Ushering in the New Year of 2015, Perak Women for Women (PWW) and Pertubuhan IKRAM Perak, along with civil movement Malaysians for Malaysia (M4M) collaborated to organise a gathering to strengthen the solidarity, harmony and respect among the various races and faiths.
Named “Harapan 2015: Community in Solidarity”, the objective of the gathering, which was well attended by representatives from various non-governmental and religious organisations, was to try to get back the Malaysia that we had before and to help convey the message to the masses.
It was also an evening to express and restore hopes for a better year ahead, and to celebrate diversity and differences by experiencing the various cultures and embracing them, and to respect each other as individuals.
Malaysia went through a rough 2014 with the unprecedented air tragedies and the worst flooding the country has ever seen at the tail-end of the year.
In her opening speech, Halida Mohd. Ali, President of PWW, said, “We’re all here this evening with one hope and one wish, and that’s to work towards a better Malaysia.”
In a show of solidarity, the national anthem, Negaraku, was sung by all attendees. Presentations of videos, dance and music were also part of the line up of programmes for the evening, while a poem titled, “Perpaduan” was recited by S. Sundralingam, with the background music of a Chinese musical instrument, the erhu.
Religious leaders from the Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh and Christian communities shared their messages of hope and peace. Guest-of-honour, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, said, “I do see hope in Malaysia because the average Malaysians came forward in the time of need to help one another.
Ordinary citizens found courage in each other and overcame challenges together. I believe all of us are here today with the intention to do good. May our country be blessed and our future be bright.”
The auspicious event was held at Sarang Sepaloh, a boutique hotel along Jalan Sultan Iskandar, Ipoh on Saturday, January 10.