Malaysia-Press Release | In Mourning Our Loss, Let Us Work to Preserve Life and Promote Peace, Unity and Harmony

Press Release | In Mourning Our Loss, Let Us Work to Preserve Life and Promote Peace, Unity and Harmony


Press Release
In Mourning Our Loss, Let Us Work to Preserve Life and Promote Peace, Unity and Harmony
The Malaysian Government has declared tomorrow, 22 August 2014, as a national day of mourning, to coincide with the return home of the remains of the first group of Malaysians who perished on board flight MH17.

The Malaysian Bar joins all to mark this sad and solemn occasion.  The tragedy continues to tear at the heart of all Malaysians, indeed all peace-loving people, throughout Malaysia and the world.

The Malaysian Bar once again expresses and conveys its deepest sympathies and condolences to all — Malaysians and non-Malaysians alike — who have lost their dear ones, friends and colleagues on flight MH17.  We share deeply in your immeasurable grief and loss, and hope that our collective empathy and solidarity provide some small measure of comfort and strength.

The tragedy of MH17 is a reminder that we live in a global village, where conflicts occurring thousands of miles away, in another part of the world, can have an impact and effect on our lives.  We no longer live in isolated, geographically-confined communities.  As the English poet John Donne wrote, "No man is an Island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main."

Likewise, our normal routines are daily assaulted by the news of deaths, injuries and conflicts in diverse parts of the world.  The killing of men, women, children and even infants, taking place in the Palestinian conflict, in Iraq, in Syria, in West Africa and in Ukraine, enter our lives and our living rooms through the mainstream news and social media.  We are numbed by these atrocities and the senseless loss of lives.

Yet we cannot remain unmoved by the pain and suffering of all who are affected by the conflicts.  They jolt us out of our comfort zones and compel us to action.  Regardless of race or  religion, irrespective of ideology, the Malaysian Bar calls on each and every Malaysian, each and every peace-loving person, to do his or her utmost to promote peace, to reject conflict, and to value life.  Whether it be racial tension, religious strife, political disagreement, communal conflicts, or outright violence or war, we can all contribute to rebuilding peace.  In thought, word or deed, we can reflect, contemplate, pray, write, speak or act to build peace wherever we are.

As the Malay proverb says: "Sedikit-sedikit, lama-lama menjadi bukit".  Let us all commit ourselves to taking incremental steps, no matter how small, to recover peace and harmony in our society, nation and world.  Let 22 August 2014 not just be a day of commemoration for those who have been so tragically and abruptly taken from us, but a moment of mission, where we dedicate ourselves determinedly and collectively to the cause of peace.  Let us do all that we can to build bridges and to reach out to others in the promotion of peace, unity and harmony, that we may all recognise and appreciate that diversity and commonality are two sides of the same coin.  Let us channel our efforts and our funds to peace-making initiatives throughout the world.  Let us not be afraid to take bold and innovative steps to seek the common good.

While we mourn and remember those who have died, let us also honour their memory by working to preserve life and promoting peace, unity and harmony.
Christopher Leong
Malaysian Bar

21 August 2014

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