Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Star: Malaysians come together to fast for peace

Thursday September 17, 2009

Malaysians come together to fast for peace


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.

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