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Moderate but merry Christmas nationwide

KUALA LUMPUR: Christians celebrated Christmas in a moderate albeit merry atmosphere with some having to face the current floods in the East Coast.
As usual they attended church services in the morning before spending time with family and friends.
Traffic in the city was smooth as many people have returned to their hometowns for the festival or to finish off their annual leave.
Kuala Lumpur residents and foreign nationals took the opportunity to visit shopping malls such as Kuala Lumpur City Centre.
In Sabah, Christmas was heralded with several open houses organised by state leaders which were attended by various multi-racial communities and foreign tourists.
Among those who held open houses were Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President, Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan and United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) and Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Bernard Dompok.
Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman said the celebration of main festivals such as Christmas was the best time to strengthen unity between the multi-racial people of diverse religions in this country.
“Through the practice of visiting each other at open houses we can strengthen our ties and can surely work together to develop Malaysia and Sabah, as in the concept of cooperation we adopt in Barisan Nasional,” he said when met at the Upko open house at Dewan Tun Fuad Stephens, Penampang which was attended by about 2,000 guests.
Musa had earlier accompanied Yang Dipertua Negeri Juhar Mahiruddin to the PBS open house at Dewan Hongkod Koisaan, Kadazandusun Murut Cultural Association, also in Penampang.
Met by reporters at his open house, which was attended by more than 5,000 people, Pairin  welcomed Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s statement on being always open to sharing the aspirations and views from the Christian community.
Pairin who is also Huguan Siou (highest leader) of the Kadazandusun Murut community said the reassuring approach provided the confidence that Najib was always open in his views and showed that he took the trouble to get closer to the nation’s diverse communities.
A businessman from Tawau, R Balachandran, met at Pairin’s open house described the event as a positive approach towards maintaining unity among Malaysians.
In SARAWAK, Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu and Environment and Natural Resource Minister Douglas Uggah Embas had their open house at the Dewan Tan Sri Kalong in Betong.
Jabu told reporters that such events were unique and have become a tradition.
“Today we can see the guests of various races and religions. And they show respect to each other,” he said at the gathering which drew a turn out of about 2,000 people.
In PERLIS, the celebrations were moderate amidst unpredictable weather conditions.
Business premises were open as usual and people spent their day off with family activities such as picnics at local tourist spots.
- Bernama

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