World Interfaith Harmony Week: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng

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United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week was adopted on a proposal of King Abdullah of Jordan and takes place for the third year. Chief Minister of Penang gave an address on the occasion.

The Chief Minister of Penang State in Malaysia, Lim Guan Eng, declared support to the effort of inter-faith harmony week, giving a speech on the occasion.

Penang’s “CM” said that when there is respect for differences between faiths and thus harmony, people can prosper, as is the case for the past 226 years in Penang.

Penang is one of the most prosperous regions of Malaysia and is a World Heritage City due to its history and preservation, and is a popular tourist destination.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said that the awarding of the World Heritage City status to Penang by the United Nations was due in part to the harmony between the various faiths all of which have large numbers of followers in Penang: Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christians, Taoists and others.

He said Penang provides an example of how ordinary people can live together in respect of each others differences.

Chairman of the Penang Chapter of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST), Bishop Anthony Selvanayagam, said that the State Government has recognized and now supports the work of the body with a yearly donation of 50,000 Malaysian dollars.

The UN World Interfaith Harmony Week takes place in the first week of February each year and thus began today February 4. It was adopted by the UN General Assembly after a speech by King Abdullah of Jordan calling for such an initiative, in 2010.

The World Interfaith Harmony Week is not a call to water down one’s faith, but rather it’s a call to respect our differences and personal beliefs and to unite around the basic principles that people of all beliefs agree upon and to understand that harmony can only come if we build upon a solid foundation of dialogue that has “Love of God and love of the neighbour or, love of Good and love of the neighbour” as its core principle for engagement, the official web site says.