Alhamdulillah, Muslims in Malaysia have gone through a third of Ramadhan – a very meaningful month indeed to all Muslims in the world. I am very pleased with the Ramadhan I am having this year thus far.
A common misconception is that the month of Ramadhan provides some relief from the non-stop rigours of work experienced during the rest of the year. For me, that cannot be further from the truth. Ramadhan consistently proves to be the busiest time of the year, and for good reason.
For the first two days of Ramadhan, I have always made it a point to break my fast with my family and there wasn’t an exception this year. Following these traditional two days, I take the opportunity to break my fast for every day of the remaining Ramadhan with the rakyat – with various groups representing the business sector, student groups, political groups, government agencies, and other communities. On weekends such as today, I do my very best to return to Pekan, Pahang – my hometown and constituency – for these sessions. As buka puasa events last until after the tarawikh is performed, my day only officially ends after 10.30pm. I am deeply satisfied since by attending these events I get to perform a full 30 days of tarawikh, and connect with my fellow Malaysians.
Nevertheless, I felt that the 28 days of buka puasa events is not enough time to fulfill all my engagements with the Rakyat. To address this, I have also included some sahur events to spend time with orphans and other disadvantaged groups. My days have certainly grown longer but it is always delightful to be able to mix and perform prayers with different groups. I appreciate these times in Ramadhan dearly.
My daytime schedule remains full as ever, with weekly Cabinet meetings, appointments, and a recent Cabinet workshop on the National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs). As I tweeted recently, the Government is in the crucial period of ensuring delivery of our targets and plans to move Malaysia forward via the Government Transformation Programme, the New Economic Model and 10th Malaysia Plan. The work goes on for us to keep our progress on track.
Hence, there is no rest in Ramadhan. The fact is that this month grants Muslims all over the world a special opportunity to be more reflective and fulfill their spiritual needs. This means that time should be spent more wisely, either with prayers, or with work, as it is considered an ibadah as well. For me, as I reflect on how every minute of my time spent working impacts the Rakyat, it spurs me on to do my best in this holiest of months. I wish all Muslims again a meaningful Ramadhan.