07/05/2024 03:40 PM

PETALING JAYA, May 7 (Bernama) -- The International Conference of Religious Leaders, which gathered religious and intellectual figures from around the world, will be a permanent feature in Malaysia, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

In his speech when officiating the inaugural conference here today, Anwar said it is pertinent for Malaysia to promote the understanding of Islam, Rahmatan Lil Alamin (mercy to all creations) and the message of peace.

“In a conference like this, we can observe the things that need to be done and need to be improved among the Muslims, the Christians, Buddhists or Hindus.

“We want to listen to your advice, criticisms and suggestions, how while we are trying our level best to enhance our understanding of Islam and practice what is being ordained in the Quran and the Sunnah, we also want to convey a message of affection, compassion, justice for all our citizens, Muslims and non-Muslims,” he said.

The prime minister also emphasised the role of religious leaders, urging them to take a more active, effective and courageous stance in promoting justice. 

Anwar said it is the duty of religious leaders to ensure that governance is guided by strong moral and ethical values.

“There are many in our midst while living in abject poverty, deprived of the new technology, of digital transformation and the artificial intelligence.

“These are important in our lives, and the same goes for good quality education and public health facilities,” he said adding that many countries have fallen due to corruption and abuse of power.

The Prime Minister also expressed hope that the conference will illuminate the issues at hand, as the general public is already sick and tired of the bickering among political leaders, devoid of moral precepts and conscience and the meaning of justice. 

In Malaysia's context, he said although the majority of the population remains steadfast Muslims and wants to adhere to Islamic principles, the country also seeks justice for every citizen.

“Muslims comprise 60 per cent of Malaysia’s population, and Islam is the religion of the Federation. We have to undertake the responsibility to ensure that Islam is practised as enshrined in the Constitution.

“At the same time, the government is committed to ensuring that we respect the rights of every single citizen, Muslim or Buddhist or Christian or Hindu. They have rights in this country,” said Anwar.

Present at the event were the two Malaysia's Deputy Prime Ministers Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Deputy Prime Minister of Timor-Leste Mariano Assanami Sabino Lopes and Muslim World League's (MWL) Secretary-General and Chairman of the Organisation of Muslim Scholars, Sheikh Dr Mohammed Abdulkarim Al-Issa. 

Also in attendance were Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Mohd Na'im Mokhtar and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali.

The one-day event will be followed by the Conference of Asian Religious Scholars 2024 at the Mandarin Oriental in the capital tomorrow.

Both events are organised by the Office of the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) and the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) in collaboration with the Muslim World League (MWL).




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