Wesak Day Message by Lim Guan Eng in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 27th May 2010:
Wesak Day Message
In the spirit of peace and tranquility, I wish a very happy Wesak day to all Buddhists in Malaysia. On this auspices day, we are reminded of the teachings of Lord Buddha who among other things has preached enlightenment and tolerance.
The struggle for understanding and tolerance, especially religious and racial tolerance, among Malaysians may not be an easy task but it is also not impossible. What we need is a very strong political will from those who are in the position of power, as well as the support from the people.
When Minister in the Prime Minister's Department formed the Inter-Fatih Committee, it was abandoned due to opposition from extremist groups such as Perkasa and those within UMNO. Will Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak allow its establishment to demonstrate his commitment to 1Malaysia is not just an empty slogan.
An interfaith dialogue, whether in a form or a council or a certain body, is never meant to undermine or to surpass any faith or religion. It is merely a mechanism to resolve problems arising from the administrative and technical difficulties pertaining to peoples of different faiths.
Whether the proposed body is called an interfaith council or a goodwill committee, or any other name suitable name, the most important thing for us to realize is that there is an urgent and serious need for dialogue amongst all parties and religions to address the existing problems. All religions are peaceful and avoid conflicts. In that spirit, we hope that this inter-faith committee is permitted to perform its function to improve civilisational dialogue and resolve perceived disputes between adherents of different faiths.
Thus in the spirit of the holy Wesak day, I call on all Malaysians to be open minded and open hearted in accepting the need to have a mechanism for experts from various faiths to sit down and discuss matters that have been a thorny issue for many of us.
We pray for peace and dialogue in Malaysia just as in Thailand. Confrontation and violence is not a solution to our problems. Only by returning to the universal values of all religion of mutual respect and compassion, can we live in peace, harmony and a civilised society. Only when we are a civilised society can we fulfill our aspirations of becoming a civil society.
*Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary General & Penang Chief Minister