17 May 2015, Serdang: Malaysia's challenges and its vibrant diversity were harmoniously presented in a stage production aptly titled Bridges and Walls. Bringing together a song sequence played using traditional instruments such as er hu, harmonium, rebana and dhool, and a drama which speaks of problems Malaysians face like water supply disruption, dengue, brain drain and migration, the show was well-received by the multi-cultural audience of young and old.
The one-hour drama, which included elements of empathy and humour, was presented by the Friendship Group for Inter-Religious Services (FGIS). Kurup (centre) and other religious leaders celebrating FGIS' 14th anniversary.
It was received with warm applause from the audience at the banquet hall in the Palace of the Golden Horses, including Minister in the Prime Minister's department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup.
"It was very meaningful, inspiring and memorable. The fact that it highlighted our problems was true but it carries a strong message of unity and that is what we want to convey to all Malaysians," Kurup said in his speech Sunday.
The production was so good that Kurup said he wanted to bring the production to other states in Malaysia. "We will look into establishing this in a few states. It is a down-to-earth program we hope to reach out to those on the grassroots level," he said.
Kurup also said such programs are important because he hoped to see Malaysians living together peacefully even with religion placed before them. United Nation resident coordinator to Malaysia Michelle Gyles-McDonnough was delighted with the performance, reiterating the importance of national unity.
"We will do our part to support such initiatives. We can solve this (unity problems) before we come to a crisis," said Michelle after watching the drama. FGIS is an informal gathering of major religious groups in Malaysia promoting faith, harmony and moral values.
They comprise of the Islamic Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM), Wilayah Persekutuan Council of Churches, Malaysia Gurdwaras Council, Malaysia Hindu Sanggam, Buddhist Maha Vihara and coordinated by the Sathya Sai Baba Central Council of Malaysia. The performance Sunday night involved 120 Malaysians from the religious groups, in celebration of FGIS' 14th anniversary.