KUCHING, Dec 31: Focus on making a difference in 2019 and respect one another regardless of ethnicity, religion, geographical region, status or political leaning.
That’s the solemn call by Ambrose Linang, secretary-general of the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) in his New Year message today.
“Recognise our similarities and accept of our differences,” he advised and urged everyone to promote activities that nurture civic consciousness, civic nationalism, patriotism, national cohesiveness, harmony and unity at all levels of the society.
“Refrain from actions that offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate others. Resolve contentions and differences through constructive engagement, always seeking equitable and mutually beneficial outcomes.
“Reject any form of discrimination, bigotry, extremism, unjustified acts causing harm to any individual or group, including any action that can disrupt harmony and cohesion,” he said.
Ambrose hoped the new year would give everybody another chance to set things right, open a new chapter in their lives and opportunities to reinvent themselves.
“No one can go back in time to change what has happened, so work on in this New Year to make for ourselves, our families, our communities a wonderful and a blessed future,” he elaborated.
In calling for the burying of all unpleasant memories of the past to make way for better ones to come in 2019, he said: “Be grateful that we can see a new year in our life again.
“Let go of the past and start off new. Forgive all those who had hurt you and be open to new relationships with open arms. That is why it is called the New Year. Let us be there for one another as fellow members of the community in the finest sense of the word.”
On ACS activities, he said the annual Christmas Parade, National Day Prayer Service and many other events carried out throughout the state were all crowd-pullers.
“The annual `Harmony Walk’ with the theme `Unity is our calling’ were well participated by inter-faith representatives from Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhist, Taoist, Bahais and others. It was a runaway success bringing all faiths to walk hand-in-hand together,” he said.
Ambrose said ACS was thankful to the Sarawak government for setting up the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) in the middle of 20127.
“Many chapels, churches, temples and other houses of worship had been upgraded, repaired and constructed by grants from Unifor,” he observed.
Hence, on behalf of ACS, he thanked Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, Minister-in-Charge of Unifor Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and also Unifor director Datu Dr Ngenang Jangu and his staff for a job well done.
“Let us at all times break down walls and build bridges. Let there be joy in our homes and warmth in our hearts. Let us all take concrete steps to promote structured inter-religious dialogue between all faiths to promote the common principles of peace and harmony.
“May your right hand always be stretched out in friendship. This year (2019), let us make Sarawak a better place for all of us,” he urged. — DayakDaily