Peace and Disarmament
Singapore Soka Association Hosts Lecture by Dr. Syed Hussein Alatas from National University of Malaya
On March 24, Singapore Soka Association (SSA) sponsored its sixth Daisaku Ikeda Annual Lecture at the SSA headquarters. Among the 800 attendees and guests were Singapore Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim; Prof. Lim Chong Yah, Chair Professor of Albert Winsemius Economics and Director of Economic Growth Center, Singapore; Ms. Aishah Mohamed, counselor of Jamiyah Singapore, a Muslim Missionary Society; and Avun Senkuttuvan, senior editor of The Nation, Thailand.
Guest lecturer Syed Hussein Alatas, renowned Malaysian sociologist and professor at National University of Malaya, Malaysia, spoke on "Peace and Cruelty." According to Prof. Alatas, the world has experienced greater development in science and technology and sadly a greater development of cruelty as well. When technological progress is not matched with a similar progress in morality, society will head in the wrong direction. Touching upon various examples in history of cruelty towards animals, as well as human beings, Prof. Alatas stated injustice, in its various forms, is capable of destroying peace. He also reiterated the urgency for a worldwide united effort in abolishing nuclear weapons, citing second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda's 1957 declaration against nuclear weapons. Prof. Alatas concluded his lecture by quoting a passage from Nichiren's writings, in which Nichiren encourages his disciple to have steady faith like flowing water, rather than fire, which can quickly fizzle out. Prof. Alatas said our efforts to strive for peace, human unity, progress and equality of life should be continuous without cease, like flowing water.
Dr. Yaacob commented that the event was a good opportunity for each participant to reflect on what he or she can do for peace.