The end of Ramadan this year comes as Singapore marks an important milestone, and the Muslim community has every reason to be confident of a brighter future, said Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim.
In his Hari Raya Aidilfitri message to Muslims yesterday, he noted that the community had progressed alongside the country and contributed to the nation in the past 50 years.
"We have come a long way since Singapore's independence," he said. "Perils abounded in that turbulent era, but together, we overcame our challenges."
Dr Yaacob, who is Minister for Communications and Information, noted that Singapore as well as his community have built strong institutions founded on the values of integrity, meritocracy, equality of opportunities and multiculturalism.
HARI RAYA GREETINGS
- The Prime Minister wishes all Muslims Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
- The Straits Times wishes all Muslim readers Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
"Our leaders continue to work hard to ensure that we remain a fair and inclusive society, by empowering Singaporeans and supporting their aspirations."
Over the month of Ramadan, Muslims showed greater spiritual devotion and stronger community spirit - in many cases breaking their dawn-to-dusk fast with neighbours and friends of various faiths.
Dr Yaacob also said that though trials lie ahead as Singapore moves past its 50th year, "there is every reason to be sure of a brighter future, as long as we stand together as one united Singapore".
"During Ramadan, our mosques, organisations and homes were open to all, reflecting the quiet confidence of our community, that we are thankful for what we have, and that we share what we have with everyone else.
"This is the spirit that will carry our community forward into the future, confident that we can navigate the uncertainties together, assured that the future is ours to make, and happy that Singapore remains the best home for our families and community."
People from all walks of life - from imams, cabbies and philanthropists to students and housewives - had chipped in to make this Ramadan special, the minister said.
He was also heartened to see many groups, especially the young, stepping up to help those in need, and in particular, the SG50 Kita committee which organised a Service to the Nation Week during Ramadan. The committee, which coordinates the community's SG50 celebrations, brought together mosques, community groups and volunteers to reach out to others through activities such as sprucing up the homes of needy families.
In sending his and his fellow MPs' greetings for the occasion, Dr Yaacob also urged all Singaporeans to come together "to chart an even better future".