THE Penang government launched its first inter-faith Harmony Centre in George Town last week.
The timely initiative is laudable as it provides space for Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Taoists to conduct retreats, seminars, lectures and classes to enhance and strengthen inter-racial harmony in the state.
As a life member of the Pure Life Society, I wish to state that the PLS was the first in the country to set up the Inter-Faith Spiritual Fellowship (INSaF) to promote racial harmony in the late 1940s.
The brainchild of its founder, the late Swami Satyananda, INSaF is now under the guidance of his successor, Datuk Dr Mother Mangalam, who is the bedrock of PLS.
INSaF’s aim is to ensure national wellbeing through religious harmony built on the foundation of appreciation and understanding. It provides a platform and means for people of different faiths to come together to promote common principles of all religions, thereby fostering unity in diversity.
Since its inception, it has implemented various programmes through discussion, debates, lectures, seminars, forums and workshops to foster and celebrate the diversity as well as the commonality of each religion.
Racial harmony is the building block for national unity and I am proud that INSaF has contributed in some measure towards that goal.
The credit for the success of INSaF goes to Dr Amir Farid Datuk Isahak, who has been its chairman for more than a decade.
Petaling Jaya, Selangor