Malaysia is a multi-racial country and the people of different races have to learn to respect each other’s religion to maintain the fragile peace and harmony.
During this Chinese New Year season, a local interracial couple have reminded Malaysians that what we eat or drink should not be a thing that separates us.
Twitter user and the former secretary to Selangor Exco, Daniel Teoh, shared a moment of self-reflection that his wife, Nur Hafizah, had while celebrating the festive season for the first time since their marriage.
In her Facebook post, Nur Hafizah wrote how her husband’s siblings asked if it was okay for them to share images of non-halal foods on their family WhatsApp group, as they are afraid that it might be sensitive for her.
“Of course, I’m fine with it,” she said, as she shared how she was inspired to write the long and meaningful Facebook post on how important it is for us to understand and respect peoples values and beliefs without imposing our ideals on them.
Nur Hafizah added that she appreciated how her non-Malay/Muslim family was being thoughtful of her feelings and beliefs despite her being a new member of the family.
She went on further to share her observation of how non-Malays/Muslims in Malaysia would be considerate of the halals and harams associated with Islam and tried not to touch too much on things that might be sensitive to Muslims.
Using alcohol as an example, she pointed out that our differences should not be used as a tool for us to hate each other.
“Take alcohol or liquor, for example, which has always been made into capital for racial politics in Malaysia. It’s definitely haram for Muslims, but alcohol has existed in the history of multiple races including the Arabs before it was forbidden by Islam.”
“Even the Chinese have their own history and traditions involving alcohol. It’s served for guests as a show of respect, used in cooking and drank to warm the body up, used for medicine and others. No Chinese person likes or agrees with the practice of drunk driving. But we, without wanting to understand other people’s cultures, want to get rid of everything that is haram to us.”
With this, Nur Hafizah encouraged everybody to be a little more tolerant of each other and always be respectful of others.
“On festive days, when all of us are on holiday together, listen to Chinese New Year songs in shopping malls and on the radio, and wish each Happy Chinese New Year to our Chinese friends, it’ll be great for us to understand and respect each other in the truest sense.” she wrote.
Nonetheless, many Malaysians shared the same opinion and believed that understanding other cultures and beliefs the key to maintain peace in our country.
Isn’t it great to see Malaysians of different race and background trying to understand each other? Share your thoughts!