JOHOR BAHRU– A peace-themed festival was held in the capital city of Johor State, Malaysia to raise awareness of cooperative peacebuilding. The 1stJohor Peace Carnival as the official name, the event was co-hosted by local community and international NGO.

650 citizens participated in the festival by Johor Bahru City Council, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) and Johor Peace Committee (JPC) to establish a harmonious culture safeguarding ethnic and religious diversity. The Malaysian community including the local government and civil society has developed plans to reinforce a socially cohesive environment with the principle of peaceful coexistence in ethnicity, which led to the formation of peace in a cultural arena.

In his congratulatory speech, Tuan Haji A. Rahim said, “We must not be intolerant about other people’s religions and their cultures. We must reject extremism. The motto of today’s carnival is to raise awareness of its citizens to maintain peace and unity within the community which consists of different races, religions and ethnicities.”

The festival presented performances to reflect diverse elements of Malaysian culture. The musical performance by a multi-ethnic band with traditional musical instruments from Chinese and Indian background represented uniqueness Malaysian identity as a result of harmonization of diversity.

Participants were also introduced a global campaign advocated by HWPL, an international NGO under the United Nations Department of Public Information (UN DPI) to promote peacebuilding efforts by local citizens. Inspired by designation from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Charter of the United Nations, the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) drafted by HWPL addresses the need to establish a global cooperation for building a culture of peace, religious/ethnic freedom, and peaceful settlement of conflict. Participants wrote their signatures in support of the DPCW to be adopted as a legal foundation.