KUALA LUMPUR, 17 May 2023:
A mosque in Bangsar that reached out to the community regardless of race, religion or creed by holding or taking part in all-inclusive events has won the inaugural National Press Club-MacroKiosk Muhibbah Award.
Judges comprising media editors have recognised Saidina Abu Bakar As-Siddiq Mosque’s initiatives for fostering the spirit of Muhibbah over recent years, the latest of which was inviting a Sikh doctor from the Health Ministry to lecture the congregation on quitting smoking during Ramadan.
National Press Club of Malaysia (NPC) president Datuk Ahirudin Attan, in presenting the award to chief imam Zakaria Yahya, said the award initiative by the NPC and MacroKiosk was to acknowledge efforts at fostering goodwill and friendship irrespective of race, religion or nationality.
“Through this award, we hope to rekindle the spirit of Muhibbah and help create a stronger, more resilient, and more united Malaysia. These goals are not only the responsibility of leaders but also that of everyone in Malaysia.
“A truly Muhibbah Malaysia can only be attained through the collective efforts of us all, both in this room and beyond.”
NPC, together with enterprise solutions platform provider MacroKiosk, launched the monthly award series last month to recognise any individual, group or organisation that best exemplifies the true spirit of Muhibbah in Malaysia. Groups of media editors take turns to evaluate nominees for the award.
MacroKiosk chief eExecutive officer Datuk Kenny Goh, in congratulating the winner, said the mosque’s activities have impressed the judges that its activities have embodied the spirit of Muhibbah. “We hope this award will continue to inspire others to further inculcate Muhibbah as our Malaysian way of life.”
Imam Zakaria, in expressing the mosque administration’s gratitude, said the anti-smoking lecture came about when the mosque decided the fasting month was a good time to persuade smokers among the congregation to drop the unhealthy habit.
It collaborated with Lembah Pantai Health Office to organise an anti-smoking campaign on April 7 complete with an exhibition and free health screening. It then reached out to the Tanglin Health Clinic to send a medical officer to give a lecture at the mosque.
When it turned out that the assigned officer was a Sikh doctor, they decided to go ahead with it as it is not against the religion to learn from non-Muslims.
Imam Zakaria also listed out some activities of the mosque:
- 2 April 2023: It hosted a Unity Iftar for 30 non-Muslims from Bangsar and took the opportunity to educate them on why Muslims fast;
- 16 Feb 2023: Hosted a Muhibbah dinner for 20 community leaders from Bangsar Baru Residents Association (BBRA) in conjunction with Chinese New Year;
- 8 Jan 2023: The mosque and BBRA organised an aerobics programme called ‘Senaman Jom Fit’ led by ‘Coach Jay’ at Taman Rekreasi Jalan Jejawi, Bangsar. This event saw people, young and old, coming together in the spirit of Muhibbah for fun exercises which ended with a picnic breakfast;
- 27 Nov 2022: A “Morning Walk” open to all was organised to celebrate its 40th anniversary;
- 22 May 2022: It hosted a Hari Raya dinner open to all non-Muslims; and,
- 14 Feb 2022: It collaborated with three NGOs to hold a “Harmony Programme” in conjunction with Federal Territories Day where it distributed essentials and ang pows to 50 Chinese Malaysians from the B40 community
The NPC-MacroKiosk Muhibbah award carries a cash prize of RM2,000, a certificate and vouchers from top regional lifestyle tea brand Tealive, leading lifestyle fresh market brand Jaya Grocer and top natural yoghurt brand llaollao.