Over 1,500 people, young and old from different ethnicities, faiths and backgrounds attended a Majlis Hari Raya Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Petaling Jaya Utara (PJU) open house held recently at the MBPJ enclosed basketball court in Jalan SS3/14, Petaling Jaya.
Party leaders of the PR coalition of PAS, Keadilan and DAP were present to welcome visitors and shook hands with them.
Guest of honour Kampung Tunku state assemblyman Lau Weng San who arrived donning the Baju Melayu complete with a sampin and songkok was welcomed open heartedly by the multiracial crowd. Many among the guests came dressed in traditional Malay attire.
“We are very happy with the turnout. In fact we are surprised to see the great response. We see lots of people of different age, gender, race and religion coming together and happily mixing around celebrating our Hari Raya event and this is something which is unimaginable some five to six years ago,” said PAS PJU deputy chairman Tuan Hj Kamarudin Bin Suhaimi.
“You can see a tremendous sense of close camaraderie among the different races celebrating the occasion and this is good for our unity. We make sure that all our residents are aware of our activities as they provide the opportunity for Pakatan Rakyat to get close to the voters.”
Visitors were feted with a sumptuous spread of local food and Hari Raya delicacies including grilled lamb. Many were seen helping themselves to the scrumptious dishes at the buffet.
Among those present were Bukit Lanjan state assemblyman Elizabeth Wong who is also Selangor state executive councilor for Tourism, Consumer Affairs and Environment and Khairul Anuar Ahmad Zainudin who is the head of Angkatan Muda Keadilan (AMK) PJU and MBPJ councillors Tiew Way Keng and Cynthia Manonmani A/P Michael Gabriel.
Also present were PAS PJU president Tuan Haji Ahmad Yusof Ludin, secretary Azri Mohamad Arish, Lujnah Perpaduan Nasional PAS PJU chairman Harun Bin Abdullah who is also councilor of Hulu Selangor District Council and PAS Taman Universiti chairman Hj Zainal Mahmud.
Lau Weng San’s eye-catching Malay attire attracted hordes of guests who requested to pose for a photograph with him.
Wishing Muslims a happy Hari Raya Aidilfitri, he said that the purpose of him wearing the Baju Melayu to the event was to show that it was time for Malaysians of all races to discard dirty racial politics.
“We do not take the dress of a person to judge whether or not he can work for the people. The dress is not important, more important is that the elected representatives, politicians and the government we turn to are clean, accountable, transparent, responsible and answerable to the people.
“Even if you wear the suit of a Chinese emperor but if you made the people suffer, you made the poor poorer and the rich richer, and you are a corrupt politician then it makes no sense, makes no difference and wouldn’t bring any positive change for the people.
“It’s time for us to move forward for a better Malaysia and foster greater unity during this festive season. I think you can see those who attend this function tonight, they are not only Malays but bigger number of Chinese and Indian residents who showed up. This proves that our society can actually unite despite all the racism played up by certain politicians. I think our way ahead is to foster greater unity among ourselves.
“I am more than prepared to be criticized by a certain political party. If they want to criticize me, I think it’s not an issue, people will still support you in what ever type of suit you wear. Even if you wear 100% Chinese suit but at the end of the day if you cannot provide positive changes or improve the living conditions of the Chinese community, it makes no difference.
“I think they shouldn’t be any problem for a Malay to wear Chinese or Indian suit or for a Chinese to wear Malay or Indian suit or for an Indian to wear Malay or Chinese costumes or an Iban and Kadazan to wear any of the Malay, Chinese or Indian attire in any festive season. I think this is the way ahead.
“I am wearing a full Malay costume. Some people are sensitive with the songkok but I think I have nothing sensitive against it but of course if you put on a kopiah it’s different because it’s only meant for the Muslim.”
When asked what she thought and felt about the event, Elizabeth Wong said: “Oh yes it’s very nice. It’s nice that they are using the basketball court to host such big a crowd with plenty of delicious food. That’s very good. In fact I like it.
“There should be more of such events because a lot of people think PJ Utara is a predominantly Chinese area but actually there are quite a lot of Malays and other races as well. This is Pakatan Rakyat’s way of reaching out to the people by getting them to come together.
The chairman of Lujnah Perpaduan Nasional PAS PJU Harun Bin Abdullah said: “As a councillor and as a party member in Pakatan Rakyat, I want to say thank you to the people who came to this function today. We make everyone feel happy and I can see the celebratory atmosphere here with everyone mingling around, enjoying their food and thanking us, so we take this opportunity and wish that they will continue to come to attend such similar functions like this event.
“We in the Pakatan Rakyat, we do not look at the race card. Any race, they are all our brothers and sisters.
“Today we can see Indians, Malays and Chinese gathered here together and they are having a joyful celebration. We see the rakyat’s support and this shows Pakatan Rakyat’s success and although it has only been three years of Pakatan Rakyat’s ruling, we see something like 30 years of the rakyat’s support. This is exactly what we want.
“The response is very good. A very big crowd and a multi-racial too. In fact the crowd tonight is much bigger than last year’s. The thanks should go to our Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid. We are happy what he’s done a good job and is doing the right thing for Selangor, so we are giving him our support”.