Solidarity without politics and religion

24 Mar 2019 / 14:14 H.

    MUCH is being made of the “# Solidarity4peace” rally held in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday. If it is for ushering in a new era of race relations, well and good. Then from now we should be seeing spontaneous mixing of the races and religions without any organisers behind them, and anyone making derogatory statements about such mingling of the races should be taken in for some tough counselling.

    This morning I experienced “perpaduan” at its best at a Hindu wedding ceremony in a Hindu temple. There were a couple dozen Malay Muslims, including several women with headcovers, present at the temple. They were right inside the temple where the ceremony was going on and they didn’t show any “sensitivities” or throw any tantrums for not being given some special treatment.

    The women were even posing in front of the altars with icons and taking photographs.

    I’m sure they didn’t lose even a tiny bit of their Islamic self and neither were they drawn to change their beliefs.

    I must say it was the most beautiful “perpaduan” I have seen in recent times. Perhaps this could happen because the occasion was in Penang Island.

    Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof, Jakim, Jais, other religious bodies and the muftis should take a lesson from this. Having rallies is no use if they do not result in people changing their view of others of other faiths and freely mixing with others.

    Mujahid would do well to put his “perpaduan” plan into practical action and lead the way as an example to the general public. He should spontaneously, together with his officers and those from Jakim, etc drop in at churches, Hindu temples, Chinese temples and other prayer houses to say “hello” to the people gathered there and create bridges between them and those different from them. There is no need to bring any material gifts. All that is required is their mere presence, smiling faces and polite words. It is these that go a very long way to create genuine “perpaduan”.

    Similarly, the non-Muslims should be welcomed at the occasions and functions of the Muslims that are held in their normal, natural setting and not in hotels and other special locations. Perpaduan happens on the ground as at the Hindu temple on Sunday morning, not in hotel ballrooms.

    If food is served, this is where the “pantang-larang” of the guests must be given proper respect.

    Looking forward to Mujahid doing more than organising rallies.

    Ravinder Singh

    Penang

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