always have disagreements, but if we can’t agree to disagree, doesn’t it benefits only our detractors?
When one family member backstabs another and considers themselves holier than the others, then we have a recipe for disaster.*
*This isn’t just for Malaysia, but also mine.
Happy Hari Malaysia.
Thursday September 17, 2009
Malaysians come together to fast for peace
By FAZLEENA AZIZ
SPIRITS were high as some 50 people from all walks of life gathered for sahur at the Lotus Restaurant, Petaling Jaya, before the Fast for the Nation, Peace for Malaysia event.
The event was held to commemorate the country’s formation on Sept 16 and to promote peace among all.
The event saw notable Malaysians like Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, former Bar Council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, TV personality and emcee Datuk Mahadzir Lokman and Ivy Josiah from Women’s Aid Organisation coming together in support of peace.
A toast to Malaysia: Mahadzir (right) and Ambiga (second from right) joining the participants for sahur.
According to Rev Sivin Kit, a member of the core group, more than 800 people took part in the event.
He hoped that this would be the beginning of more acts of kindness that would promote a desire for peace among all.
“It is encouraging to see these people here together for a cause and there may be many more doing it that we are not aware of.
“The event will help people remember the hunger for peace and justice during the fasting period.
“We want people to show restraint, have self control and reject violence,” he said.
He added that everyone would be able to feel empowered by the wave of peace-loving Malaysians.
For Marina, the event marked a day to reclaim the true meaning of Malaysia, which was peaceful and harmonious.
She said that Malaysians should not let a few people define Malaysia in a negative way.
“This coming together is what our country is all about. I am encouraged by the response, especially from the non-Muslims, who also want to fast during Ramadan,” she said.
Freelancer Smita Sharma, 24, from Bangsar, said the event was a great way to push back dirty political movements.
She said that the significance of Sept 16 should be seen as a celebration of citizenship.
“I have fasted before and should have no problem fasting today for this cause. I think this is a powerful idea for people coming together,” Sharma said.
Digital media specialist Michelle Ding, 25, from PJ, came to know about the event via the Internet and said it was a really good start.
“It is not a big task to fast because a lot of people do it and it is great to come together for sahur with the rest of Malaysia.
“In the true spirit of Malaysia, I am having my nasi lemak and teh tarik and I am proud to be Malaysian, especially today,” she said.
The buka puasa event was held at Rumah Anak Bangsa Malaysia at 66, Lorong Setiabistari 1, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, followed by a supper programme at Chawan in Bangsar.