|Standing at attention, a mark of respect for our National Anthem|
Tawau : In conjunction with the State level Wesak Day Celebration, a 'Joint Inter-Faith Prayer Session for Harmony and Peaceful Co-existence for All Malaysians' was held on Thursday, 31st May 2012 at Taman Sri Indah, Mile 10, Jalan Apas. Some 3,000 members from the major religious groups representing Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism from across Sabah and the territory of Labuan attended the auspicious event.
|Lighting the light ceremony|
Through such effort, religious groups will further enhance mutual understanding and promote awareness on the commonalities of the respective religious teachings. This will bring together people of all religious identities to form a bridge towards achieving the greater societal goals of religious harmony, social stability and multi-racial unity in the process of nation building in Malaysia.
|Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai. Deputy Chief Minister|
The event was graced by YB Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai, the Deputy Chief Minister representing YAB Datuk Musa Aman, the Chief Minister of Sabah. In this respect , he said the harmony and peace enjoyed by the multi-racial people in Sabah sent out a message that Sabahans love peace. He urged the people to appreciate and continue to preserve the existing unity to make the development agenda more effective and comprehensive for the continuous progress of the State.
Leaders from the respective religious bodies were invited to deliver a sharing, themed 'Peace and Harmony.' The following is part of the sharing given by Rt Rev Julius Dusin Gitom, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sandakan;
|Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom|
‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’ This Bible text about peace taken from the Gospel of John 14 : 27 is the fundamental inheritance given by Jesus meant to urge his followers to be the bearers of peace. It is this ‘peace’ that holds all mankind together, faithful and all others alike.
Religions by far, preach peace, love and harmony through selfless service to all mankind. We pursue the same goals, that of cultivating human goodness and bringing happiness to all human beings. Though the means might appear different the ends are the same. It promotes the spiritual well-being of persons so that each will experience inner peace. Such inner peace will ripple outward from each individual, to family, friends, community and ultimately to the world. May we become people who will continue to sow seeds of love and that there may be peace on earth.
We are pleased that in Malaysia especially Sabah there are people who are thinking and exploring ways and means to develop a society of diverse faiths and cultures to continue living in peace and harmony. We uphold the Federal Constitution and embrace the five principles of Rukun Negara. We seek for the well being and care and love of everyone for the benefits of all Malaysians.
As believers of God, let each and every one of us express our hope of peace and through the spirit of tolerance, be bearers of that peace so that we will continue to live in harmony. May we use every opportunity granted us to share the Lord’s love and blessings in promoting peace within the family, the community and the society at large. Let us continue to live in peace and harmony.
|'If we hold on together' by L-R : Edward Koh, Felsa, Julita, Jorcelyn and Christian of HTC Tawau|
|A song by the Sikh community|
|Dancers from the Bugis community getting ready to perform|
|A presentation from the Buddhist group|
|The choir from the Basel Church|
The event of the night was lined with a host of lively presentations by members of the various religious bodies. Edward Koh, Felsa May, Julita, Jocelyn and Christian from Holy Trinity Church rendered 'If we hold on together.' The finale of the stage presentations was a multi-racial group singing, 'Harmoni'. The event concluded with a lion and dragon dance.
The event also brought leaders of the various religious bodies together, mingling freely, establish harmonious relationship and strengthening ties. Such inter-faith get together promotes understanding and increases acceptance of others with a desire to build a better world.
Adherents of the various religious bodies interact freely, promoting respect for one another cultivating and enhancing interfaith cooperation.