Unity through Fasting
To promote friendship and understanding among races and religions in the country, Malaysians for Malaysia, in collaboration with Soroptimist International (SI) Ipoh and Perak Women for Women Society (PWW), invited all Malaysians to fast in solidarity with their Muslim friends on Friday, June 17. This was followed by a breaking-of-fast dinner at MÙ Hotel Ipoh.
According to President of SI Ipoh, Sumathi Sivamany, the event has been held in Ipoh for three years running.
“This event is an opportunity for non-Muslims to better understand Ramadan and appreciate the teachings of Islam,” said Sumathi, who skipped lunch on the day of the event.
“What I went through was just a fraction of what my Muslim friends went through the entire day. I only skipped a meal, but to fast continuously for 30 days is something special,” Sumathi added.
Co-founder and Secretary General of PWW, Yip Siew Keen, encourages non-Muslims to try fasting to find out how it feels like.
“People can start by fasting for half a day, and once they get a hang of it, they can gradually increase the number of hours,” said Yip.
Among those present at the dinner were double amputee Jenny Pong and President of Persatuan Pink Champion Perak, Mardianah Mohd Yusof.
Mardianah described the efforts made by the non-Muslims to fast as, “touching”.
“We, Muslims, are fasting in solidarity with those struck by famines. The key difference between us is, they don’t know when they’ll be able to slake their thirst or assuage their hunger,” Mardianah told Ipoh Echo.
Established in 2009, SI Ipoh is an NGO that seeks to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities. The organisation helped Jenny to achieve financial independence by launching her homemade Nyonya curry paste and other products early this year.
Hari Raya Shopping
Laughter filled the halls of Mydin Meru shopping mall as 730 orphans from 23 different orphanages in the state did their hari raya shopping at the inaugural “Jom Shopping Baju Raya” programme organised by the state government, on Monday, June 12.
Executive Councillor for Women, Family and Community Welfare Development, Housing and Local Government, Dato’ Rusnah Kassim, said that the objective of the programme was to bring joy to the orphans.
“In previous years, we gave duit raya to the orphans, but this year, we wanted them to experience the joy of picking their own baju raya with their friends.
“When we were young, hari raya shopping was one of our favourite times of the year. So we want the orphans to have their share of fun and treasure such moments when they grow up,” said Rusnah.
According to Rusnah, some of them were orphaned as early as two years old and never had the opportunity to do hari raya shopping. Hence, it is the responsibility of the state government to make this hari raya a memorable one for these orphans.
Bubur Lambuk WOW 2017 Competition
Over 10,000 packets of bubur lambuk (porridge) were distributed to the members of public in conjunction with ‘Bubur Lambuk WOW 2017 Competition’ organised by Tourism Perak on Friday, June 16.
The annual competition held along Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil, Ipoh saw participation from 20 organisations.
Executive Councillor for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Multimedia and Communications Dato’ Nolee Ashilin Dato’ Mohammed Radzi said the annual event is part of Tourism Perak calendar activities.
“The response was overwhelming. We’ll organise a more lively competition next year.
“I’m happy to see foreign tourists joining in the fun. Some tried to prepare the porridge themselves,” said Nolee to reporters after the prize-giving ceremony.
The competition was sponsored by Adabi Consumer Industries Sdn Bhd and Petronas.
Perak State Library won the competition and walked away with cash and other prizes, while Perak Media Sports and Welfare Club was runner-up in the ketupat weaving category.
“This is my fifth year joining this event. I learned to prepare and cook the porridge,” said visitor Lu Yew Yien.
“This event should be continued as it allows other races to experience the unique Malay traditions,” she said.
The porridge, cooked by the contestants, were later given to motorists around the city and at rest areas along the Plus Expressway.
Troops Break-fast with MB
Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, attended a breaking-of-fast dinner with troops from the 2nd Malaysian Infantry Brigade. The occasion was held at Town Barrack Camp, Taiping, home of the 9th Royal Ranger Regiment on Monday, June 19.
Present were Major-General Dato’ Mohd Ramli bin Jaafar, General Officer Commanding 2nd Malaysian Infantry Division and Dato’ Mohd Zahir bin Abdul Khalid, the Executive Councillor for Industry, Investment and Corridor Development.
Aimed at strengthening comradeship, some 680 soldiers of all ranks, serving under the Ipoh-based brigade, attended the dinner. They then performed the obligatory evening and tarawih prayers.
Free Bubur Lambuk
In the hope of spreading goodwill among Ipohites during the month of Ramadan, Ipoh City Council distributed free bubur lambuk (rice porridge) to passers-by along Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil on Tuesday, June 13.
As early as 8am, City Council workers, including Mayor Dato’ Zamri Man and his councillors were ready for action. Some set up tents and while the rest prepared ingredients for 10 pots of bubur lambuk.
According to Zamri, this mass cooking of the porridge was aimed at forging closer ties among the workforce and departments.
“The spirit of gotong-royong was strongly felt among us. Through this initiative, we’re able to invite more people – Muslims and non-Muslims – to savour this porridge together,” he said.
No sooner after Zamri started distributing the porridge, hundreds of motorists thronged Dataran MBI, where the event was held, to get their share.
Passers-by snapped up 2800 packets of bubur lambuk in less than 30 minutes.
Zamri hoped private entities and non-governmental organisations will jointly organise this annual event.
“This year, we’ve Nestle as our partner. We hope more private companies will help out with this charity event,” he said.
Zamri disclosed that no major complaints on bazaar ramadan were received this year.
“In fact, we received many positive feedback from customers. They’re satisfied with the prices and quality of food sold at the bazaars,” he remarked.
HRH Sultan Nazrin Muizzudin Shah received zakat (tithe) payments worth in excess of RM13 million from eight organisations, comprising government agencies and private companies.
The payments, made during a breaking-of-fast dinner with members of the media, non-governmental organisations, corporate and private sectors, government-linked companies and youth associations, was held at Istana Iskandariah, Kuala Kangsar on Saturday, June 17.
The payments were by Tenaga Nasional Berhad (RM6.45 million), PLUS Malaysia Berhad (RM4.29 million), Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia (RM1.53 million), Telekom Malaysia Berhad (RM225,141), Menteri Besar Incorporated (RM213,188.58), Bank Muamalat Malaysia Berhad (RM171,018.43), Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (RM128,953) and GITN Sdn Bhd (RM100,000).
Sultan Nazrin Shah handed over the cheques to the President of Majlis Agama Islam dan Adat Melayu Perak (MAIPk), Tan Sri Wan Mohd Zahid Mohd Nordin.
Present were Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim, Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and his wife, Datin Seri DiRaja Saripah Zulkifli.