In solidarity: (From left) Uthaya Sankar, Marina and Cheong launching the #Fast4Malaysia initiative.
PETALING JAYA: Organisers of #Fast4Malaysia are calling on Malaysians, regardless of race and religion, to fast for a day on July 31 to show unity and peace.
Social activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, blogger Niki Cheong and Uthaya Sankar SB of Projek Dialog, who are organising the initiative, called on non-Muslims to join their Muslim friends in fasting and breaking fast together for a day.
“There seems to have been so many incidents lately that are pulling the people apart. We wanted to do something to bring people together,” said Marina, citing the controversialSelamat Berbuka Puasa posting by sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee on their Facebook page as well as the recent uproar over pupils eating in a shower room at SK Seri Pristana in Sungai Buloh.
Marina said a similar initiative – “Fast for the Nation, Peace for Malaysia” – was organised in 2009 at a time when racial sentiments were running high.
“I felt it was time to do something like that again to promote unity and bring the people together,” she said, adding that the initiative was non-political and non-partisan.
Participants in the initiative can organise sahur (the pre-fasting meal) or buka puasa (the breaking of fast) with their friends and colleagues wherever they are.
They are also asked to post a photo or video of the gathering and say something about their experience on social media using the #Fast4Malaysia hashtag, which will be picked up by the organisers and compiled on another website at fast4malaysia.tumblr.com.