Universal Values Of Goodness, Compassion, Reciprocity And Equality Inherent In Buddhism And All Religions Should Also Be A Necessary Condition For Good Governance.

Wesak Day Message
Lim Guan Eng

(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): DAP wishes all Buddhists A Happy Wesak Day to mark the occasion of Lord Buddha’s birthday enlightenment and achievement of nirvana. We all hope to emulate the values in Lord Buddha’s teachings that allow humanity to live in peace spiritually as well as physically and in prosperity

Buddhism stresses on goodness and compassion; that suffering can only end if we detach ourselves from attachment of worldly things and deep emotions; focusing only on doing good. Compassion towards mankind and for all living things is a uniquely Buddhist characteristic which perhaps moved the foremost scientist Albert Einstein to say,

"Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: it transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural & spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity"

Such compassion has given birth to a reciprocity that we should treat others as we want others to treat us and the concept that all human beings are equal. These same values are reflected in the principle of rule of law that justice must be applied equally and the respect for basic human rights in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Sadly religious extremism even in Malaysia has limited reciprocity and equality as applicable only to believers of the same religion but not extended to other religions. This can be seen by the unilateral declaration that Malaysia is an Islamic state without consultation with other religions. Or the proposed ruling by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Abdullah Md Zin on 17 May 2005 that no entertainment programmes or performances can be shown during prayer time under new guidelines to be issued by the Islamic Development Department.

Malaysia should delight in our diversity of cultures and religions. We should not try to highlight the differences that divide us. But search for the common good values that unite us. For this reason, the universal values of goodness, compassion, reciprocity and equality inherent in Buddhism and all religions should also be a necessary condition for good governance.


*  Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General