The Run tor Peace (RfP) event is back again with a larger and more impactful number of participants this year. Registering a whopping 115,000 peace-lovers – a new milestone – at 28 locations in the 13 states and Federal Territories. This is the first time all 13 states have held Run for Peace, and the participants tilled numerous roads to spread the message of peace, rewriting history as unnoticeably the largest running event in Malaysia.
They donned this year’s living coral I-shirts and arrived in high spirits, immediately infusing the dark flag-off venues with youthful passion and joy. This was an unmistakeable display of their love of peace. Since the inaugural RfP in 2005, where 1,500 participants were flagged off from the SGM Selangor Culture Centre, the number of participants has grown by nearly 80 times.
The first run in 2019 took place in Sungai Petani, Kedah on September 1. Iskandar Puteri, Johor and Taman Klang Jaya in Klang. Selangor saw the largest turnouts of 12,000 each while Johor state had the largest number of participants, that is, 20,300 people in three events. The Kuala Lumpur chapter of the run was held at Anjung Floria, Putrajaya while Perlis made its debut with 500 participants, making the RfP event truly nationwide.
|Lahad Datu, Sabah
Showing a staggering increase of participants, RfP 2019, the eighth edition, also shows the participants awareness of the importance of peace had increased. It is heartening to see that many youths taking an interest in peace and eager to take actions to become a part of a great force for peace. They are awakening to their innate ability to do their part as flagbearers who protect peace.
This also goes on to show that the spirit in SGI President Ikeda’s famous words, “Nothing is more precious than peace. Nothing brings more happiness” has clearly taken roots in their hearts.
Furthermore, in this year’s RfP event, which was endorsed and supported by the Department of National Unity and Intergration (PERPADUAN), the participants were called upon to make a declaration for peace, stressing on the abolition of nuclear weapons, the most demonic weapons humanity has ever used. The declaration states: “I fully support our government’s efforts towards the abolition of nuclear weapons including ratifying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).” In line with this objective and hoping to ensure that the TPNW will be ratified by our government and enter into force globally as soon as possible, three cabinet ministers and several other elected representatives have signed the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge for the TPNW.
This historic development in SGM’s Month of Peace in September has its roots in second president of the Soka Gakkai Josei Toda’s impassioned declaration calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons at Stadium, Yokohama, Japan on September 8, 1957. The 50,000 Soka Gakkai youths present then have taken his final injunction to heart to spread the message of peace throughout the world.
For more information of the RfP event, please go the official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/runforpeace.o
On hand to flag off some 10,000 peace- and run-lovers gathered at Anjung Floria, Putrajaya for the RfP on September 8 was YB Tuan Anthony Loke Siew Fook, Minister of Transport. In his opening remarks, he mentioned that everything starts with the first step, and “that steps to promote such (peace) values need to begin within ourselves. We are the agents who can promote the values of peace in our families, to our friends, communities, the nation and the world.” He also praised SGM for organising this event where the message of peace can be spread among the society.
In his speech, SGM General Director Koh Sia Feai mentioned that SGM fully supports the government’s efforts to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and will continue to spread the value of peace and empower people so that they can play a role in contributing to peace. SGM will also continue to share knowledge on the threats of nuclear weapons through various activities such as exhibitions, lectures and running events.
The participants were also treated to a morning exercise routine, face-painting and photography, making it a truly memorable event.
Selangor held three RfP events on September 8, with two locations holding it for the first time – Morib and Sekinchan. The Taman Klang Jaya field meanwhile held one of the largest RfP with a turnout of 12,000 participants running a seven-kilometre route for the sake of peace.
Selangor is the birthplace of RfP, and each RfP has grown steadily, showing that more people realise the importance of peace and want to promote it. Thus, SGM Selangor held the event at two new locations, with Morib seeing a turnout of 1,500 people and Sekinchan with 3.000.
Minister of Defence YB Haji Mohamad Sabu flagged off the run in Taman Klang Jaya, at a field opposite the SGM Selangor Culture Centre and site of the soon-to-be-opened Ikeda Peace Park. In his speech he said: “Weapons designed to kill are becoming more sophisticated, and the apex is nuclear weapons…..we want all nuclear weapon powers to discard their nuclear weapons. With regards to these weapons, we do not want people to say, ‘I can have them but you can’t.’ For us, no one can have nuclear weapons,” to applause and cheers from the crowd.
At Morib, guest-of-honour Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources YB Dr Xavier Jayakumar also congratulated SGM for its efforts in bringing RFP to Morib and stressed that it is up to the people to abolish nuclear weapons.
Selangor state assembly Speaker YB Ng Suee Lim, who flagged off the Run at Sekinchan also spoke on the importance of protecting peace.
|Sungei Petani, Kedah
SGM Penang held its RfP 2019 event on September 8 at Penang State Stadium, Batu Kawan with a turnout of over 8,000 people. Penang Chief Minister YAB Chow Kon Yeow flagged off the run, and he lauded SGM Penang members for their role in promoting peace in society regardless of gender, ethnicity and religion. He also said that peace and stability are primary factors in promoting unity among all ethnic groups and that promoting this closeness is the purpose of hosting the RfP event.
