An interfaith council has renewed its call for dialogue to renew unity among Malaysians in its Deepavali wishes to the Hindu community.
The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism & Taoism (MCCBCHST) also hoped that this year’s Deepavali celebration would spur the rediscovery of fraternity among the divided societies.
“As co-religionists, we live in a world too often torn apart by selfishness, ethnic rivalry, violence and religious fundamentalism.
“Yet we are called in a spirit of co-operation to respect and to defend our shared humanity in a variety of socio-economic, political and religious contexts,” MCCBCHST said in a statement today.
It added that the world was witnessing a growing sense of common humanity and a global quest for a more just, peaceful and fraternal world, adding however the fulfilment of these hopes depended on recognition of universal values.
“Let us dialogue and meet each other in order to establish a culture of dialogue in this beloved nation of ours.
“We pray that the celebration of Deepavali will be an occasion to rediscover fraternity anew, especially in our divided societies,” the body said.
Formed more than 30 years ago, the MCCBCHST started off as an organisation that engaged the authorities to get land to build places of worship, crematoriums and burial grounds.
It now speaks up from time to time on issues, in a bid to reaffirm the fundamental religious rights of Malaysian citizens and to preserve religious harmony.
In recent years, Malaysia has seen a rise in Islamic conservatism, especially within the ruling government, putting pressure on non-Muslims in the Muslim-majority nation.