BUTTERWORTH: About 300 people of all races thronged the Chinese New Year open house hosted by the Malaysia Chinese Muslim Association’s Penang Chapter at Masjid Abdullah Fahim in Kepala Batas near here.
Its chairman Muhammad Faiz Ghan Abdullah said the event was jointly organised by his association with Gabongan Dakwah Malaysia’s Penang branch and the state Islamic Affairs Department. “Over the years, we have been organising this open house in Penang island. This time, we had it on the mainland in Kepala Batas.
“This is a good opportunity for Muslims and non-Muslims from the neighbourhood to mingle and get to know each other better,” he said yesterday.
Faiz said he continued to celebrate Chinese New Year after converting to Islam as it was not a religious but cultural occasion.
“Such an open house is very much needed right now as people from different races and religions are growing further and further apart compared to the old days,” he added.
The guests were treated to a variety of food such as roasted chicken rice, wantan mee, curry mee, dim sum and pau, cucuk udang, cendol, bubur kacang and fruits.
Salesman Lim Swee Chin, 27, said he came to know about the open house in the morning when he arrived from Kuala Lumpur.
“I was so excited to see a Chinese New Year open house at a mosque so I joined them,” he added.
Factory technician K. Kumar, 30, and Mohd Sabri Ismail, 42, from Alor Setar, also gave the thumbs-up to the open house.
“I hope the mosque committee will also do the same during Hari Raya and invite non-Muslims to join us for the celebration,” Mohd Sabri said.
Also present were Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman’s special officer Rosidi Hussein, former Malaysia Chinese Muslim Association’s Penang Chapter chairman Asyraf Tan Hew Min and Hidaya Centre Foundation deputy chairman Mohd Yusni Ghazali.