KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — Datuk Mohammad Agus Yusoff said that the convivial atmosphere at the Malaysia Madani Aidilfitri open house in Alor Setar, Kedah today showed that such events could ease political tensions among Malaysians.
The director-general of the Community Communication Department (J-Kom) under the Prime Minister’s Department said none of the attendees were bothered by recent allegations that the open house was a waste of public funds or organised with the impending state polls in mind.
“I attended the Madani Malaysia Open House with the prime minister in Kedah. Not only was I happy, those who attended were as happy too.
“Visitors mingled and took selfies with each other regardless of social standing. They socialised with no care for party, politics, religion, and race, rich or poor,” he wrote in a Facebook posting.
Mohammad Agus said that the event was not a VVIP programme nor a political campaign, but a “celebration of the people, from the people and for the people”.
“Looking at the festivities, I stress that it was not wasteful. How can the worthy practice of feeding and giving everyday people a treat be considered a waste? Even worthier still it strengthens people’s ties with each other,” he said.
He also said the open house’s success can be judged by the attendance of thousands of people from all walks of life.
“In fact, the event was the best form of promotion for Kedah,” said Mohammad Agus, adding that he is looking forward to the next open houses at UiTM Permatang Pauh on May 6, Seremban on May 7, Kota Baru on May 12, Kuala Terengganu on May 13, and finally, Batu Caves on May 14.
Today’s open house, which was held in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri, was organised by the state Pakatan Harapan coalition and coordinated by the Prime Minister’s Department.
It marks the first in a series of Aidilfitri open houses that will be held in six states across the peninsula.
Anwar arrived at the open house at 10am dressed in a peach-coloured baju Melayu and black songkok. He was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Other federal ministers from various political parties in the unity government were also seen mingling with the public, shaking hands and smiling broadly.
Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor was also sighted, dressed in a maroon baju Melayu and floral sampin.
News portal Malaysiakini reported the PAS leader as chatting with Anwar and other federal Cabinet members, and even posing for pictures, including with Communication and Multimedia Minister Fahmi Fadzil who tweeted their photograph and captioned it: “Selamat Hari Raya. Maaf zahir dan batin” with an emoji of two hands clasped together.