In a continuation of the partnership between SIM University (UniSIM) and the Nanyang Confucian Association (NCA), a seminar entitled Confucianism and Islam was held at UniSIM on 26 February 2017, with Minister for Home Affairs and Law, Mr K. Shanmugam, in attendance as the Guest-of-Honour. Over 300 students, alumni, faculty, and members of the public turned up, all keen and curious to learn more about the two major belief systems.
In his opening address, Minister K. Shanmugam touched on the continued and, in fact, renewed importance, given today's global climate, of people of different faiths making efforts to better understand one another. He urged everyone to find common ground despite seeming differences, in order to work towards becoming a more inclusive society, in which people of diverse beliefs not just tolerate one another, but get along well and live in harmony.
The two guest speakers of the seminar were Associate Professor Dr Tee Boon Chuan from the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman; and Mr Kyaw Zin Tun @ Omar Ma, a certified religious instructor with the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) and an education executive at the Muslim Converts' Association of Singapore. Both speakers highlighted some of the commonalities between Confucianism and Islam, especially the emphasis in both on upholding peace for the greater good of humanity.
Audience members showed their strong interest in the topics being discussed with their numerous questions, which were enthusiastically answered by the two guest speakers. The seminar served as a platform for people of different races and religions to have open discussions and clarify misconceptions, enabling them to learn more about one another, thereby promoting religious understanding in our society.
Present at the seminar were (from left) Mr Tan Keng Leck, Vice Chairman of Tan Ean Kiam Foundation; Mr Kyaw Zin Tun @ Omar Ma; Dr Tee Boon Chuan; Associate Professor Genice Ngg, Dean of UniSIM's School of Arts and Social Sciences; Minister K. Shanmugam; Mr Kek Boon Leong, President of NCA; Mr Ong Kock Hua, Vice President of NCA; Mr Mark Mah, Executive Director of Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations; and Mr Jaffar B Mohd Kassim, Vice Chairman of Eunos Inter-racial and Religious Confidence Circle, and Member of Committee at NCA.