SINGAPORE – Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong broke fast on Friday (April 16) evening at a virtual buka puasa event with 110 faith community leaders, mosque leaders and Ramadan service ambassadors.
The annual event – traditionally held at a mosque – was shifted online for the second year in a row, because of Covid-19.
Speaking during the event, PM Lee thanked the Muslim and other faith leaders for guiding their communities towards safer ways of practising their religions as Singapore imposed strict restrictions on places of worship during the pandemic.
In doing so, they helped “keep their flocks safe and well” and enabled the country to stabilise its public health situation, he said. “Now, we are able to resume religious gatherings and events, though not yet fully.”
In the two foiled cases of self-radicalised youths who had plotted to attack mosques and Jewish Singaporeans, PM Lee said religious and community leaders were quick to step in to affirm peace and friendship across various the faiths.
He also thanked Muslim leaders for explaining to the community the Government’s approach on sensitive issues, like the wearing of tudung by nurses.
“I thank the leaders for walking with the Government on this complex journey, helping us to manage an issue important to Muslims, and also to maintain our shared common space and work towards an outcome that will strengthen our racial and religious harmony,” he said.
In a Facebook post, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said: “Since last year, we have moved this warm get-together online, yet the atmosphere was no less joyous and cheerful. We continued to share spontaneous and light-hearted exchanges which reaffirmed the strong bonds we have built over the years.”
Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) president Mohammad Alami Musa, Muis chief executive Esa Masood and Mufti Nazirudin Nasir also attended the virtual event.