PETALING JAYA: The 10 winners of Star Golden Hearts Award 2018 are fine examples of unsung heroes who have bridged gaps and promoted unity across all backgrounds, says Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
The award’s chief judge said Malaysians should do away with “differences” and instead look at similarities that existed in society.
“Unity in a multiracial and multireligious nation is a priceless gift that must be cherished by all Malaysians.
“Every peace-loving citizen should be fully committed to promoting a culture of peace, harmony and unity by helping one another.
“All of us have a role to play by giving greater emphasis to the idea of togetherness and unity, based on the great values and virtues taught by all religions and races, instead of harping on and exploiting ethnic sentiments,” he said.
Lee said acts of kindness such as those shown by the winners could help to unite the nation.
He also noted that this year, more than 150 nominations were received from all over the country, with an increase in the number of entries from Sabah and Sarawak.
“This is very positive. Most of the nominees were recommended by members of the public, who are usually the first recipients of their gesture of kindness,” he said, adding that others were picked up from news articles and social media.
Lee also expressed his hope of seeing nominations of higher standards in the future.
“I’d like to see more quality nominations of organisations or individuals who are involved in shaping a caring nation.
“I believe that by getting these awards, it will be a form of recognition for their selfless work and sacrifices.
“I hope it will inspire and motivate the recipients to do much more for society,” he said.
At the prize presentation ceremony, Lee also paid tribute to Rishiwant Singh Randhawa, also known as the Flying Singh, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in India on Nov 25.
Rishiwant Singh, 43, was one of the Star Golden Hearts Award 2016 winners for his contributions as a United Sikhs Humanitarian Aid coordinator and Malaysia Foodbank organisation director.
Some of his humanitarian works included bringing aid to the orang asli affected by floods in Kelantan and providing food to Syrian refugees along the Macedonian-Serbian border during a harsh winter in 2016.
“His departure marks a great loss to the Star Golden Hearts Award alumni and the community at large,” said Lee.