: It was reported yesterday that the central government in Beijing, China, has banned civil servants, students and teachers in the majority Muslim Xinjiang region from taking part in Ramadan fasting.
By preventing civil servants, students and teachers who are Muslim from fasting during Ramadan is to force them not to follow one of the five pillars of Islam. This goes against the freedom of religion which includes the freedom of an individual to carry out the religious practices of his or her faith.
I strongly condemn the persecution of the Muslim minority in China through the directive forcing civil servants, students and teachers, including Muslims, not to fast during the holy month of Malaysia.
I call upon all Malaysians to support the right of the Muslim population in Xinjiang to have the right to fast during the month of Ramadan. In particular, I call upon all non-Muslims in Malaysia to stand in solidarity to support freedom of religion for all minorities around the world by fasting for one day during this holy month of Ramadan together with our Muslim friends.
Today is the fifth day in which I am fasting during Ramadan and the 2nd year in a row which I am doing so. I value the opportunity and the right to be able to fast during Ramadan, as a non-Muslim, in order to share the experience together with my Muslims friends.