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P.Z. Ismail: The Root of Peace Is the Family


When the Global Peace Festival was supported by eight ministries of the government and other agencies, it opened the eyes of many people. I feel that with the support of the government we can accomplish a lot in what we do next. We had 2,500 young people coming for community service at one time, and they are asking, what next? Where are we going to have our next project? When will it be? This means that we have created interest in peace-building in many levels of society.

In Malaysia, many projects have been carried out for families, youth, and children yet nobody tied them in with peace. Nobody thought of them as part of peace-building.

Well, when you go back to the root of peace, it has to be from the family. I am heading a government agency, the National Population and Family Development Board. Our main objective is to ensure stable families. Our agenda is family development and improving the quality of life, which means basically a healthy society. This institution that I am heading can do a great deal to strengthen the base of families and promote peace building initiatives.  

I am sure that with the support of the ministries of higher education and of primary and secondary education, UPF’s character education initiative can be carried out in the whole country. In fact, before the Global Peace Festival we had started looking at UPF’s character education initiative. We had the support of some university professors, we are adapting it to our multi-racial, multi-cultural, and multi-ethnic nation. We think it will make a great contribution.

I think there’s a great future for peace-building in Malaysia. The response of local people and conference participants to proposals for peace-building in Malaysia has been good. We can really be an exporter of peace-building initiatives.