PJ church cancels buka puasa event

Syed Azmi

PETALING JAYA: Despite the cancellation of an interfaith breaking fast event, The Church of Assumption here still managed to distribute the prepared meals to the people.

One of those who attended, who wished to remain anonymous, complimented the church’s efforts in strengthening multiracial ties and noted that the matter should not be blown out of proportion.

“There’s nothing wrong with inviting our friends of different faiths to break fast.

“People of different religions and creeds should be able to break fast together. It’s a communal thing,” he told FMT.

Earlier today, activist Syed Azmi Alhabshi posted on Facebook that the event was called off after the police advised them “that there might be an individual or a group who would cause trouble tonight.”

“Having weighed all options, the church decided to cancel the event. All in good faith,” he said.

To prevent wastage, Syed Azmi said those who had planned to attend earlier could collect the food in the evening before the breaking of fast.

The church had lined-up 70 packets of meals consisting of rice dishes, drinks and kuih outside the church. They also offered prayer mats to Muslims.

According to him, the church’s Reverend Mitchel Anthony said: “…our Muslim friends are welcome to eat in our compound but we are sorry that we can’t open the hall.”

“I will prepare some small tables outside the hall,” Mitchel said and added that these were for people who “don’t have the time or place to buka puasa.”

Mitchel, when met, said the programme was initially organised for students to have a casual meet-up, “but unfortunately, certain quarters might have misunderstood it and lodged a police report.”

“Also, we didn’t really want to publicise the event too much because we didn’t prepare enough food for a large crowd.”

Another who attended, but wished to remain anonymous, said the distribution of food was a success despite the cancellation of the buka puasa event.

“The church was successful in spreading its message of multiculturalism.

“It is really the small things we do that make the world a better place,” she said.

Rayyan Haries, a 25-year-old volunteer in disaster response from Greece, said it was an inspiring sight to see people of different religions sitting and sharing a meal at the same table.

“We are all one and we share the same blood. We are all Malaysians.

“It is truly amazing and inspiring that we all get to break fast together despite having different beliefs.”

Syed Azmi also complimented the church organisers, acknowledging that at least they had put in an effort to distribute the food.

“I believe that the church deserves a pat on the back for its efforts. I’m proud it was cordial about this.

“And, you know what? Why not we all get together for teh tarik outside the church. It’s on me.”