Sarawak remains exemplary case of racial and cultural harmony
By Jude Toyat
Sarawak, with more than 30 ethnic groups living happily and closely together is a great example of racial harmony that no other state or country in the world has, said Tupong assemblyman Fazzrudin Abd Rahman.
One good example of a religious harmony in the state is the An-Naim Mosque and the Good Shepherd Church in Lutong, located side-by-side and have been sharing the same car park for years.
“During Friday prayers, the church will open up the gate to let the Muslims use their parking spaces to ease them in their solat or praying sessions at the mosque. Meanwhile, on Sundays, the mosque will open up the gate for Christians to park their cars in the area and go to the church.
“The people plays a very important role in contributing towards this unity. Sarawakians are commonly known as people who have highest respect towards one another. That is why we have such strong community,” said Fazzrudin who represented Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof at the World Hall of Fame Award 2016 luncheon held at Kelab Golf Sarawak on Sept 18.
Thus, he encouraged fellow Sarawakians, including martial artists to always set good examples of tolerance and understanding to maintain the strong bonding and ensure everyone in the state can live together in unity.
“The core discipline of martial art is of course to respect one another, and now we realised what martial arts have been contributing to the unity and development of our state. I would like to thank all of you here for contributing to the unity of Sarawak, and Malaysia,” he said.
With emerging technologies in today’s world, Fazzrudin said that it is important to have certification and recognition to preserve the quality of martial arts that are being taught to the students.
“This event marks a very special occasion for we are here to strengthen the unity not only within the state but the unity of martial art community throughout the region and world. The world is getting smaller, thus we should be getting stronger.
“This is also a great platform for us to build a strong unity,” he said.
In terms of unity in sports, Fazzrudin emphasised that it has brought glory to the state in many sport events for example the just concluded Sukan Malaysia (Sukma).
“The martial arts have contributed main medals for Sarawak, may it be in wushu, silat and taekwondo.
“The most interesting part is that wushu, a sport which is highly populated by the Chinese community have seen one of the gold medallists is a Malay. Similarly with silat, which is popular among the Malay community, one of the gold medallists is a Chinese. That is a classic example of unity being portrayed in the form of sports,” he added.
The World of Fame conference is jointly organised by the International Martial Arts Research Institute, Martial Arts Federation Malaysia, Nanyang Wushu Federation of Sarawak and the People’s Cultural Arts Institute.
It has been giving worldwide recognition to numerous martial artists from all over the world such as China, Taiwan, Canada, Singapore, United States of America, Korea, Germany, New Zealand, Russia, India, Bangladesh, Argentina, Iran, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and Malaysia since 2003.
“The main objective of this prestigious event is to give recognition and honours to dedicated martial artists who have shown outstanding contribution towards the development and promotion of martial arts.
“We also recognise and honour those who have gone before us, as their lives and remarkable achievements have inspired us to achieve excellence while upholding the highest integrity and honour for the fields of martial arts, qigong, traditional and complementary medicine.
“All these martial artists have dedicated all their lives to promoting and practicing their arts without any recognition and rewards. Therefore, we feel that they deserve to be acknowledged for their hard work and efforts all these years. We hope that this will be an incentive for them to continue with their good work and bring the standard of martial arts to a higher level,” said International Martial Arts Research Institute (Imari) president who is also the World Hall of Fame Conference chairman Prof Dato Dr Song Swee Hee.
During the event, martial artists from all over the world got the chance to showcase their amazing talents and skills before they were being awarded with various recognitions in front of the guests.
“We, as martial artists should be open to all changes and new things or ways so that we can improve ourselves. We must not only keep to ourselves and should share our knowledge with other people. In this way, we learn how to be tolerant of the difference of other people’s styles and find ways to improve our own shortcomings.
“Believe it or not, the way of the warrior or martial artist is to lead a peaceful, calm and happy life. Therefore, we hope to promote peace and harmony among all martial artists from all over the world through this event,” he added.
The award recipients for World Hall of Fame Award were Grandmaster Associate Prof Dr Martin Sewer (The Continued Excellence in Martial Arts Teaching Award 2016), Prof Dr Shamsudeen Eusoff Caadir (The Continued Excellence in Acupuncture Research Award 2016), Lee Kam Poh from USA (Master of the Year 2016), Shi Xingbo from China (Master of the Year 2016), Master Peter Gasser from Switzerland (Master of the Year 2016), Master Alexander Klug from Switzerland (Master of the Year 2016), and Reyes Chang Ty Roc from Kuching (Martial Arts Dedication Award 2016).
Also present were Sarawak United People’ Party (SUPP) Youth chief and political secretary to the chief minister Tan Kai who went to represent Minister of Local Government Senator Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, honorary advisor Prof Dr Shamsudeen Eusoff Caadir, Nanyang Wushu Federation of Sarawak vice president Wong Ming Kong, and The Swiss Kuoshu Federation founder and president Grandmaster Associate Prof Dr Martin Sewer.