Najib and his wife Rosmah with Muhyiddin (second right) share a light moment with Malaysian Associated Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, Tan Sri K K Eswaran (third right) during Malaysian Associated Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI) Deepavali Open House at HGH Convention Centre. — Bernama photo
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians of the Hindu faith yesterday celebrate Deepavali in a joyous ambience by holding religious events and open houses.
The highlight of the celebration in the national capital is the Deepavali open house hosted by MIC at Dewan Merdeka, Putra World trade Centre (PWTC) here, which was attended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
The beating of drums and flutes accompanied the arrival of Najib, who is also Umno President and Barisan Nasional Chairman at about 10.15am. On hand to receive him were MIC President Datuk Seri G Palanivel, his deputy Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam and other party leaders.
Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri and about 5,000 people of diverse races.
Najib, who worn a cream-coloured kurta, the traditional Indian attire, later cut a cake together with other guests of honour before leaving the function at 11.10am.
Speaking to reporters later, Najib said the Deepavali open house being held annually in the country could create a cordial atmosphere among each and every Malaysians.
“Many can get to meet their friends of the Hindu faith and we must enhance further the feelings of goodwill and harmony among Malaysians,” he said.
He described this year’s event as very joyous and in accordance to tradition.
Meanwhile MIC secretary-general A Prakash Roa said it was a unique feature that all races could celebrate together whenever there was a festival in the country.
“Not only Deepavali, during Chinese New year, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, all can join in to sample the food and understand the culture of all the different races in the country and this harmonious atmosphere must be sustained,” he said.
Foreigners who visited the open house also get to enjoy the auspicious festival.
Czech Republic Ambassador Rudolf Hykl said the Deepavali celebration in Malaysia, that was participated by all Malaysians from multi-racial backgrounds, was very interesting.
“The Indian community is one of the largest communities in this country, which is an ethnically rich nation.
“So for me it is important to have this experience,” he said.
Meanwhile another well-wisher Ghazal Nabil from Syria said the festivity was very special because it was celebrated by all the communities while the food served could be savoured by everyone.
“I’m interested in the racial diversity here, I want to know as much as I can while I’m staying here,” he added. — Bernama