SGI President Daisaku Ikeda said: “I firmly believe that the mission of religion in the twenty-first century must be to contribute concretely to the peaceful coexistence of humankind. Religious faith can help foster a truly global consciousness and restore the bonds between human hearts.” Therefore, dialogue between adherents of the various religions is critical in ensuring peace and coexistence among people who cherish different beliefs.
Towards this end, SGM has been involved in various interfaith activities over the years, as it interfaith dialogue and harmony is crucial in building a prosperous and peaceful Malaysia. In recent months, at the invitation of various parties, SGM has been engaged in several interfaith activities.
On February 6, SGM attended a Harmony Forum titled “Celebrating the Diversity of and Harmony between Religions” at the invitation of the Department of National Unity and Integration (JPNIN). This forum, an event under the World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) 2018 celebrations was held at the Institute of Islamic Understanding (IKIM) building in Kuala Lumpur. It was a result of the joint effort of IKIM, the Department of National Unity and Integration (JPNIN) and Yayasan Pembangunan Ekonomi Islam Malaysia (YaPEIM).
The event saw the attendance of religious leaders of various faiths and was officiated by Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department YB Major-General (R) Dato’ Sri Jamil Khir Baharom and YB Tan Sri Joseph Kurup. SGM was represented by Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications Joanne Foo and Study Department representative Loke Weng Cheong. During this forum, adherents of Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism had thought-provoking discussions on harmony between practitioners of various religions in our countries.
On February 27, SGM representatives attended a dinner gathering held at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) also held in conjunction with WIHW. The guests-of-honour were Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department YB Major-General (R) Dato’ Sri Jamil Khir Baharom and YB Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, and United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator for Malaysia and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Stefan Priesner.
Also present were representatives from various faith groups in Malaysia such as the Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) and the Malaysian Hindu Sangam. SGM was represented by Secretary-General Lok Chee Khong and Dinesh Chandren. The event also saw participation from representatives of local neighbourhood watch groups (Rukun Tetangga) in the Klang Valley.
During the event, the guests-of-honour gave speeches extolling the importance of promoting interfaith harmony and cooperation between the various faith groups.