Singapore Calls For More Interfaith Dialogue. But Why Is It Taboo In Malaysia?
Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng said interfaith dialogue was an important way of promoting peace and stability between different religious communities.
"Maintaining harmonious relations requires constant communication and contact," he said at a forum on "The World Religions and the Search for Peaceful Co-existence" at the National University of Singapore Tuesday.
***** Having read the above, I contrasted it with the considered opinion of our leaders in KL and their modus operandi of objecting to interfaith dialogue locally while espousing it abroad. Either the Singaporeans have got it all wrong about the importance and value of such dialogue or as is more likely, our Umno leadership is still playing politics and like good old Nero will continue to fiddle, while race and religion based matters continue to be burning issues.
Sweeping important issues under the carpet is a sign of an immature and irresponsible leadership and to pretend that issues don't exist is worse. Our pemimpin2 should learn from the Singapore administration and meet problems head-on in order to avert danger at a later period. Our current "que sera sera, whatever will be will be," strategy will unravel quite dramatically one day and there won't be any winners then because of our government's opportunism and folly now.
**** Continue reading about the Singapore reasoning: Studies and media reports, DPM Wong said, pointed to an increasing trend of religiosity among Singaporeans.
"While spirituality is important, as Singaporeans become more religious, they must continue to engage in frank and open interfaith interaction. They should not perceive interaction with other religions as a compromise of their beliefs," he said.
Wong, who is also the Home Affairs Minister, said, however, that race and religious relations in Singapore were generally stable and comfortable.
"There is a good level of inter-faith tolerance and respect," he said, citing a recent study which showed that the vast majority of respondents were satisfied with the state of inter-racial and inter-religious relations, and were also optimistic about future relations.
"Notwithstanding the positive situation, we must never take for granted this trust and tolerance that have been built. For instance, religious tensions abroad can very easily strain the good interfaith relations in Singapore," he added.
Religion and beliefs are sensitive issues and must be handled sensitively by all, he said.
"We have had occasions when the activities of one religious group were considered insensitive or disrespectful by another religious group. Now and then, we get complaints of quarrels among neighbours over religious practices, and of denigration and insult of other religions, including over the Internet.
"These minor sensitivities and problems can be amplified when there is a lack of communication, understanding and tolerance among the different faiths," he said. (Bernama)
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Labels: Malaysian Politics.