PETALING JAYA: It’s the muhibbah spirit in welcoming Christmas when more than 200 people from various religious and ethnic groups gathered to mark the occasion.
Christians for Peace and Harmony in Malaysia (CPHM) chairman Lee Min Choon said the Christmas dinner was held to gather leaders from different religious communities so that they could engage with one another.
“We always have ‘incidences’ every now and then and have always overcome them. We, at the grassroots level, have the primary responsibility to promote peace and unity,” he said.
Lee said the Christmas dinner had been held annually since CPHM organised it in 2015.
The event is aimed at promoting goodwill and fostering religious harmony among different religions.
More than 100 Muslim representatives as well as those from the Buddhist and Indian communities were present at the Dorsett Grand Subang yesterday for the occasion.
They included Muslim and Malay NGOs such as Malay rights group Perkasa, Malay-Muslim group Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia, Selangor Islamic Religious Department and the Malaysian Islamic Development Department.
Representatives from Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia and Malaysia Baha’i Community were also present.
Federal Territories Mufti Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri also sent a message to the gathering, which was read out by his special officer at the event.
He said throughout history, Muslims lived peacefully with those of other faiths without problems.
This was stated in the Quran, he added.
Zulkifli also invited religious leaders at the event to visit his office in Putrajaya to discuss with him on starting a series of interfaith discussions.
Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia president Loh Pai Ling said an event as meaningful as this could enhance the relationship among those of different races and religions.
“Malaysia is a multicultural society where celebrating a festive event together would promote common values,” she said.
Malaysia Baha’i Community member T.K. Lee said their faith promoted peace and love to all of humanity, irrespective of race, colour or creed.
Allied Coordinating Committee of Islamic NGOs Malaysia chairman Mohd Jamaludin Shamsudin, who has attended the event several times in the past, said: “This effort is something that I always look forward to.”
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