This is the full text of the speech delivered by the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah (above) at the 2nd Malaysia-China Youth Civilizational Dialogue on Islam and Confucianism in conjunction with the 45th anniversary of Malaysia-China diplomatic relations:
I am delighted to join all of you at this conference. Although it is organised by the old members of two well-known universities of Malaysia and China – the International Islamic University Malaysia and Peking University – today’s event is in fact directed for the benefit of our next generation, the youths of Malaysia and China.
Furthermore, this civilisational dialogue celebrates the 45th anniversary of the bilateral relations between our two countries. We are here today to reflect on the contributions of two distinct, major spiritual traditions, Islam and Confucianism, to ethics in the 21st century. May I commend the two alumni associations most sincerely on their selection of a conference theme which foregrounds – indeed, celebrates – the potential for dialogue and collaboration between different religions, cultures, and communities.
It seems to me that we are, in many ways, ideally situated for such a conference today. Geographically speaking, I am proud that Malaysia is vibrantly multicultural, a fitting location for a dialogue between different religions and sets of beliefs. Indeed, with its majority Muslim and substantial minority Chinese population – comprising about 61 percent and 25 percent respectively – Malaysia is essentially a living, national example of this cultural exchange in action. In Malaysia, Muslim and Chinese citizens – the latter with a centuries-old heritage of Confucian philosophy – exist side-by-side, living and working together with others from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds and creeds. In this sense, today’s conference is taking place in the ideal setting for an intellectual collaboration between Islam and Confucianism. It is my sincere hope that Malaysia will represent the harmonious relationship between these two great traditions for many years, decades, and centuries to come.
A less peaceful world