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'14 years of interfaith events a testament to our goodwill'
Published:  May 16, 2024 9:00 AM
Updated: 5:22 AM

OUR MUHIBAH STORY | In April, Malaysiakini invited readers to submit a story about their cherished friendships or relationships that surpass race and religious barriers.

Some shared about their friendships forged as children that have lasted a lifetime while others submitted stories of newer connections which they hope will last the test of time.

Today, Malaysiakini is sharing a story which shows that community building should not just be left to chance.

Building bridges requires work and commitment, and to those who believe in a united Malaysia, it is work worth doing.

Editor’s Note: The stories below are brief but should not be perceived as a full reflection of the contributor’s entire experience. They are brief because Malaysiakini’s initial call-out was for readers to submit a photograph with a caption of not more than 100 words to fit social media formats.

Connections in church and mosque, market and malls

A muhibah story by Anthony Albert.

I am the coordinator of interreligious dialogue at my church, the Christ the Light Church in Desa Jaya, Kepong.

At the church level, we are called “Parish Ministry of Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Affairs” (PMEIA). At the national level or the archdiocese level it is called “Archdiocese Ministry of Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Affairs”.

For the last 14 years, we have been promoting dialogues and organising events to promote unity among the various religions and races in the Kepong, Batu Caves and Selayang areas.

A blood donation drive organised by interfaith communities in Kepong

We organise events like blood donations, friendship walkathons, visits to places of worship and hold our meetings at places of worship of different faith groups.

The programmes have been well-received by people of various religions and races. We have also been invited to various functions held at their places, including a mosque.

A visit to Masjid Al Faizin in Kepong

At these events, people who attend often ask many questions, wanting to know more about other religions.

The interaction does not stop there. Later, even when we see each other in the community, at the market or shopping malls, we will stop to greet and talk to each other.

Dialogue between followers of different faiths

‘Decades of friendship transcending distance’

A muhibah story by the Makcik Muhibah team (Joanne Gan and her friends Farah, Maya and Sneha).

Bound by 23 years of friendship since our college days, we stand united - a blend of Malay, Chinese and Indian heritages - embodying Malaysia's beautiful diversity.

Though miles apart, our bond remains unbroken, transcending physical distance and echoing the harmony of our multicultural roots.

Makcik Muhibah team connecting via video call

In our laughter, shared memories and unwavering support, we find strength in our differences, celebrating the richness of our varied backgrounds.

Together, we redefine friendship, proving that true connection knows no boundaries, be it geography or ethnicity.

Here's to a lifetime of camaraderie, where unity triumphs. May our shared journey continue to inspire.

This month, Malaysiakini is publishing reader submissions on their muhibah experience. Do you have a story about a friendship or relationship which has surpassed ethnic and religious barriers?

Share it with us at [email protected]. Selected submissions will receive a free one-month Malaysiakini subscription. More details here.

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