UCSI and its partners recently hosted a virtual celebration of World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) on 25 February 2022. This is an annual and global celebration initiated by the United Nations in 2010. This year, the event was also organised to recognise the effort from faith-based non-governmental organisations in giving humanitarian aid to the recent flood that happened in several states of Malaysia. We provided a platform and opportunity for NGOs from Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist communities to share what and how the aid that they offer can promote peace and harmony regardless of their religion and background.
According to Dr Najahudin Lateh, Chairman of Anggerik Care, representing the Malaysian Muslim community, it took a flood to wash away race and religious barriers separating Malaysians. Malaysian Muslims were seen helping to clean a Hindu temple, and a Malaysian Chinese volunteer used his own boat to evacuate residents of a Malay kampung in Puchong, Selangor.
Almost 150 participants participated in this virtual celebration. In conjunction with the World Interfaith Harmony Week, UCSI University and UCSI College also officially launched Sekretariat Rukun Negara in creating an effective platform to inculcate and strengthen the spirit of patriotism and unity among students. The event was launched by Mr Giri Anak Nyareng, Director of the Department of National Unity and Integration, WP Kuala Lumpur.
The highlight of the event was the announcement of recipients of the Tan Sri Omar Harmony Award. This national competition took place from September to December 2021. The award’s objective is to inspire students of the tertiary institutions to rise as social change agents in fostering harmony in Malaysia’s diverse community. It promotes education as a force for good and seeks to encourage, enhance societal empowerment and sustainable community development. At every stage of the competition, participants were evaluated according to certain criteria including idea, social impact, action plan and sustainability of their proposals.
UCSI received almost 40 submissions from various higher learning institutions, and 8 strong contenders were shortlisted. For the final round, 3 projects were chosen namely, “Be My Virtual Buddies” from UCSI University, “A.L.I.A Box Project” from Methodist College Kuala Lumpur and “Hero W” from UCSI University. All recipients received cash prizes and certificates of achievement sponsored by Academician Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Omar Abdul Rahman and The Blue Ribbon Global.
UCSI also published an e-book, a transcript of messages by WIHW 2020 Speakers on The Importance of Love to Society. An online quiz based on these messages was running for the public and SRN members, and 50 top scorers from almost 20 high learning institutions received special gifts from the organisers. UCSI aspires to publish WIHW messages annually and to organise this activity with its SRN student committees.