SGM Selangor Hosts Exhibition On World Religions and Global Ethics

Mar 26, 2006 ◄ Back to list

The 'World Religions-Universal Peace-Global Ethic' exhibition, which showcases the common ethical principles shared by all major religions as held in Klang, Selangor from March 26 to April 2, 2006. Organised jointly by Soka Gakkai Malaysia, Konrad-Adenaeur-Foundation and the Malaysian Interfaith Network, the exhibition was held at the SGM Selangor Culture Centre in Klang, Selangor.

The exhibition is aimed at promoting understanding and appreciation of the world religions, through a better grasp of the common values shared by all of these religions. Originally exhibited at the UN Headquarters in New York, the exhibition shown here is an expanded version of the original. The exhibition panels presently shown in Malaysia have been translated by the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation into the Malay and Chinese language. The exhibition highlights the core ethical standards common to all religions, as embodied in the Golden Rule 'Treat others as you would like to be treated'.

Visitors also get to view calligraphic works in Arabic and Chinese intertwined with the panels and hung on the walls of the auditorium. What is unique about the calligraphic works is that they are all based on the golden rule 'Treat others as you would like to be treated'. These works were selected from Malaysia's first ever 'Golden Rule' Arabic-Chinese Calligraphy competition organised by the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation, Soka Gakkai Malaysia and the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia in 2004. The Arabic calligraphy competition was based on the Golden Rule as it appears in the verse "No one of you (really) believes in (Allah and in His religion) until he loves for his brother what he loves for his own self," from Imam Nawawi's collection of Forty Hadith. The Chinese calligraphy competition was based on the famous Confucian precept "What you do not wish done to yourself, do not do to others."

The event was officially opened by the Deputy Minister of Information I, Dato' Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on March 26, 2006. During the opening, Dato' Ahmad Zahid Hamidi remarked, "Our different religious and cultural traditions must not prevent our common involvement in opposing all forms of inhumanity and working for greaterhumaneness." He hoped that more organisations will come together to organise activities that promote goodwill and understanding among people, especially among young people so that they can help build a peaceful society in Malaysia. In an interview after the opening, Dato' Ahmad Zahid mentioned, "This is a good exhibition that should be seen by people of all races and religions because understanding each others, religions also helps on to increase one's own faith. I think that this exhibition should be on display not just in Klang but in other areas too."

Among those attending the opening were representatives from SGM, the Malaysian Interfaith Network, Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation, several state assemblyman from Selangor, representatives from the Selangor state culture and education offices, and officials from the Klang municipal council.

Following the opening ceremony, a forum focusing on the theme 'Harmony In Diversity: The Role of Religion' was held. The panelists, representing different religions, were Dr Syed Ali Tawfik AI-Attas, Director General of Institute of Islamic Understanding of Malaysia (Islam); Prof Dr Christopher Boey (Buddhism), Dr K Dharmaratnam (Hinduism); Paguman Singh (Sikhism), Ho Yuet Mee (Bahai) and Father Lawrence Andrew (Christianity). Moderated by Peter Schier of the Konrad-Adenaur- Foundation, the forum highlighted problems encountered in inter-faith dialogue as well as steps that can be taken to promote inter-faith dialogue and understanding. Over 300 people attended the forum.

In conjunction with the exhibition, film shows on different religions were shown each evening, namely Hinduism, Chinese Religion, Judaism, Christianity, Sikhism, Islam, Nichiren Buddhism, Bahai Faith and Indigenous Religion. Most of the films are from the acclaimed film series 'On the Trail of World Religions' produced by Prof Hans Küng and the Global Ethic Foundation.

The exhibition made its debut in Malaysia in July 2003 at Wisma Kebudayaan SGM, Kuala Lumpur. Since then, the exhibition has been shown at various forums, and seminars, and in venues across Malaysia including Penang and Sarawak.