By Dr. Robert S. Kittel, Education Director,
Monday, June 20, 2011,Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Building on the United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week program organized by UEF, a special dinner reception was held at the prestigious Bankers’ Club in the Amoda Building in downtown Kuala Lumpur on June 20.
The event was a three-in-one program: 1) invitational speeches on the theme “Business Engine for Global Peace”, 2) the awarding of Ambassador of Peace certificates to several prominent Malaysians, and 3) the launching of the Regional Peace Conference.
The program opened with recitations from the Holy Qurâ€™an by Mr. Mahadi Mohd. The Master of Ceremonies for the program, Mr. Joachim Ng, kept the program moving and interjected humor to keep the spirit lively.
Tan Sri Devaki Krishnan, welcomed the guests. In her loving, light-hearted, and forthright manner, she told Senator Koh, “Please invite the Prime Minister of Malaysia to our next Regional Peace Conference.”
Senator Koh began by graciously acknowledging that this was his second UEF program. Last year he attended the Legacy of Peace ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, in which the lives and accomplishments of legendary Malaysians who had passed away were celebrated and commemorated.
Senator Koh then praised his fellow countrymen for helping Malaysia make it into the top 20 of the Global Peace Index this year. In 2008, the first year of this index, Malaysia was 38th and each year since then it moved up. This year Malaysia was ranked 19th out of 153 nations.
“Malaysia is a multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural, and multi-linguistic nation,” he said that defied doomsday predictions that the country would never be able to stay united. The key, Senator Koh emphasized, was that Malaysians learned to practice moderation and inclusiveness. They did it by everyone taking ownership of the national motto “1 Malaysia”.