KUALA LUMPUR: In a bid to foster unity and show solidarity with Muslims in the country, Malaysians from all religious and racial backgrounds are invited to fast for a day on June 17.
The #Puasa4Malaysia campaign is aimed at preserving harmonious ties and further promote interracial and inter-religious understanding among Malaysians.
Participants of the initiative are not only to fast from sunrise to sunset but also to refrain from being confrontational, saying hurtful words and holding grudges, said one of its co-organisers Rev Dr Sivin Kit.
The campaign, he said, is to show that Malaysians can use the Ramadan month as a good way to come together and be united through fasting.
“This is especially so in light of recent events around the world, which are pushing various religions and ethnicities away from one another.
“In short, the purpose is to counter hostility and foster solidarity among Malaysians,” he said.
He added that the campaign had in the past created empathy among people on both sides – for non-Muslims to experience fasting during Ramadan and for Muslims to appreciate non-Muslims who tried fasting.
Those interested can meet up for sahur (pre-dawn meal) at Pelita in Bangsar here at 4am and later for berbuka puasa on the same day at Chawan, Bangsar, at about 6.45pm.
Those outside the Klang Valley are welcome to organise similar events in their respective communities and share their photos using the hashtag #Puasa4Malaysia.
The #Puasa4Malaysia campaign started on Malaysia Day in 2009 when a group of individuals mooted the idea of urging Malaysians of all races and religions to experience fasting for a day to promote unity and peace.
It was also organised at a time when racial sentiments were running high. Each year, the event attracted celebrities and the public to share their fasting experiences online.
Among prominent names who participated previously were Miss World Malaysia 2009/2010 Thanuja Ananthan, blogger Niki Cheong and TV host Daphne Iking.