Since 1983, SGI President Ikeda has been presenting annual peace proposals to the United Nations to voice his concerns over global issues and propose solutions to overcome them. This year, the peace proposal is themed “Towards a New Era of Peace and Disarmament: A People-Centred Approach.” SGM student division (SD) members in several states will hold peace forums to discuss the topics mentioned in the peace proposal and promote President Ikeda’s peace ideals. They employ various creative methods to present the ideas in these proposals.
In order to promote President Ikeda’s peace ideals, on October 6, SGM Selangor SD members held their 17th peace proposal forum at the SGM Selangor Culture Centre. Close to 700 people attended the forum which was divided into Mandarin and English sessions. Topics shared included how to achieve harmonious societies, promote humanism from various angles, and harnessing the power of youth in spreading messages of peace. Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources YB Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar was the guest-of-honour and one of the panellists at the English session.
In their opening speeches, SGM youth division leader Chia Kok Peng and SGM president Michael Kok spoke in the Chinese and English venues respectively, introducing the origin of Soka Gakkai’s peace movement. Chia quoted passages from the Peace Proposal that resonated with him the most while Mr Kok spoke about SGM’s efforts by SGM in supporting the government’s decision to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
|Selangor (English session)||Selangor (Mandarin session)|
In the panel following the peace proposal presentation, Dr Xavier voiced his concerns on the high water usage by Malaysians. He said that by the year 2040, the whole nation will face water shortage problems and that it will be a great challenge towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) No. 6 which is “clean water and sanitation for all people.” He further urged the audience to conserve water starting from their own homes.
Dr Wendy Yee Mei Tien, Head of the Centre for Internship Training and Academic Enrichment (CITRA) of Universiti Malaya (UM) also shared with the audience the campaigns initiated by UM and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) to achieve the SDGs. High Court of Malaya Advocate and Solicitor Tan Leng also spoke on the progress by the government to ratify the TPNW, while SGM youth representative Dinesh Chandren spoke on how youth can play a larger part in promoting peace, and of SGM’s peace activities in society such as the “Everything You Treasure” anti-nuclear weapons exhibition.
When interviewed, Dr Xavier praised the working committee for their thorough preparation which clearly conveyed each theme to the audience. He stated that SGM has always promoted the importance of peace and uniting people, and that this event was held at the right time.
The organisers also prepared a children’s playground where those under 12 could join peace activities that are tailored for them. The activities included making handicrafts, watching peace-related cartoons and small group discussions.
Secondary school student Lim Xue Li from Selangor said that schools should include such peace forums so that students will know what is happening in the world and start contributing towards realising peace.
Andrew Ng Swee Leong also said that he will start promoting the ideals of peace by spreading this message to people around him.
A month before, on September 1, SGM Perak held its peace forum at its culture centre to an audience of just over 500 people. Three SD members from Kampar shared with the audience topics such as nuclear disarmament, lethal autonomous weapons system and water resources management issues.
Prior to the forum, on August 10, 11, 17 and 18, they also organised a Chinese-English bilingual peace exhibition bearing the same title as this peace proposal. The panels were created by Kampar SD members who used pictures based on the content, which attracted even children and elderly people. In total, just over 300 people viewed the exhibition.
On October 5, SGM Negeri Sembilan held a peace forum at its culture centre. A week later on October 12, they held another sharing session at the SGM Negeri Sembilan East Region Centre. In total, some 250 people attended both events. Three Chinese speakers and three English speakers shared with the audience key points of the peace proposal in a more casual manner by walking among the audience while speaking.