Understanding other religions vital to harmony

Bro. Tan fielding questions from the floor during the Q&A session.  Together on the panel were (from left) Mr. Shah Kirit (Speaker for Islam); Mr. Kandasamy Velayuthan (Speaker for Hinduism); and Mr. Ramdas Nayar (Moderator).

Bro. Tan fielding questions from the floor during the Q&A session. Together on the panel were (from left) Mr. Shah Kirit (Speaker for Islam); Mr. Kandasamy Velayuthan (Speaker for Hinduism); and Mr. Ramdas Nayar (Moderator).

On Saturday 10 October, the Selangor Branch of the Malaysian Consultative Council for Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) organised an interfaith colloquium on ‘Understanding World Religions’ at Wisma Buddhist, Kuala Lumpur.  Participants from various religious backgrounds had the opportunity to learn the similarities in the teachings of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism and Taoism.  The programme also allowed Malaysians to engage in inter-religious dialogue and sow the seeds of goodwill, peace and harmony.

Nalanda Founder Bro. Tan spoke on behalf of the Buddhist community as the first speaker of the colloquium. He was followed by Mr. Shah Kirit who spoke for Islam, and the Deputy President of Malaysia Hindu Sangam Mr. Kandasamy Velayuthan who spoke for Hinduism.  The other speakers were Dao Zhang Tan Hoe Chieow, President of the Federation of Taoist Associations Malaysia; Mr. Sardar Harcharan Singh, former President of Malaysia Gurdwara Council and Kalsa Diwan Malaysia; and Rev. Dr. Clarence Devadass, Director of Archdiocesan Pastoral Institute, Kuala Lumpur.

Front row from left: His Excellency the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur Julian Leow, Bro. Tan, and Mr. Shah Kirit, Founder of Global Unity Network.

Front row from left: His Excellency the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur Julian Leow, Bro. Tan, and Mr. Shah Kirit, Founder of Global Unity Network.

Special guests at the event were the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, His Excellency Julian Leow; and Tuan Khalid Jaafar, Head of Strategy & Research Development in the Chief Minister of Selangor’s Office, who delivered the keynote address.  The Guest of Honour, Yang Amat Berhormat Tuan Azmin Ali, Menteri Besar of Selangor, was unable to attend and was represented by Yang Berhormat Amirudin Shari, State Exco Member for Youth Development, Sports, Culture and Entrepreneurship Development.

Guests witnessing the launch of MCCBCHST building fund-raising campaign.

Guests witnessing the launch of MCCBCHST building fund-raising campaign.

Among Buddhist leaders present at the dialogue were Ven. Ming Ji of Malaysian Buddhist Association; Bro. Chim Siew Choon and Ananda Fong, President and Secretary of Theravada Buddhist Council of Malaysia respectively; and Sis. Loh Pai Ling, President of the Buddhist Missionary Society.

Representatives of various religions acknowledged on stage.

Representatives of various religions acknowledged on stage.

Muslim students, having a photograph with Bro Tan,  were eager to learn more about Buddhism and other religions after the dialogue.

Muslim students, having a photograph with Bro Tan, were eager to learn more about Buddhism and other religions after the dialogue.