PETALING JAYA - Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has urged the people to spare a thought for those who have lost their loved ones in the MH370 and MH17 tragedies.
In his Hari Raya address, Muhyiddin said the festive season was not only for enjoyment but it was also a time to realise that some were unable to experience the joy of celebration.
"In recent days, our country has faced two big challenges - the MH370 tragedy which still remains a mystery and MH17, which is believed to have been shot down in eastern Ukraine.
"As we celebrate Hari Raya, how would the family members of the passengers and crew members feel?
"I'm sure the celebration for them this year will be much more different and filled with sadness with the sudden loss of their loved ones," he said in a statement yesterday.
Muhyiddin also pointed out that some fellow Muslims in other countries were also unable to take part in the festivities and were forced to live in refugee camps without any food and medicine for the sick.
"It is even more upsetting to see our brothers and sisters in Palestine who cannot celebrate Aidilfitri in a proper way. The celebration for them over there is the same as with any other day, where they live in fear..
"Hence, let us feel for the suffering of our fellow Muslims and be grateful that our beloved Malaysia is peaceful and we can welcome the month of Syawal without any fear for our safety," he said.
Muhyiddin urged Malaysians to remember and appreciate the contribution of the nation's security forces in preserving peace and safety in the country.
He also advised motorists to drive safely on their way back to their hometowns and when they return to the city.
MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel expressed his appreciation for the peace and prosperity that is enjoyed by the country, and said that the unity in the midst of diversity is the strength that we all should be proud of.
"I would like to take this opportunity to ask everyone to pay a visit to each other's house in the spirit of Aidilfitri as it can help foster unity," said the Environment Minister who also had another message.
"In the midst of celebration, please do not forget to take care of the environment by refraining from open burning, or allowing others to do so."
Gerakan president and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Mah Siew Keong said "the last few months have been a tremendous challenge for Malaysia. As the country is facing a great trial, it is even more important for the nation to reach consensus on reaffirming peace and unity.
"We are civically bound to uphold our national ethos as a democratic and peace-loving country. There is no room for cynicism and negativity, and we must continue to strive for righteous resolutions that promote peace and uphold the course of justice.
"Let us strive to make Malaysia and the world a better place to live in. On this note, and on behalf of Gerakan, I wish everyone Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir dan Batin."