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Kurup: What we need most

Published on: Sunday, February 09, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said mutual respect, tolerance and understanding of each other's religion is the key towards religious harmony and peace in the nation.

Without these, chaos, misunderstanding and conflict would cause disunity and affect development.

"All religions and faiths teach their followers to only do good and stay away from committing destruction, especially in fostering good ties with families and instilling love for others.

"Also religious harmony and having mutual respect and understanding of each other's religious beliefs and practices.

These are the noble values that I gathered from the Federal-level 'Travelogue Harmony and Walk Event' when visiting five houses of worship and interacting with the respective religious leaders who took part in the event," he said.

Kurup said this at the inaugural "Travelogue Harmony and Walk Event" in conjunction with "World Interfaith Harmony Week" at Nurul Hikmah Mosque at Bukit Padang, Luyang, on Saturday.

Hundreds took part with cries of "We Love Harmony". They visited the Sikh temple, Gudrwara Sahid in Sembulan, Tai Wei Sheeng Koung in Penampang, Church of Mary Immaculate, Sri Pasupathinath Alayam Hindu Temple Kota Kinabalu and finally Nurul Hikmah Mosque in Bukit Padang.

Kurup was joined by State Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad and religious leaders like Imams, Buddhist monks, priests and national service trainees, among others.

Also present were National Integration and Unity Department (JPNIN) Director-General Dato' Azman Amin bin Hassan and JPNIN Sabah Director Delin Liet Anak Blaun.

"This event is an ice-breaker among people of different faiths as it is aimed at making the participants understand and get to the know the basic knowledge on the role of mosques, churches, and temples.

"Through this event, we would able to see, respect and accept with understanding each others' religious practices and be tolerant with more flexibility and moderation," said Kurup, who is also Chairman of the Committee on the Promotion of Understanding and Harmony among religious organisations.

He said the Government is not solely responsible to ensure that unity and harmony prevails in the nation as it needs the cooperation and commitment of all, especially youths.

He said people from walks of life are responsible to make efforts instilling and enhancing the unity spirit, harmony, mutual respect and work together irrespective of race, faiths and cultures.

"My hopeÉis not to ever portray that religion brings problems and disorder.

Instead, we should perceive religion as a solution to all problems that we are currently facing," Kurup said.

Meanwhile, Jainab said the State Government should declare Jalan Khidmat as "Avenue Harmony" to mark the "Travelogue Harmony" event that involved hundreds of people from different faiths.

"A religious leader from the Hindu Temple along Jalan Khidmat popped the suggestion to me while we were walking and I support as it could be a reminder to our younger generations.

"In fact, I see that the proposal is suitable and could be a tourist attraction for Sabah.

I hope City Hall and tourism authorities would consider looking into it," she said.