Masagos Zulkifli heartened by Ramadan spirit of Singapore Muslims

People doing last-minute Hari Raya shopping at the Geylang Serai Market yesterday. Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said he was humbled by many who had volunteered to help the less fortunate, regardless of race or religion, and d
People doing last-minute Hari Raya shopping at the Geylang Serai Market yesterday. Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said he was humbled by many who had volunteered to help the less fortunate, regardless of race or religion, and despite their fasting and work commitments.ST PHOTO: SYAMIL SAPARI
People doing last-minute Hari Raya shopping at the Geylang Serai Market yesterday. Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said he was humbled by many who had volunteered to help the less fortunate, regardless of race or religion, and d
MINISTER-IN-CHARGE OF MUSLIM AFFAIRS MASAGOS ZULKIFLIST PHOTO: SYAMIL SAPARI

Minister glad to see care and compassion showed to others, and hopes for these to continue

The Muslim community in Singapore has shown care and compassion for others in the holy month of Ramadan, and this spirit of giving back can spur it to work together and lift it to greater heights, said Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli.

Addressing the community yesterday in his first Hari Raya Aidilfitri message since taking up the Muslim Affairs portfolio last month, Mr Masagos said he was heartened to see Muslims inviting friends from all races and religions into their mosques and homes for meals to break fast during Ramadan.

He said he was also humbled by many who had volunteered to help the less fortunate, regardless of race or religion, and despite their fasting and work commitments.

"These are important values in building a cohesive and caring Singapore, and I hope that our Muslim community continues this spirit of togetherness and giving back beyond the month of Ramadan," said Mr Masagos, who is also Minister for the Environment and Water Resources.

He also said that the community has tremendous energy, passion and the spirit of togetherness, and stressed the part of every individual in bringing out the best of the community. "I am confident that no challenge is too great if we stay united, persevere, and strive relentlessly for our dreams and aspirations," he added.

Separately, Catholic Archbishop William Goh extended Hari Raya Aidilfitri greetings to Islamic Religious Council of Singapore chief executive Abdul Razak Maricar. He said he was grateful for the bonds of friendship that they have built across faiths.

"Despite the circumstances of today's world, where there is so much fake news, stereotyping and prejudice... we have endured and persevered boldly in our interfaith mission to forge lasting relationships of trust and safety in our common spaces," the archbishop wrote.

 
 

Mufti Mohamed Fatris Bakaram, Singapore's highest Islamic authority, thanked him for his wishes.

"Like many other faiths, we are united in the conviction that we will not confine our benevolence or compassion to our own communities," he said, expressing his hope that the strong bonds between their communities will enhance their resolve to stay engaged and connected despite challenges.

Both Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Halimah Yacob sent Hari Raya greetings in separate Facebook posts last night.

PM Lee shared photos he took when he visited the Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar and Wisma Geylang Serai at the weekend before the Trump-Kim summit. "Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all Muslim friends!" he wrote.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2018, with the headline 'Masagos heartened by Ramadan spirit'. Print Edition | Subscribe