Loke announces RM50,000 allocation for joint Wesak celebration committee

KUALA LUMPUR: Anthony Loke allocated RM50,000 from his ministerial allocation to the Joint Wesak Celebration Committee during the Wesak Day celebrations at the Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple, here Wednesday (May 22).

The Transport Minister said the contribution serves as his expression of support and appreciation towards the contributions of the Buddhist community in the country.

"As the second largest religious population in Malaysia, the Malaysian Buddhist community has been contributing significantly to the fabric of our nation building.

"The efforts of the Buddhist community in promoting cultural and social values has enriched our multiracial society and fostered inter-ethnic and inter-religious understanding," he said at the Wesak Day celebration ceremony at Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple, here Wednesday.

Loke, who has been invited to the Wesak Day celebration at the temple for three consecutive years, said mutual respect is one of the key principles in the Madani concept of governance.

"With so many different languages and dialects, we are proud to be able to live in a peaceful society and strive to be a fast developing country,” he said.

He added that the elements of patience, tolerance and understanding were important towards bringing Malaysians together.

Themed "Living Harmoniously, Thriving Society", the Wesak Day celebration at the Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple saw the participation of 60 Buddhist societies and associations in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, with about 30 floats taking part in the 12km procession.

Wesak Day is celebrated by Bhuddist devotees to commemorate the birth, enlightenment and death of the founder of Buddhism, Siddharta Gautama.

It is celebrated by lighting up joss sticks and lotus-shaped candles, the offering of flowers and the bathing of the statue of Buddha.

This year over 45,000 people across the globe, mostly from neighbouring countries such as Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, gathered at the Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple to celebrate the auspicious day.

Apart from that, the joyous celebration was also uplifted with booths surrounding the temple selling traditional attire, sweets and prayer items. - Bernama

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