24 Disember, 2010

[hang nadim] Merry Christmas......

Christmas : Remember true meaning of celebration
AS we celebrate the birth of Jesus, let's seize the spirit of the season and, as proclaimed at the first Christmas nearly 2,000 years ago, bring the message of "good tidings of great joy" and "peace and goodwill towards men".
The true significance of Christmas joy is God's great love for us.

If we strive to embody what Christmas really means, then our actions and our words will resemble more of Jesus' teaching here on earth, "Love your neighbour as yourself".

Let's show our love for God by loving all whom God has given us and brought into our lives -- our families, our neighbours, our colleagues, our fellow citizens and our country.

Let our love flow through the thoughtfulness and kindness we share with all those in need.

Let our words and deeds be those of peace that bring comfort, encouragement and strength to all who are grieved, discouraged and weakened by the cares of life.

Let us endeavour to be peacemakers in all circumstances and situations.

RUEBEN DUDLEY, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Not about gifts

IT is the season when you hear carols and glad tidings of Christmas being ushered in shopping malls and complexes. And in the centre of all these pomp and splendour would be Santa Claus.

Santa Claus has always been synonymous with the Christmas celebration. In fact there was a report, "Santa stealing spirit of Christmas" (NST, Dec 4) on how Christmas is deteriorating into a shopping frenzy.

Santa helps consumerism because he is portrayed as the symbol of shopping and gift buying.

This branding of Santa has such a powerful impact and influence that many non-Christians have equated Christmas with Santa Claus and have forgotten about Jesus Christ who is the central figure in Christmas.

The religious element and appeal of the season has been lost in the shopping frenzy and it should be highlighted more within society than just in church.

It is vital that in the spirit of 1Malaysia, the people understand the significance and true spirit of why Christians celebrate Christmas.

Giving and receiving gifts has always been of paramount importance to the celebration of Christmas. Two thousand years ago, when Jesus was born, wise men from the East brought gifts for baby Jesus. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present. Christmas is a timely reminder to reflect on the gifts of God -- the beauty, wonder and the glory of everlasting joy, friendship, laughter, fellowship, hope, peace and love for one another.

Merry Christmas.

SAMUEL YESUIAH, Seremban, Negri Sembilan

Drive safely

I AM certain many will take annual leave from Dec 27 to Dec 31, just after Christmas, to take their families for a long outing or just to balik kampung.

And there is no doubt that those who work on these days would be very happy as there will be less or even no traffic jams.

But the highway operators can expect heavy traffic a few days before or on the eve of Christmas.

Unless highway users follow PLUS' travel advisory, there is likely to be stressful and nightmarish traffic jams. Heed the advisory as it will be the right and logical thing to do.

My advice during this festive period to all Malaysian drivers is: drive carefully when using the highways. This advice especially applies to those who have just obtained their drivers' licence.

The golden rule for these "P" plate drivers is not to speed on the highways and to follow the speed limits at all times.

They should not emulate the driving attitude of a handful of drivers who breach the speed limit and drive recklessly.

Remember that it is better to be late and reach our intended destination safely than never at all. Simply put -- do not make our highways a river of death.

To all Malaysians, Merry Christmas and do not forget our tradition of visiting our Christian friends on this auspicious occasion for the open house functions.

I will be visiting a few of my Christian friends to make the occasion merrier. And a Happy New Year too. God bless us all.

MOHD FAIZAL ABDULLAH, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur

Read more: Christmas : Remember true meaning of celebration

Najib: Foster goodwill and acceptance during Christmas holidays

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has called on Malaysians to continue fostering goodwill and acceptance among themselves not just during the Christmas holidays but continually throughout the years.

The Prime Minister also expressed hope that Malaysia’s prosperity and national unity would be maintained.

In his Christmas Day posting in his blog, he said every cultural or religious occasion celebrated in Malaysia served as a joyous reminder of the wealth and strength in diversity the nation possessed.

“This time of year is no different. While only 9.1 percent of Malaysians follow the Christian faith and therefore celebrate Christmas, the commercial and cultural aspects of the season – particularly in gift-giving – has been embraced by so many more,” he said.

“It is my sincere hope that we continue giving each other this precious gift of goodwill and acceptance not just during this holiday season, but unceasingly throughout the years.

“To all Malaysians celebrating, I wish you a Merry Christmas, and hope that Malaysia’s prosperity and national unity are in your prayers,” he said in his Christmas Day message Friday.

He said although earlier this year, the country was rocked by extreme acts committed by a minority against the Christian community, it had successfully restored a sense of peace and harmony.

“Our saving grace is the spirit we possess as a society that believes in respecting and accepting one another for our unique and varied points of view. This is the spirit of 1Malaysia, People First, Performance Now,” he added.

Meanwhile, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said Malaysians should appreciate the peace, political stability and economic well being of our country when other nations were struggling to make it a reality.

During this festive period, Malaysians must reflect on the government’s efforts to create an equitable environment for all, he said in a statement.

“We must take a step closer to know our neighbours, colleagues and friends of different ethnic better to bring about greater integration,” said Dr. Chua.

He also said that Malaysian’s strength lay in the ability to bond regardless of differences.

“ Private and public sectors should initiate 1Malaysia Christmas gatherings to further reinforce the meaning of multi-culturalism,” he added.

Dr Chua wished all Malaysians a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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