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Salleh: Malaysians can learn from iftar event at Abu Dhabi church

Publish date: Fri, 24 Mar 2023, 05:52 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: A video clip of a breaking of fast event at a church in Abu Dhabi has prompted former Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak to urge Malaysians to foster closer relations with each other.

Salleh shared the video on social media and said it contained lessons that Malaysians could learn during a time when irresponsible parties were stoking racial and religious strife.

He said the clip showed a breaking of fast event hosted by the St Andrew Church in Abu Dhabi in 2018.

"It breaks the heart to see our country being torn asunder by those who want to take advantage of the situation. They do not care about the consequences.

"I hope the sharing of this video can play a role in preserving our multiethnic and multireligious society.

"We cannot let those with vested interests create a divide between the people."

In the video, a man said the church prepared a breaking of fast buffet with food that Muslims typically eat during Ramadan.

The man said: "What I saw this evening was Muslims step into the Christian world and Christians step into the Muslims world. And all I saw was smiles. All I saw was happiness.

"When religion is talked about throughout the world, it seems to be divisive. But I was just in a church that was serving Muslims in the community iftar. And what I have seen today are the true marks of someone's faith, of what humanity stands for.

"And someone's faith is not lessened just because they were tolerant and open to others. If anything, it is maximised."

Salleh's comments on the video were a response to Kuala Langat member of parliament Ahmad Yunus Hairi's call for the government to prevent the building of non-Muslim houses of worship near mosques.

Last week, Salleh said the building of houses of worship near each other would not affect harmony.

The Asukan assemblyman had said this was exemplified in Sabah, where mosques, temples and churches were built near each other.

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