11th June 2017
16 Ramadan 1438
The third weekend of Ramadan, 11th June 2017, ended with a big bang at the MacPherson Harmony Iftar @ Marine Parade Cluster.
The Iftar was held at the MacPherson Community Club (CC) and was jointly brought to you by the Indian Muslim Social Service Organisation (IMSSA), Marine Parade GRC, MacPherson and Mountbatten SMCs’ MAECs, South East Development Council and People’s Association (PA) MESRA. Guan Xuan Tan Temple, Masjid Wak Tanjong, Masjid Sallim Mattar, Madrasah Wak Tanjong Al-Islamiah, National Environmental Agency (NEA) and Public Utilities Board (PUB) also kindly supported the event.
In total, this Iftar reached out to 350 needy families of seven CCs: Geylang Serai, Mountbatten, Marine Parade, Braddell Heights, Siglap South, Kembangan-Chai Chee and MacPherson. To represent these different constituencies, it saw the esteemed presence of Ms Tin Pei Ling, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, Mr Lim Biow Chuan, Mr Seah Kian Peng and Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef. On top of these special guests invited, the event also opened its doors to everyone else in the community. A team of volunteers from IMSSA was dispatched to distribute flyers door-to-door around the venue area to spread the word. As a result, a whopping figure of 4000 people was estimated to have arrived! Looking at the turn out, it was a great success indeed!
During this Iftar, the entire venue was decked with tables and chairs to accommodate the big crowd in the most comfortable manner. Starry decorations with fairy lights were installed at the roof of the tentage. Ninety helium balloons were gathered at the entrance of the venue to graciously invite everyone that came. It was truly a sight to behold! Not to mention, the kids were the most excited about the balloons!
To entertain the invited guests and public, special performances were conducted by our small kids from IMSSA whereby children did a mini fashion show displaying their ethnic attire for the occasion and sang melodious Nasheeds to welcome the guests. It was adorable and certainly, the crowd enjoyed it!
As the grassroots advisers arrived, to kick off the interactions among the them and their residents, the advisers were invited to walk around the floor to talk to the residents, presenting Hari Raya Green Packets to children. This certainly helped to excite the children to look forward to the festive occasion that is coming up. Moreover, the advisers of the respective constituencies presented each needy family with $25 food vouchers together with dates, biscuits and Hari Raya cookies. Such efforts are to encourage the spirit of giving during Ramadan and the upcoming Hari Raya Eidul Fitri.
The programme formally begun with the introduction welcome speech by Ms Aneesa, Assistance Secretary of IMSSA. In addition, MacPherson’s Chairman Mr Samadi addressed the crowd with his welcome speech in Malay. Thereafter, Host Adviser Ms Tin Pei Ling gave her short speech in English before presenting the appreciation plaque to Guan Xuan Tan Temple, ending just in time to break fast altogether, Muslims and non-Muslims alike!
This Iftar’s menu was sure to captivate the taste buds of all participants. It comprised a total of 12 items – Nasi Lemak Rice with Sambal, Fried Chicken, Ikan Bilis, Kueh Lapis, Cheese Tart, Samosa, Dates, Lychee, Porridge, Syrup Limau, Ghee Rice and Pepper Mutton.
There was also a special menu for the kids! The kids enjoyed delicious Wraps, Muffins, Chicken Drumlets, Cup Jellies, Nutella Tarts, Lychees, Dates and Syrup Limau. They too were given Ghee Rice and Pepper Mutton as food to take away.
In an effort to be more environmentally friendly, this event had sought the support of National Environment Agency (NEA) and Public Utilities Board (PUB) to educate the young and old the importance of saving water and going green through a panel exhibition set up at the venue site. In addition, to fully involve our IMSSA kids and to ensure that they learn the importance of water conservation, a water conservation poster-making competition was held for them. The best artworks won exciting prizes and gifts! Also, three thousand and seven hundred NEWater bottles were kindly sponsored by PUB specially for the event. During our clean-up, as much of the used NEWater bottles were recycled too.
A total of 60 students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Madrasah Wak Tanjong Al-Islamiah also joined us at our event to experience the joy of serving and giving others. Lecturer Dr Chan Sun Sun, Lecturer of Ngee Ann Polytechnic also shared her valuable experience,
“Our students immersed themselves in serving the community and demonstrated our school’s core values on respect, responsibility, resilience, integrity, compassion and gratitude.They had whole-heartedly helped in the event setting and food distribution. They interacted and learnt more about the culture and they appreciate the bonding between the multiracial community in Singapore. It was a meaningful event for all of us.”
Of noteworthy mention, the event was covered by media. Hosts from the Vasantham show, Indian Beat (Thalam), had come down to interview a few lovely spokespersons from IMSSA to document how our mass Iftar is held and to understand what Ramadan is all about. All in all, we must say, Alhamdulilah! This MacPherson Iftar was indeed both an eventful and meaningful one. One more Iftar to go, to complete our four-part Iftar series, before Ramadan draws to a close.