Nothing is more precious than peace!
Nothing brings more happiness!
Peace is the most basic starting point for the advancement of humankind!
These are the opening lines from Soka Gakkai International (SGI) President Ikeda’s novel The New Human Revolution. This belief is derived from the brutal war experience he had endured during his youth and his commitment to realise his mentor, Mr Josei Toda’s lifelong call for peace, to rid the world of misery.
Irrespective of differences in terms of times, nations, families, races, beliefs or languages, all human beings seek peace. In this respect, humans are peace lovers. Peace, far from being a far-fetched Utopia, begins with each individual’s inner quest for happiness. Therefore, peace begins with everyone.
On September 8, 1957, second President of Soka Gakkai, Josei Toda, presented a historic yet powerful declaration calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons in the presence of 50,000 youths. Mr Toda entrusted the young people with the mission of spreading the belief in the preciousness and dignity of life. SGI President Ikeda has dedicated his whole life in carrying out this task, turning it into a wave of peace which is propelled by SGI members in 192 countries and territories around the world.
Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) upholds the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin based on the humanistic spirit that a single individual can bring about great changes, as mentioned by President Ikeda: “A great human revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and, further, will enable a change in the destiny of all humankind.” This forms the core ideology of the SGI.
The great Cuban hero Jose Marti once said: “The world does not come to us; we need to go out to the world.” Therefore, we have to spur ourselves into action; only through action can we bring such beautiful ideology to fruition. To commemorate September 8 as the starting point of Soka Gakkai’s Peace Movement, SGM has designated September as the Month of Peace from this year onwards, to enhance the public’s awareness on peace, create an age of humanistic and spiritual values through a variety of activities, thus opening the doors to peace and calling on people in society to participate and work together towards building a harmonious Malaysia. In line with the Month of Peace, SGM will launch a series of activities with the theme: “Voices of Peace: The Creative Way of Life”. The series of activities include the following:
1. Peace Forum on SGI President Ikeda’s Peace Proposal “Toward a World of Dignity for All: The Triumph of the Creative Life”
Since 1983, SGI President Ikeda has issued peace proposals annually on January 26, the SGI founding day on problems and crises threatening humankind. Peace forums based on the 2011 peace proposal will be conducted by SGM Student Division members nationwide. This will help foster a culture of peace among young students, thus nurturing the country’s peace advocates. The 2011 peace proposal is published in the May issue of Cosmic (English version) and can also be viewed at the following website: http://www.sgi.org/sgi-president/proposals/peace/2011.html
SGM and the Institute for Social Science Studies of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) will jointly organise a Peace Week from September 19 to 23, 2011. A Peace Forum will be held during the week. There will be movies on peace, lectures and an exhibition entitled “Seeds of Hope: Visions of Sustainability, Steps toward Change”.
Another Peace Forum will also be held at UCSI University KL Campus on 22 September 2011.
2. “Peace Exhibitions in Campus” movement
SGM currently has a collection of four Peace Exhibitions, namely “From a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace: Transforming the Human Spirit”, “Seeds of Hope: Visions of Sustainability, Steps Toward Change”, “Building A Culture of Peace for the Children of The World” and “Gandhi, King, Ikeda – A Legacy of Building Peace” .
We believe that there is a close relationship between peace and education. The basis of education is to foster and raise upright human beings. It is only through education that society can be improved and peace can be realised. Through this movement, we hope to create waves of peace dialogues, nurture capable people and spread the principles of peace to students and teachers alike, enhancing the spirit of humanism in society.
3. Run for Peace
SGM Selangor, SGM Penang and SGM Johor will be organising the “Run for Peace” event this year to create awareness for peace by encouraging the public to commit and take action for peace and also to lead a healthy lifestyle.
4. Peace activities in Wisma Kebudayaan SGM, Kuala Lumpur
Since its opening in 2001, Wisma Kebudayaan SGM has been actively promoting and holding various activities on peace, culture and education in order to enrich people’s hearts and to subtly infuse spiritual values within society. We believe that culture has the invincible power to suppress social pessimism and violence. It also has the power to unite people as it transcends differences and have the capacity to move people’s hearts. In September, Wisma Kebudayaan SGM will hold a series of activities as follows:
4.1 SGI President Ikeda: In Pursuit of Peace Exhibition
Dates: September 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25
Time: 11.00am – 6.00pm
Venue: 9th Floor, Mentor & Disciple Peace Exhibition Hall, Wisma Kebudayaan SGM
Soka Gakkai International President Daisaku Ikeda has travelled around the world building bridges of peace through multi-faceted exchanges. His dialogues have been with luminaries such as Nobel Peace laureate Mikhail Gorbachev, historian Dr Arnold Toynbee and renowned Chinese author Jin Yong. His activities are recognised as having far-reaching implications for world peace and have attracted enthusiastic understanding and response globally. Mr. Ikeda is a recipient of the United Nations Peace Award, and has received over 310 honorary doctorates from universities around the globe including Malaysia’s University of Malaya, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Open University of Malaysia.
4.2 The Splendour of Peace – Malaysian Women Artists Exhibition
Date: September 10 to 25
Time: 11.00am – 6.00pm
Venue: Ground Floor Soka Exhibition Hall, Wisma Kebudayaan SGM
In conjunction with the SGM “Month of Peace”, SGM together with June Art Space and Island Gallery will present an exhibition by 32 Malaysian women artists aged between 19 to 85-years. Women generally, are peace-loving people by nature and it is hoped that these women artists will depict their passionate sentiments for peace and life and create a brilliant splendour of peace through the medium of art.
4.3 Peace Lecture: Women & Peace
Date: September 17, 2011 (Saturday)
Venue: 11th Floor, International Conference Hall, Wisma Kebudayaan SGM
What kind of role can women play in dealing with the difficult challenges of achieving peace? In line with the Month of Peace, SGM has invited Y.Bhg. Prof. Datin Dr. Azizan Baharuddin, Director, Centre for Civilisational Dialogue, University of Malaya to deliver a talk on “Women and Peace”. Looking at how different cultures, science, sociology, history and theology perceive women, her talk will explore the views, role and contribution of women in achieving greater peace in Malaysia.
4.4 Poetry Appreciation: Kekasih – A Tribute to Usman Awang & Peace
Date: September 25, 2011 (Sunday)
Venue: 4th Floor Auditorium, Wisma Kebudayaan SGM
The late Usman Awang is a renowned Malaysian poet who received the National Literary Award in 1983. His poems convey the yearning and call for peace and justice and are loved by readers of all races in Malaysia.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the passing of Sasterawan Negara Dato’ Usman Awang and in line with “Malaysia Day”; the late poet’s daughter – writer Haslina Usman, Malaysian literary giant – Dato’ A Samad Said, Dr Siti Zainon Ismail, other distinguished Malaysian poets and Soka Gakkai Malaysia Youth Division representatives will recite Usman Awang’s poems in the spirit of 1Malaysia in six languages i.e. Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, English, Bahasa Iban, Kadazandusun and Tamil.
For further enquiry, kindly contact SGM Public Relations Department, Mr. Chia Kok Peng or Ms. Katherine Chui:
Tel: 03-9075 6876