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Multicultural gathering at Xmas open house

KUALA LUMPUR: It was truly a multicultural gathering when a large number of Malaysians of various races joined Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the 2016 Malaysia Christmas open house.

Many started gathering as early as 6pm at the centre court of the Pavilion shopping mall yesterday, with some clad in the traditional Christmas colours of red and green complete with Santa hats.

They also snapped away at the giant Christmas tree adorning the facade of the shopping mall.

Dr Ahmad Zahid stressed the importance of maintaining unity among the various races which he said was the key mover of national development.

He said religious tolerance was the cornerstone and main pillar of a harmonious bangsa Malaysia, pointing out that Malaysia was among the countries which gave official commitment to celebrating the religious festivals of its people.

“This harmony must be preserved and defended by Malaysians of all various racial and religious backgrounds,” he said in his speech.

The event, jointly organised by the Tourism and Culture Ministry and Pavilion, used the theme of fairy tales featuring popular childhood characters.

Tourists and visitors were treated with va­­rious performances including a marching band show and cultural dances, with Christmas songs and carols performed by local artistes who included Alleycats star Datuk David Arumugam.

The performances also portrayed the diversity and uniqueness of Malaysia as a nation.

Also present were Tourism and Culture Mi­­nister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, Transport Minis­ter Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot.