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THE government’s cancellation of the Aidilfitri open house by cabinet ministers, including the Malaysia Aidilfitri open house by the Tourism and Culture Ministry, is a respected decision.

Although Hari Raya Aidilfitri is a joyous occasion and a cause for celebration, it’s not necessary after the recent twin tragedies of Malaysia Airlines flights MH370 and MH17.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has shown the world how moderation is far greater a trait to capitalise on when faced with a difficult situation.

We should support and emulate this act of moderation as advocated by the prime minister, who rejects extremism in line with his pioneering effort of establishing the Global Movement of Moderates.

As parents, we should inculcate the virtue of moderation in our children from a young age.

Share with them how the Palestinian children of Gaza have to endure hardship during the months of Ramadan and Syawal with not enough food and even clothing. Tell them about the 83 children who died in the MH17 crash and how lucky we are to be alive and celebrating Syawal.

The Raya celebration this year is certainly more sombre as we unite in grief as in happiness.

Prophet Muhammad said: “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately... Always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course, whereby you will reach your target (of paradise)” — Sahih Al-Bukhari.

Here’s wishing readers of the New Straits Times and all Malaysians a happy and modest Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Azhari Mahmood, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

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