In his opening speech, organising chairperson Lim Kim Khiam pointed out that the current world is still under the threat of nuclear war. He firmly believed that as long as people are actively sowing the seeds of peace, we will eventually build a peaceful society.
Various activities and singing “World Peace Begins” brought the event to a meaningful and joyful end.
On September 8, 2019, more than 7,000 people gathered at the Majlis Perbandaran Seremban field.
In his opening speech, Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar YAB Dato’ Seri Haji Aminuddin Harun mentioned that he hoped more people, especially the youths, will participate in this event to strengthen the relationship with friends from different races. He also hoped that the participants will act as emissaries of peace and spread this positive energy to people around them.
RFP in Pahang took place on September 22 and was flagged off from Dataran Kuantan. About 4,700 peace-lovers took part in the event which was co-organised by SGM Pahang and Kuantan Municipal Council. The five-kilometre route was chosen in conjunction with the council’s “Kuantan Santai Sihat Lestari” programme which was held to instil awareness of the importance of a green environment, promote a healthy lifestyle and instil a passion for peace among Malaysians.
The guest-of-honour was YB Tuan Rahim bin Muda, state executive councillor for housing and local government, representing the Menteri Besar of Pahang, YAB Dato’ Sri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail. Also present was Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, rector of International Islamic University Malaysia.
In YB Rahim’s speech, he praised all for the excellent collaboration in promoting sustainable development in Kuantan. He also congratulated SGM’s efforts in promoting peace through cultural and educational activities. He further said that peace must begin with us and respect for each other is essential.
Apart from the run, various side activities made it a fun filled and educative day.
Early in the morning of September 13, 2019, some 1,500 peace-lovers gathered at Tapak Madinah Ramadan (Marquee Tent) to join the 2019 Run for Peace.
On hand to flag off the event was Terengganu state executive councilor YB Ustaz Wan Sukairi Wan Abdullah. He said that even though Malaysia is a multiracial country, as long as the people wish to, we can put aside all differences and work to achieve harmony and peace.
RfP made its debut in Perlis this year, with 500 advocates of peace taking to the streets around Denai Larian Pengkalan Asam, Kangar on September 8. On hand to flag off the run was Kamarol Azlan Abdull Hamid, deputy director of sports at the Perlis Youth and Sports Department, representing the department director Norhazita Kamaludin.
|Alor Setar, Kedah
Due to popular demand, SGM Kedah had increased the number of venues to four, adding those in Sg Petani and Kulim. The first run was held on September 1 in Sg Petani with a total number of 2,000 participants. They were honoured with the presence of Tunku Temenggong Kedah, YTM Tan Sri Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah who flagged off the run at the MPSPK Tower.
Following that, on September 6, 2019, some 3,000 peace-lovers gathered at Medan Bandar Alor Setar, Kedah to join RfP 2019. On hand to flag off the event was Kedah state executive councillor YB Tuan Mohd Asmirul Anuar Aris. In his speech, he praised SGM for organising this event that promotes peace and hoped that Malaysians will work together to achieve harmony in the country.
The RfP events in Kulim and Langkawi were held on September 7 and 13 respectively.
SGM Perak held its RfP 2019 on September 8,2019 at Bulatan Sultan Azlan Shah, Meru, Ipoh. More than 8,000 peace-lovers joined this significant event and ran for six kilometres.
On hand to flag off the event was Perak Menteri Besar YAB Dato’ Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu. In his opening remarks, he urged the participants to never forget the blood and sweat our ancestors have shed to ensure that the country achieves its independence and peace. Hence, we should continue building a harmonious community and deepen the relationships among the different races.
SGM Melaka flagged RfP 2019 on September 8 at the field of Dewan Tun Ali, Bukit Katil, Melaka. More than 5,000 peace-lovers joined the run which was flagged off by the state’s chairman of the health and anti-drug committee YB Low Chee Leong on behalf of the Chief Minister of Melaka, YAB Tuan Adly Zahari.
In his opening speech, YB Low mentioned that mutual understanding and respect for each other will bring about a harmonious country. He was very happy and looked forward to collaborate further with SGM. He was very impressed and touched by the effort of all SGM members.
Together with SGM Melaka Chairperson Mdm Sheow Gee Eng, he also visited the exhibition booths and viewed handmade creative items using recycled material.
SGM Johor had the highest number of participants in RfP 2019, gathering over 20,000 peace-lovers of all walks of life taking part in three locations simultaneously – namely Iskandar Puteri, Batu Pahat and Muar on September 7. On hand to flag off the run in Iskandar Puteri was YB Tuan Sr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Johor state executive councilor representing the Menteri Besar of Johor YAB Dato Dr Sahruddin Haji Jamal.
