PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad urged Muslims to appreciate the hard work of foreigners and others who have contributed to their well-being, as they celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
“In enjoying all this, we need to remember that the comforts we have are due to the toil and sweat of foreigners who work for us.
“They are the ones who have toiled and sweated so that we are not without our necessities, including food.
“Without them, our country will continue to be a poor nation which cannot be developed,” he said in his Hari Raya Aidifitri greeting which was aired live on major networks and media channels at 8.45pm yesterday.
He noted that the many comforts which Muslims enjoy are not from their own efforts but from foreigners and other citizens.
“Reflect, when we are happy with our fate, what would be the level of development of our nation if there were no foreigners but only Muslims living in this blessed country,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also called on Muslims to learn to control their urges in other times, as they had successfully done during Ramadan.
“Must we only control our urges during the fasting month? Surely in other times we must also control our urges.
“Muslims will falter and fail if they give in to their urges in other times,” he said.
He added that it would be a loss for Muslims if they forget the lessons they had learned during the fasting month.
Dr Mahathir said that Muslims in the country were fortunate to be able to celebrate the festivities in peace and abundance compared to Muslims in war and strife-torn nations.
Meanwhile, in her Hari Raya greeting, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said that the underprivileged and less fortunate must not be left out of the joyous celebration.
“The less fortunate must be given due attention so that they are not left out of the experience of this joyous and noble celebration.
“Sometimes, it is not only monetary assistance that the underprivileged expect, but to be with their family, neighbours and other people,” she said.
Dr Wan Azizah noted that visiting one another should be made a tradition which should not be forgotten or lost in time.
She said this was in line with the concept of fitrah (state of purity and innocence Muslims believe all humans are born with) which should be expounded by Muslim during the festivities.
“As such, a high level of civic and humanitarian values must be translated through the celebration,” she said.
Dr Wan Azizah also said that it would be an opportunity for those from other communities and religions to better understand the true meaning of the celebration if Muslims showed good behaviour and characteristics.
“Muslims should be an example to others and I am of the opinion that this Hari Raya will be a good opportunity for us to show the harmony we have between all races,” she said.
She reminded the people to be careful when driving, not neglect their health and to avoid wastage during the festivities.