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MAY 12 — Wesak Day is celebrated by all Buddhists nationwide to commemorate the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha. On this auspicious day, other than spreading the great values of Buddhism, Buddhists also nurture the values of kindness and compassion. They also pray for the harmony and stability of the nation.
Malaysia is a multi-religious country. Since Independence 56 years ago, MCA has been holding firmly to the principle of ensuring that our country remains a multicultural society and a secular state. We will reject any form of religious extremism including any attempt to amend the Federal Constitution.
The issue of PAS hudud implementation makes us reflect deeply that whatever our country has achieved today was not reached easily; More importantly, we should always be reminded that “a single spark can start a prairie fire.” To stop religious extremism, we should start from the root. We should act when the issue first surfaces. The PAS hudud issue has proven that people had taken it lightly because of some beautification works done by a certain political party for another political party.
The nation is currently moving towards the goal of becoming a high income nation. Hence we must maintain the existing foundation. We should have more interfaith dialogues, the Government’s National Unity Consultative Council meetings should invite more religious bodies so that all can have a fair and sincere platform to resolve all differences. Other than that, we also encourage the religious bodies in the country to be proactive in engaging each other for the better understanding between each other.
Living in a multiracial and multireligious country like Malaysia, every Buddhist should learn to understand more about other religions. We should not limit ourselves to a single religious sector as we are living together in this land. Every action is correlative and has a mutual effect especially when it comes to enforcing the law. We firmly believe that interaction promotes understanding and this will help to ensure a harmonious and stable society.
Following the mysterious disappearance of Flight MH370, Buddhists showed their concern and took part in a Mass Prayers session organised by MCA in praying for the safety of the passengers and the flight crew. We thank every Buddhist organisation which helped to make the session a great success. The blessing of the Buddha has warmed our hearts.
The theme for Wesak Day this year is ‘New Dawn of Buddhism, Riding the Tide of Mindfulness’, marking the spread of Buddhism into a new territory. In this internet era, youths receive information from the internet rapidly. It is inevitable for youths to be exposed to negative information in the cyber world. I feel that there is a need to strengthen internet education including the cultivation of more positive values such as religious and family values onto the internet, which will help to purify the soul of people.
If Buddhism can be spread via the internet, I am confident that more will embrace Buddhism. As we lighten up the light in our heart, we will also brighten up our life.
Finally, I would like to wish every Buddhist a Blessed Wesak Day.
Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malay Mail Online.