PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The month of Ramadan is not just about abstaining from eating, but resisting the temptation of wrongdoings, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Addressing the staff of the Prime Minister's Department on Monday (May 6), the Prime Minister said Muslims should use the fasting month to stay away from bad deeds such as corruption.
"Fasting teaches us to control our urges and temptations. Temptation lead us to do things that are not good.
"If we fail to fight temptation, we might fall into trouble such as committing corruption, which is bad," said Dr Mahathir at the department's monthly assembly.
Dr Mahathir said if all Malaysians are able to resist wrongdoings, the country would be respected by the rest of the world.
"If our people are known to be able to reject temptation, the world will respect us. Malaysians will be known as trustworthy people, and with that trust, we will be able to reap the benefits," said Dr Mahathir.
At the age of 94, Dr Mahathir said he is grateful that he could still observe the holy month of Ramadan.
"I am confident all Muslims understand the real reasons for fasting. It is not just about the 'pahala' (rewards)."
"Even non-Muslims would understand what fasting is for, as they too observe fasting in their own occasions. But the reason is the same, which is to resist temptations.
"I am grateful I am still able to fast. Fasting is training to reject temptation, and it is not limited to Ramadan. It is lifelong training," said Dr Mahathir.
Muslims in Malaysia begin the fasting month on Monday.