|SGM President Michael Kok delivered a speech|
From July 16 to 18, 2018, Universiti Sultan Azlan Shah (USAS) hosted the fifth World Conference of Islamic Thought and Civilisation (WCIT) in Bandar Meru Raya, Perak. Thirty speakers from 21 countries and some 1,000 people attended the conference. On July 17, the Sultan of Perak, His Royal Highness Sultan Nazrin Muizzudin Shah officially opened the conference and delivered a royal address.
SGM representatives, including General Director Koh Sia Feai, also attended the conference and on July 18, SGM President Michael Kok delivered a speech in a session themed “Culture and the Language of Religion” on behalf of Buddhist organisations.
In his speech, Mr Kok stated that the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) is promoting peace, culture and education around the world based on Buddhist humanism. Using Italy and South Korea as examples, he highlighted the peace activities organised by the SGI in past years. He also elaborated on how SGM has strived to connect people in the society and contribute to Malaysia, a multicultural and multiracial country.
Other speakers included Joseph Salvador Marino, Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy See to Malaysia; Prof John Louis Esposito, professor of Religion and International Affairs and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University and Ibu Yenny Wahid, director of the Wahid Institute and the daughter of former Indonesia president the late Abdurrahman Wahid.
In 2002, former Indonesia president Abdurrahman Wahid met with SGI President Ikeda. Their dialogue was recorded and published as a book titled The Wisdom of Tolerance.
In his speech, Sultan Nazrin said that he believed that youth have the potential to start the cause of change and urged the participants to always listen to what the youth have to say and appreciate their opinions. Sultan Nazrin met President Ikeda in 1995 in Japan, and was present at the ceremony in which the SGI leader was awarded with an honorary doctorate in humanities by the University of Malaya, which was received on President Ikeda’s behalf by SGI Vice-President Hiromasa Ikeda.