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Think Tank 2022


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Malaysia Aspires to Be the World Capital of Peace

Malaysia-2008-10-19-Malaysia Aspires to Be the World Capital of Peace


“Space has definitely changed my view on life,” Malaysian astronaut Datuk Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor told the packed and attentive audience at Kuala Lumpur’s Bukit Jalil stadium at the Global Peace Festival Malaysia on October 19. “When I was in space, I felt very sad,” he said. “I saw how small, how perfect our planet really is, and then I reflected on all the conflict and suffering we cause each other. I started to be more concerned about the suffering of women and children, and I decided I had to do something about it.”

Sheikh Muszaphar and a host of the nation’s most influential citizens were gathered to celebrate the latest in the Global Peace Festival series and to promote the GPF vision with the slogan “Let’s make Malaysia the world capital of peace.” The Festival was jointly sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation, the Ministry of Unity, Arts, Culture and Heritage, and the United Nations Association of Malaysia (UNAM).

“We’re proud of the fact that our multicultural, multiracial, and multiethnic society – Malay, Chinese, and Indian – has managed to live together in peace for 50 years since independence,” says Tan Sri Datin Paduka Zaleha Ismail, chairperson of GPF Malaysia. An energetic Muslim woman with enthusiasm all over her face, Tan Sri Ismail says the Festival’s simple message of “One Family Under God” can help spread the Malaysian success story to other nations in the region, where racial and religious tensions all often erupt into violence and bloodshed. “We need a new generation of leaders to bring peace,” she said.

Meanwhile, thousands of students were engaged in a far-reaching campaign of community service aimed at conquering poverty and despair in the region. “Every young person can make a difference,” says Dr. Teh Su Thye, who serves as the Executive Director of GPF Malaysia. “When high school and college students can give just 10 sen a day we can say ‘Bye to Poverty’ once and for all." (10 sen is a Malaysian coin equivalent to about 3 cents in US currency.)

Several of Malaysia’s top recording artists, including 'Malaysian Idols' Danell Lee (2005) and Jaclyn Victor (2004), along with Ella, the 'Queen of Rock,' offered free performances at the Festival and helped record public service announcements in the weeks leading up to the celebration. The Royal Malaysian Air Force Band and the Cultural Dance Troupe of the Malaysian National Department of Culture and Arts, together with a host of rising young stars, kept the crowd of 15,000 on their toes.

“One Family Under God should be the clarion call of this age,” said GPF Chairman, Dr. Hyun Jin Moon. “It is not the dream of just one family, religion or nation. It is the dream of all humanity, and more than that, it is the dream of God. If Malaysia can take ownership of this dream it can bring hope to all of Asia.”

For a report about Malaysian students using the funds raised through the "Power of 10 Sen" campaign, click here.