Ramadan will still be meaningful despite curbs: PM Lee
Even though mosques in Singapore will remain closed throughout the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, the country's religious leaders and teachers will make sure the holy month will still be meaningful, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Yesterday, PM Lee announced that the circuit breaker measures meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus will be extended by another month to June 1. This extension will stretch past the whole of Ramadan, which begins on Friday and ends on May 24, when Hari Raya Aidilfitri is observed.
In addition to abstaining from food from dawn to dusk and Zakat, or alms giving, Ramadan is usually observed with special prayers and mass religious activities in mosques.
These will not be possible due to closures during the circuit breaker period.
In the Malay portion of his national address on the situation yesterday, PM Lee said he was disappointed he will not have the opportunity to break fast with Muslim community members at mosques.
But he added: "Nevertheless, I understand that the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), religious teachers and the Muslim community are in full spirits to ensure that Ramadan this year will not be less great, and still meaningful.
"Many online platforms and materials are provided to guide the Muslim community to perform their fasting obligation, to pay Zakat and do charity, to help those in need."
PM Lee also expressed his gratitude for the sacrifice and resilience the Muslim community here has shown during the "difficult time" of the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the English portion of his speech, PM Lee gave the assurance that arrangements for Ramadan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri will be made for Muslim foreign workers.
"Ramadan begins in a few days' time. We will make sure that arrangements are made for our Muslim workers. When Aidilfitri comes next month, we will celebrate with our Muslim friends, just as we celebrated the New Year with our Indian friends last week," he said, referring to the Tamil New Year that fell on April 14.
Later, at a media conference, Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo said Muis and the Government have developed religious materials for these workers to use during Ramadan.
She added that the Government has worked together with caterers and purpose-built dormitory operators to provide timely pre-dawn and break fast meals.