In conjunction with the “Month of Peace”, Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) hosted Poetry Appreciation: “Kekasih – A Tribute to Usman Awang & Peace” at the Auditorium, Wisma Kebudayaan SGM, No. 243 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur on 25 September 2011 (Sunday).
Sasterawan Negara Dato’ Usman Awang is one of Malaysia’s most beloved poets. His poems are infused with his expansive love for humanity, with no regards for the colour of their skin and the flavour of their religion. His love for our country runs deeply; while his body is rooted in Malaysia, his spirit and consciousness reaches out to the entire universe. Time and time again he calls for all Malaysians to develop a common sense of identity based on our common humanity.
This event is a celebration of Usman Awang’s life and poetry, where we explore the themes of love, peace, friendship, compassion and a universal Malaysian identity in his works.
More than 60 performers participated in this event, including guest performers the late poet’s daughter Puan Haslina Usman, Sasterawan Negara Dato’ A Samad Said, Prof. Dr Siti Zainon Ismail, Prof. Rahman Shaari, Encik Jamal Raslan Abdul Jalil, Mr. Lenny Ooi, Ms Fiona Kab, Mr. Stevie Arif Sebol, Mr. Andy Romeo and Soka Gakkai Malaysia Youth Division representatives. They recited Usman Awang’s poems in the spirit of 1 Malaysia in six languages i.e. Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, English, Bahasa Iban, Bahasa Kadazandusun and Tamil.
Among the 200 audience, distinguished guests who were present included YBhg. Tan Sri Prof. Emeritus Ismail Hussein, President of The Federation of National Writers Associations of Malaysia (GAPENA); YBhg. Tan Sri Kamarul Ariffin, former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of National Art Gallery; Mr. Tan Kai Hee, Founder of Malaysia-China Friendship Association; YBhg. Datin Sunita Rajakumar, Member of Board of Trustees of Hai-O Foundation; Prof. Muhammad Hj Salleh from Penang.
In her welcome speech, Soka Gakkai Malaysia Youth leader, Dr. Angela Ng said,“It is our hope that this evening’s event will create greater awareness in the role of poetry in fostering peace and to bring a great finale to SGM’s Month of Peace. It is indeed pertinent that ‘Kekasih’ is chosen as the theme tonight. We want to express our love for humanity that transcends all creed and races. This shall be our way of celebrating Malaysia Day, which falls on September 16.”
Puan Haslina Usman expressed in her speech that: “A lofty bond was formed when the similarities between the ideals of Usman Awang and Daisaku Ikeda were merged. Therefore, the tribute to Usman Awang today and the celebration of Soka Gakkai Malaysia’s Month of Peace throughout September are in line with its true aim and objective.”
Contact: Katherine Chui
Soka Gakkai Malaysia
Tel: 03-9075 6876
Fax: 03-9074 2413