Coronavirus: President Halimah calls on Muslims to support one another and make adjustments during Ramadan

SINGAPORE – President Halimah Yacob has asked Muslims in Singapore to support each other throughout the fasting month of Ramadan, and conveyed her appreciation for their community efforts.

Posting on Facebook on Thursday (April 23), Madam Halimah said adjustments to the way Muslims observe Ramadan, which starts on Friday, have to be made due to the ongoing Covid-19 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 during the holy fasting month.

She said: “I have no doubt that we will emerge even stronger in our faith and as a community out of this experience.

“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.

“Let’s continue to support one another and have a spiritually fulfilling journey in this blessed month. Let me wish all Muslims a blessed Ramadan and Selamat Berpuasa (happy fasting).”

During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk, as part of the obligatory fasting.

On Thursday, Madam Halimah held up the work of ground-up initiatives, such as the #SGUnited Buka Puasa, and commended how they are helping vulnerable groups in the community as well as healthcare professionals.

As part of the #SGUnited Buka Puasa initiative, 20,000 meals will be delivered daily to healthcare workers and their families to break fast throughout Ramadan, as well as to needy households.

It also 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 an initial $1 million to the fund, with the charity group Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation (RLAF) hoping to raise the remainder through online donation platform, 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, the RLAF, the People’s Association, inter-faith initiative Roses Of Peace, and the SMCCI.

Also on Thursday, Muis launched a Web-based channel called SalamSG TV that Muslims here can tune in to watch Ramadan-centric content in Malay and English.

This includes messages from the Mufti Dr Nazirudin Mohd Nasir, religious and motivational lectures by religious teachers, arts and crafts and storytelling videos for children, and workshops on Islamic calligraphy.

The channel will also feature religious talks and videos in Bengali and Tamil to cater to Muslim foreign workers here.

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