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Bound by spirit of muhibbah Print E-mail
Saturday, 11 September 2010 00:00

PUTRAJAYA: The spirit of muhibbah and camaraderie between Malaysia's main races was visible at Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's open house at his official residence in Seri Perdana, Putrajaya on Friday.

Foreign tourists, too, joined local visitors in queuing up to meet the prime minister and other ministers.

Not only did they get to meet Najib, they were also treated to local delicacies like satay, lemang and rendang.

The prime minister also took time to call Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to convey his Hari Raya greetings.

In the five-minute telephone conversation, he told his counterpart that he hoped the recent protests against Malaysia in Jakarta would not affect the strong bilateral relations between both countries.

Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor also exchanged pleasantries with six ambassadors and student leaders through video-conferencing.

The ambassadors were from the embassies in Jakarta, London, Cairo, Washington, Canberra and Wellington.

In his Hari Raya message, Najib called on the Malaysian students to follow the laws of the host countries and be model citizens.

He also teased and apologised to Malaysia's ambassador to Britain, Datuk Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis, for having to wake up at 3.30am to take part in the video-conferencing.

"No wonder you look sleepy," Najib said in jest.

To the High Commissioner in Wellington, Datuk Hasnuddin Hamzah, Najib asked about the welfare of Malaysians in Christchurch following the 7.1-magnitude earthquake there.

Hasnuddin replied that the situation was sombre but the situation on the whole was all right.

One of the visitors at the Hari Raya open house was 44-year-old Wolfgang Nuegebauer. The consultant from Germany said he was delighted to be able to attend the "Big Party" and meet the prime minister.

Wolfgang, who came to Malaysia in July under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, said Malaysians were warm and friendly.

When asked about his favourite local delicacy, he said: "I can't wait to having ice kacang and cendol ."

Multimedia University (MMU) student Kiarash Ehtiatkour, 23, from Iran, said he attended the open house out of curiosity and to sample Malaysian food.

Muhammad Syahrul Muau Abdullah, 29, who came with his family, said: "I wanted to experience the prime minister's open house.

"It is not easy for us to meet ministers, let alone the prime minister. This is indeed a good opportunity for me and my family."

Ganesan Perumal, who has been to numerous open houses, including those of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said this year's was the best.

"I love this year's open house because it highlights the 1Malaysia concept."

Goh Sook Fui, 41, was happy to be able to greet the prime minister.

"Malaysians are very lucky because we have so many festivals, cultures and traditions. We cannot get this if we are abroad.

"We also have a wide variety of local delicacies. My all-time favourites are lemang and rendang," she said.

In a separate function for VIP guests, 10-year-old musical prodigy Verena Koay Zhitong delighted Najib and Rosmah with her rendition of a Hari Raya song.

Speaking to the New Straits Times, Koay said she was delighted to have the opportunity to perform for the country's leaders.

In Pagoh, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin held an open house at Komplek Pekembar, which was attended by a crowd of 15,000.

He said the open house held during major festivals had succeeded in fostering unity among the different races.

In Muar, thousands turned up for the open house at Istana Tanjung hosted by Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar.

A large tent was set up on the helicopter landing strip within the palace grounds and guests were treated to a variety of dishes while duit raya were also distributed.

In Ipoh, more than 10,000 well-wishers turned up at the official residence of Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir.

"This is beyond my expectations. I was expecting between 5,000 and 7,000 visitors. I am happy to see people of all races here."

Earlier in the morning, Zambry joined Sultan Azlan Shah, Raja Muda Raja Dr Nazrin Shah and Raja Di Hilir Raja Jaafar Raja Muda Musa for Aidilfitri prayers at the Ubudiah mosque in Kuala Kangsar.

Source: http://nst.com.my/nst/articles/12hse/Article/



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