2014 Chinese New Year Speech from YBAM President Brother Goh Qing Song
It is time to bid goodbye to the auspicious snake and greet the steed. To many people, 2013 was a year charged with high emotions on many fronts – there was the General Election which was probably the most intense since independence, certain Government policies that got to the nerves of many, and the upward trend of prices for many goods and services. However, the most compelling issue in 2013 was religious in nature which resulted in disharmony between different religions and different races in the country.
The purpose of religion is to provide acalming effect on human emotions, and to open our hearts to the beauty of humanity.History has shown that religions have deeplyenriched human culture, enhanced social harmony, and led to progress and development for many nations. Unfortunately, religions have also been abused by politicians to suit their own personal agenda, resulting in disharmony and conflict. It is pertinent therefore that the Government should step in immediately whenever such religious conflictwere to arise again in the future. It is also important for true practitioners of religion not to further stoke the fires of religious extremism created deliberately by such ill-meaning politicians. Instead they should remind themselves of the true message of kindness and peace propounded by their religions and to propagate this positive message whenever religion is being abused by the extremists. Instead of confrontation, they should support conciliation and dialogue.
For Malaysians of different religious persuasions, the solution to peace and harmony is greater understanding and mutual respect through communication among one another. This is even more necessary among politicians of both political divide. They have to consider themselves as statesmen whose main objective is the welfare and well-being of the people who have supported and voted them into office.
Faith is the cornerstone of all religions for with faith, it helps one to be calm in difficult situations. As such, if our politicians truly have faith in the teachings of their religions, they would display greater positive emotions such as self-control, tolerance, understanding and mutual respect. This is my hope and prayer for all our politicians in Malaysia. And let me wish all Malaysians a prosperous Horse year with full Horse-power to achieve our personal goals and national harmony in 2014.