KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — Now entering its fourth year, the Malaysians for Malaysia movement said today it plans to continue working towards uniting fellow citizens even amid challenging ethnic and religious ties here.
The loose group made of concerned citizens organised this evening its annual Puasa 4 Malaysia inclusive breaking fast event, as a way for it to celebrate the diversity of the society.
“We try to do this annually. So Malaysians for Malaysia, is a loose group of people who came together to try and introduce a more positive race narrative in Malaysia,” one of the event’s organisers Emmanuel Joseph told Malay Mail when met at the event.
“So we started four years back and we did few events at a church during the Allah debacle, and we had the Purple Walk during the MH370 issue. We also held Walks of Hope.
“Then we tried to do this Puasa 4 Malaysia event once a year,” he added.
Every year, the group would invite non-Muslims to join fellow Muslims breaking their fast during Ramadan, with tens of attendees joining this year’s event.
Emmanuel said the programme has since evolved into a nationwide cause, with members of the movement in several other states organising their own series of events.
“Of course there’s also increased stress with politics but I guess as people in a mature country like Malaysia, it’s all part of finding the common ground between us and working around these differences, because at the end of the day we are all Malaysians,” he added.
Another organiser, interfaith activist Yana Rizal echoed Emmanuel’s sentiment.
“Usually what happens is when an issue crops up, that usually threatens some sort of discord in multi-racial Malaysia, what we do is we try to do events like this to bring people back together and go back to the core of what makes us uniquely Malaysians,” she added.
Among the works done by Malaysians for Malaysia, includes a campaign previously, to ease tensions during the controversy on the use of the Arabic reference for God “Allah”.
It then went on to unite Malaysians at a time when the nation was grieving the vanishing of the Malaysian flag carrier MH370, by holding the “Wall of Hope” campaign, calling on Malaysians to write and spread messages of love and unity.
“Even though it’s symbolic, I think that’s what people need to see. That is the kind of things we need to see in our media these days,” she added.
Among some of the participants of the event today, included prominent Malaysian standup comedian Dr Jason Leong.
Dr Leong got involved with the movement after hosting one of its event after the 14th general election last year.
“Malaysians for Malaysia is a very nice slogan which means all Malaysians are equal and it’s a beacon for a more fair Malaysia and I’m all for that,” he said.
Another participant, Dr S. Komella Anne felt that Malaysians should not associate themselves with divisive politics and instead focus on the similarities.
“Actually this is my first time here, but yes, I will definitely support it from now onwards.
“I think there is a lot of positivity if you look closely. We come from different backgrounds but you can find that we can gel very well together, so it’s just a matter of putting in the effort. We need to be that bridge,” Dr Komala added.