Unity Walk - Strength in Unity - 22nd Sept, 2018


 A “Unity Walk” for all faiths in conjunction with the recent celebration of the 55th year Hari Malaysia was held on the 22nd of Sept 2018 at the Seremban Lake Gardens. The event was organized by the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) of Negeri Sembilan and in collaboration with the Church of the Visitation’s Parish Ministry of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (PMEIA) led by its Chairperson Christopher Krishnan. A total of 350 people from all walks of life, of different age groups, race and faith participated. The 2.3km walk around the lake gardens with the theme “Strength in Unity” also received the support from the Negeri Sembilan’s Jabatan Perpaduan Negara and YB Tuan Arul Kumar Jambunathan who is the Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Bertindak Sumber Manusia, Perladangan dan Hal Ehwal Bukan Islam EXCO member and ADUN Nilai. Also, at the event were YB Puan Nicole Tan Lee Koon who is the Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Bertindak Hal Ehwal Wanita, Keluarga Dan Kebajikan EXCO member and ADUN Bukit Kepayang, YB Mary Josephine Prittam Singh ADUN Rahang, Yg. Bhg Puan Salasiah Hashim who is the Pengarah Perpaduan dan Integrasi Nasional, leaders of different faith, representative from the Skuad Mubaligh NS, En Mohd Umry, from ABIM and the State Mosque. The Church of the Visitation was led by its Parish Priest Rev Fr George Harrison who is also the NS MCCBCHST Chairman, Assistant Parish Priest Rev Fr Xavier Andrew and visiting Priest Rev Fr Vela. The emcee of the day was parishioner Adrian van Huizen.

 As the participants arrived as early as 7.30am wearing their Unity Walk t-shirts, they were welcomed by leaders of different faith and members of the PMEIA were seen distributing the Jalur Gemilang flags to everyone. The event started with a Zumba dance led by Dr. Areana and her team. This was followed by the singing of the national anthem Negaraku and the famous late 80’s patriotic song – Setia. The leaders of different faith then took turns to offer prayers, blessings and thanksgiving for the Nation, the people of Malaysia and thanking God for the unity walk. The Bahai faith offered their prayers in the form of singing by its choir group. In his welcoming speech, Fr George said the event was the dream of the MCCBCHST. The unity walk he said was for humanity, harmony and peace. He thanked all the leaders of different faith for coming together. Puan Salasiah in her speech thanked Fr George and leaders of different faith for their commitments and active participation. The gathering of people of different faiths she said, was an indication that the people pledge their united efforts to attain the first of the five principles of the Rukun Negara - Belief in God (Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan). Before ending she invited all to sing a belated Happy Birthday song for YB Arul who celebrated his birthday on 12th Sept 2018. In his speech delivered in BM, YB Arul thanked all for their participation in organizing the Unity Walk. He also noted and thanked representative from the Islam faith who came to join in the walk. He also pledged to work with leaders of different faith to organized future programs to strengthen the unity.

 Fr George then led the leaders and State EXCOs for the ribbon cutting ceremony to kick off the unity walk. The walk led by the Jalur Gemilang and Negeri Sembilan flag bearers started at about 9.15am. The walk around the lake gardens took about 23mins to complete. At the end of the walk there were fellowship among the participants and they enjoyed the breakfast that was provided. The Sikh community provided hot masala tea or chai for all. Fr George then presented a souvenir to YB Arul and Puan Salasiah. The event ended at about 11.30pm with a group photo.


For more photos, please visit the Official Facebook page of the Visitation Church.

Photos by Vincent Yan, Julian Yong and Paul Fernandez.