President Halimah praises Muslims' community efforts during Ramadan
President praises Muslims as they work to help the community during Ramadan; PM Lee extends wishes for a blessed fasting month
President Halimah Yacob has asked Muslims in Singapore to support one another during the fasting month of Ramadan and conveyed her appreciation for their community efforts.
Posting on Facebook yesterday, Madam Halimah said adjustments to the way Muslims observe Ramadan, which starts today, have to be made because of the coronavirus pandemic.
These adjustments, she noted, include doing away with the usual practice of breaking fast with friends and family, as well as not being able to perform special prayers at mosques, which remain closed, like all places of worship.
"I have no doubt that we will emerge even stronger in our faith and as a community out of this experience," she said.
"I am also proud of our Muslim community who have taken these measures in their stride in order to combat Covid-19 and keep all Singaporeans safe."
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also wished Muslims a blessed and fulfilling fasting month.
He said in a Facebook post: "May this Ramadan be a time of quiet reflection and prayer, together with your immediate families."
Also extending his wishes on Facebook was Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who said it will be an unprecedented Ramadan, but also a time to strengthen resilience and deepen spirituality.
During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk.
Yesterday, Madam Halimah held up the work of ground-up initiatives such as #SGUnited Buka Puasa and commended them for helping vulnerable groups in the community and healthcare professionals.
As part of the #SGUnited Buka Puasa initiative, 20,000 meals will be delivered daily to healthcare workers and their families, as well as to needy households, for breaking fast throughout the month.
The initiative aims to raise $2.5 million to support local businesses and healthcare workers.
The money will be disbursed by the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SMCCI), with some going to caterers and those delivering meals to families affected by the crisis.
The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) has donated $1 million to the fund.
Charity group Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation (RLAF) hopes to raise the remainder through online donation platform Giving.sg, where members of the public can visit to donate. The fund-raising drive started last Friday and ends on May 23.
The #SGUnited Buka Puasa initiative is a collaboration between Muis, mosques, RLAF, People's Association, inter-faith initiative Roses Of Peace and SMCCI.
In a message announcing the start of Ramadan yesterday, Mufti Nazirudin Mohd Nasir, Singapore's highest Islamic authority, encouraged Muslims to play their part and stay at home.
"As we strengthen our faith this Ramadan, may it also spur us to be more determined to fight this virus. This test will eventually pass, and we will overcome this with patience and unity," he said.