Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Kuala Lumpur: Ahmadiyya youths ring in the New Year by cleaning up after Malaysians


24 volunteers from the Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Malaysia (MKAM) group took part, comprising four children aged 10 and 11, 19 youths aged 20 and above and another aged 60.

Some of the young Ahmadiyya volunteers who collected rubbish left behind by those
celebrating New Year’s Day in KLCC January 1, 2018. Picture: Miera Zulyana
Times of Ahmad | News Watch | Int'l Desk
Source/Credit: The Malay Mail Online
By By Ida Lim | January 1, 2018

After a jubilant countdown topped with fireworks displays to usher in 2018, a group of mostly youths greeted the New Year by picking up after their fellow Malaysians who left behind at least a truckload of rubbish after the festivities here.

Haniff Jahari, the spokesman of the band of volunteers from the local Ahmadiyya community, said this was the first time they were cleaning up on New Year’s Day at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) area.

Between 1am and 3pm yesterday, the group scoured the streets in the area, collecting discarded containers, bags, wrappers and more.

While the task is normally undertaken by the mall’s workers, the group still toiled away nonetheless.

“We feel happy to be able to lighten the load and it’s like an activity that is different from how other youths celebrate the new year,” he told Malay Mail when contacted, adding that they did not mind spending New Year’s Day collecting trash.

“This is actually the fifth time, because before this, we did (a clean-up) but that was 10 years ago,” he said, noting that all four previous clean-up efforts were at the capital city’s historic square Dataran Merdeka after Independence Day celebrations on August 31.

For the clean-up at the KLCC area on Sunday night, Haniff said 24 volunteers from the Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Malaysia (MKAM) group took part, comprising four children aged 10 and 11, 19 youths aged 20 and above and another aged 60.

Haniff said the volunteers were allowed to collect rubbish after informing the KLCC security personnel of their intentions, noting that they started cleaning up about an hour before the KLCC cleaners arrived.

“The crowd was not around then, so it was easy to pick up the rubbish,” he said.

“Most of the rubbish was food and drinks, empty cans and empty cups,” he added, noting that the area which the volunteers managed to canvass included the main road leading to KLCC’s carpark and the water fountains at KLCC.

Haniff said the KLCC cleaners were “happy” when the volunteers said they came to help lighten their load, and that the cleaners supplied them with about 40 more plastic bags to hold the rubbish.

As it was 10 years since the volunteers had last carried out a large-scale clean-up, Haniff said they had underestimated the amount of rubbish and only brought about 100 bags of their own.

He estimated that the volunteers collected 140 bags of rubbish that filled up at least one lorry prepared by the KLCC management.

Helping out and ‘clean’ celebrations

Haniff said the New Year’s Day clean-up is an extension of the Ahmadiyya community’s desire to help each other out within their capabilities through activities such as blood donation drives and distributing food to the homeless in the Chow Kit area.

The MKAM, which is part of a global movement by the Ahmadiyya community with the slogan “Love for All, Hatred for None”, has around 2,000 members and had its first large-scale clean-up in Malaysia around 2004 or 2005, shortly after it was formed, Haniff said.

Haniff said Malaysians should, as part of their New Year’s resolution, strive to take care of the environment and maintain cleanliness, adding that tourists should not be treated to the sight of rubbish strewn all over the place.

“If possible, we should use the rubbish bins provided by the management so that we can celebrate the New Year in a cleaner, more cheerful manner and tourists can see that the New Year is celebrated full of cheerfulness,” he added.

Haniff said MKAM’s volunteers would do more post-celebration clean-ups in the future, with the next one expected to be after this year’s National Day celebrations at Dataran Merdeka.

The Ahmadiyya are a religious minority in Malaysia. The country only considers the Sunni denomination of Islam and its Shafie school of jurisprudence to be official.

The Ahmadiyya community — also called Qadianis here, a term they consider a pejorative — adhere to the same beliefs as the Sunni branch of Islam, but also believe that their founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was the Imam Mahdi, Islam’s prophesied redeemer.

The community faces pressure locally, with the Selangor Fatwa Committee ruling in 1998 that followers of the Ahmadiyya teachings are considered “kafir” or non-believers, while the Sabah fatwa council had last year banned its teachings along with 15 others.


Read original post here: Kuala Lumpur: Ringing in the New Year by cleaning up after Malaysians


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