National Peace & Harmony Banquet and the Launching of CPHM


National Peace & Harmony Banquet and the Launching of CPHM

CPHM Chairman’s Speech

(Rev. Wong Kim Kong J.M.N.)

National-Peace-Harmony-Banquet-and-the-Launching-of-CPHM-02Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, The Most Reverend Archbishops, Rt. Revd. Bishop, Reverends, His excellency Ambassadors of nations, Yang Berhormat Cabinet Ministers, Tan Sri, Puan Sri, Datuk, Datin and all honour guests.

We are indeed very honored that YAB Dato’ Sri Perdana Menteri Malaysia is able to grace this special occasion of the National Peace and Harmony Banquet and the official launching of CPHM. Thank you so much YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak for taking your precious time to come and celebrate with us this important milestone of CPHM in seeking to build a better tomorrow for our future generations.

Ladies and gentlemen, we recognize that the tasks of building a peaceful and harmonious society cannot be achieved by a single organization or individual. We need the visibility of oneness, vitality of constructive partnership, and viability of productive actions. We covet your partnership and collaboration to fulfill this vision.

We believe your presence here tonight is a clear indication of your commitment and desire to build a peaceful and harmonious society.

CPHM is a grassroots Movement initiated by a group of concerned Christian leaders endeavoring to promote an atmosphere of mutual respect, tolerance and acceptance between citizens of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds through fostering peace and harmony in the country.

We note that there is an increased stress on the social fabric of our multi-racial and multi-religious society due to more frequent negative and sometimes offensive comments. As such, CPHM seeks to re-direct a focus towards Peace and Harmony as positive messages to enhance nation building as well as to encourage the moderate voices in every community who are actually the silent majority to rise and speak the message of Peace and Harmony. We believe this is in line with YAB’s desire to promote moderation and love for the nation.

The rich diversity of multi-ethnic groups and religions in Malaysia places a demand on us as citizens of the nation to find amicable ways of living together peacefully and harmoniously. However, the manner or approach by which we assert our personal views or claim of rights may unconsciously or inadvertently convey antagonism or confrontation rather than cordial expression of views or concern. Therefore, many times it triggers suspicions, misunderstandings and breakdown of communication; and if not checked, it will cause distrust and animosity.

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Malaysia belongs to all of us, even though we are very diverse in ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs; we have the responsibility to build a nation that reflects unity in diversity. Promoting peace and harmony in nation building requires fostering acceptance, and understanding of the differences.

We need to create an environment where citizenship will be upheld which can help people to contribute meaningfully to nation building and our national transformation agenda. We must cease from self-imposing and self-righteousness, allowing our concern and love for the nation be expressed in love and forgiveness, giving each other space for repentance and restitution.

We must cease from self-imposing and self-righteousness, allowing our concern for the nation be expressed in love and forgiveness, giving each other space for repentance and restitution.

Also to create the space for engagement and social integration. This space breeds a feeling of inclusion and a sense of belonging to the nation where differences are acknowledged and respected.

Promoting peace and harmony does not limit the role of advocacy and the articulation of views and opinions. However, the expression must be tested by our motives, whether in speech or in action, the purity of heart is crucial. Out of our hearts, we speak forth. My own philosophy of life is “It is not what you speak, but how you speak; it is not what you do, but how you do it.”

John Gottman, is a world renowned Psychologist who can predict whether a relationship will last or a problem or a conflict will occur based on whether the people engage in positive sentiment override, or negative sentiment override. He defines positive sentiment override as “where positive emotion overrides irritability.” If a person does something wrong or makes a terrible mistake, in positive sentiment override, he or she overlooks the irritability or anger. His or her overall positive feelings about the person override the isolated negative action.

A classic example is the recent incidence in Taman Medan. The pastor of the church who is here tonight with us said to the press: “I forgive the protesters, they do not know what they are doing.” Some may think he is weak or foolish or even cowardly. Yet, this is the teaching of our Savior.

In January 2014, the Christian graves in Tanjung Api Kuantan were desecrated. The group called Malaysians for Malaysia, led by its convener Encik Azrul Mohd Khalib raised money to repair the desecrated graves.

In Desaru, the Buddhist group from Singapore unknowingly used the resort surau for their function. They immediately apologized.

This is the right spirit!

Unfortunately, today some of my Malaysian friends intentionally allow the Negative sentiment override dominate their minds. Gottman explains, “In the negative sentiment override state, people draw lasting and presumptuous conclusions about each other.”

Friends, promoting peace and harmony requires positive sentiment override, therefore let us consider whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such thing.

In the midst of diversity, we are fortunate as Malaysians. We share one common factor that unites us together. It is our citizenry commitment and loyalty to our King and the nation. As Christians, we uphold the Biblical command: “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Government and nation are ordained by God to do us good.

I have travelled to almost 40 countries in most continents of the world except South America. I have been to the most remote countries such as Afghanistan, at the refugees’ camp, Burkina Faso, sleeping on the floor with a thin mattress, as well the most affluent nations of the Western world. I am proud to call Malaysia the BOUNDLESS VISTA. A nation that has the necessary environment and resources, rich in historical heritage and an excellent living condition, especially the food we enjoyed.

How would you describe Malaysia today? But today I would cautiously describe it as BOUNDLESS VISTA AT ITS PERILOUS PEAK. Why? We unconsciously or some deliberately make it that way.

But what a cruel thing is conflict; to separate and to divide us, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has given us in our beloved nation; to fill our hearts with anger and hatred, instead of love and care for one another, to devastate the fair face of this beautiful land.

The Proverbs says, “An evil man sows strife; gossip separates the best of friends.” “A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”

Yes, it is easy for us to point our fingers at others, blaming them for the state of affair we are in. Tonight, I want to say to you my beloved comrades of Malaysia, the future of the nation is not in the hands of others, it is in our hands.

Tonight, my heart goes to God and I pray that on this day only peace and harmony are shared, better thoughts may fill our hearts and turn us to peace.

Let us be mindful of a great heart, magnanimous attitude and with the right spirit of peace and harmony, pleading for a better Malaysia. I am sure, tonight, our hearts will be set right with our Almighty.

CPHM urges everyone present here tonight and those who are not here, let us together redeem the rich heritage of our nation – peaceful and harmonious co-existence of all races.

The dream of peace is elusive and only persistent peacemakers will bring it to pass. CPHM pledges to move onward in this mission! God bless Malaysia!

On June 12th, 2015, posted in: Latest Events by

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