Kuala Lumpur, April 15 (IANS) The Malaysian prime minister making rotis! That was exactly what Najib Tun Razak did when he visited a gurudwara here to greet the Sikh community on Baisakhi.
Razak also spoke of the need for harmony among various communities in multi-racial Malaysia, enunciated by his ’1Malaysia’ concept.
Razak, who visited the Gurdwara Sahib Tatt Khalsa Diwan in Chow Kit here for the first time, made his intention to visit the Sikh shrine known only late Tuesday.
He tried his hand at making roti which is an unleavened flatbread, much to the amusement and delight of the cooks, most of them women, New Straits Times said Wednesday.
‘I gave late notice as I did not want any pomp and pageantry. I did not want the red carpet, bunga mangga or kompang (with which a special guest is honoured).
‘I wanted to meet you in a natural way and take part in the daily activities so I can better understand the aspirations and hopes of the Sikh community and all communities.
‘I want to show very clearly that this government stands for all communities, races and religions,’ he said in a short speech to those present at the gurdwara.
The crowd cheered when he greeted them by saying, ‘Sat Sri Akal’ and ‘Happy Baisakhi Day’.
Razak took off his jacket to be more informal.
Malaysia has a 100,000 strong Sikh community that has done well in business and trade and professions like law. Many have joined public life and have been lawmakers.
Most Sikhs came here during the British era.
The community conducts many social services. Razak met with blood donors at a corner of the hall.
There was a line-up to shake hands with him and be photographed.
In his speech, the prime minister expressed his appreciation and recognition of the Sikh community’s contribution to the country’s development through the years.
‘We must break the race barrier. We should not look at skin colour but as one Malaysia. If one needs help, he should be helped. If we have that attitude, we will move forward,’ The Star quoted him as saying.
He also called on all Malaysians to help one another regardless of race or community to foster greater unity.