In his speech, he was sure that RfP “involves people, particularly Johor citizens, from all walks of life regardless of their religions, race, backgrounds or careers who join the run in order to spread the message of peace. In this diverse gathering, I believe together we can succeed in achieving our targets.
The Muar Run also included an activity known as “plogging”, in which participants picked up rubbish that they see along the way. This was done in collaboration with the Muar Municipal Council. The rubbish picked up was then weighed at the end. Thus the Muar Run promoted green living as well.
|Batu Pahat, Johor
|Iskandar Puteri, Johor
Kelantan organised its RfP 2019 on September 13 with the flag-off point at SMK Zainab 1 in Kota Bharu. Two thousand peace-lovers ran through the streets joyfully in spreading peace among the residents. They had earlier listened to a speech by Kelantan police chief DCP Dato’ Hasanuddin Hassan who reminded them of the importance of peace. He also touched on how disputes in families can lead to conflicts and urged the audience not to quarrel over small matters but work for peace together.
Sabah had the most number of RfP venues – five, namely Kota Kinabalu, Keningau, Sandakan, Lahad Datu and Tawau. In Kota Kinabalu, Chief Minister of Sabah Datuk Seri Panglima Shafie Aqdal stated in his speech, which was delivered by the state’s Minister of Youth and Sports YB Phoong Jin Zhe, that the government will continue to call on the international community for more concrete action to be taken in order to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
In Tawau, the flag-off was carried by Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Local Government and Housing, YB Datuk Dr Jaujan Sambakong who said that since differences will exist in a multi-ethnic country with diverse population, it is necessary to seek for mutual understanding and solidarity in achieving peace.
|Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
In Kuching, despite the Rfp not being flagged off due to the adverse conditions caused by the haze, 4,500 peace-lovers still gathered at Kuching South City Council (MBKS) headquarters at Jalan Padungan on September 8. SGM Sarawak Chairman Tan Chai Hong mentioned that the world is still facing threats from nuclear weapons. “So long as We have the awareness and continue to strive earnestly to sow the seeds of peace in our heart and mind, we can one day achieve our vision to create a world free of nuclear weapons.”
The event was officiated by Mr Tan Kai, political secretary to the Sarawak Chief Minister, on behalf of Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, who was originally slated to represent Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg. In his spech, Tan Kai said, “To raise the importance of peace, the positive change within the individual is the basic of positive change in the society.”
The participants took part in side activities such as face-painting, photography sessions, zumba session and viewed an exhibition on the threat of nuclear weapons. RfP was also held in Sibu and Miri.
RfP 2019 ICAN Parliamentary Pledge Signatories
A major focus of RfP 2019 was an appeal to participants to make a declaration for peace, focusing on the abolition of the demonic nuclear weapons. The declaration states: “I fully support our government’s efforts towards the abolition of nuclear weapons including ratifying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).”
In line with this objective and hoping to ensure that the TPNW will be ratified by our government and enter into force globally as soon as possible, three cabinet ministers and several other elected representatives have signed the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge for the TPNW.
During some of the runs, Members of Parliament (MPs) and other elected representatives expressed their willingness to work for the ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) in Malaysia.
|Minister of Transport Anthony Loke Siew Fook (fifth from left) holding the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge that he has signed. Looking on are SGM General Director Koh Sia Feai (third from left) and SGM president Michael Kok (fifth from right) and others.
|YB Tuan Abdul Rahim Muda, Pahang state executive councillor for housing and local government (second right) proudly showing the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge for the TPNW which he has signed.
The Pledge is open to national, state, provincial or regional parliamentarians worldwide to sign. Those who signed the Pledge during RfP 2019 were:
1. YB Tuan Haji Mohamad Sabu, Minister of Defence and MP for Kota Raja (Selangor)
2. YB Tuan Anthony Loke Siew Fook, Minister of Transport and MP for Seremban (Negeri Sembilan)
3. YB Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar, Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources and MP for Kuala Langat (Selangor)
4. YB Tuan Muslimin Yahaya, MP for Sungai Besar (Selangor)
5. YB Tuan Mohd Shahar Abdullah, MP for Paya Besar (Pahang)
6. YB Datuk Haji Jaujan Sambakong, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Local Government and Housing, Sabah and Sulabayan assemblyman
7. YB Tuan Phoong Jin Zhe, Sabah Minister of Youth and Sports, and Luyang assemblyman
8. YB Tuan Ng Suee Lim, Selangor State Assembly Speaker and Sekinchan assemblyman
9. YB Tuan Gunarajah R. George Sentosa assemblyman (Selangor)
10. YB Tuan Hasnul Baharuddin, Morib assemblyman (Selangor)
11. YB Tuan Abdul Rahim Muda, Pahang state executive councillor and Lepar assemblyman (Pahang)