KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian veteran activist, Datuk Dr Anwar Fazal, has been given the honour of delivering the 150th Mahatma Gandhi Anniversary Lecture at the Chulalongkorn University’s Indian Studies Centre in Bangkok today. The 78-year-old, who had been doing social and public work, both locally and internationally, in issues related to environment, interfaith, consumer, heritage and health, said he was honoured to be invited for the lecture and would be sharing his “21 projects of Hope” ideas at the event. Speaking to the New Straits Times, Dr Anwar said he would speak on Gandhi’s values and how they were relevant to challenges today. “I will share these in the context of the challenges of modern times involving subject matters like the rising inequality, the post-truth era and the ecocide phenomena where we are destroying our planet.” Dr Anwar is founder of the Taiping Peace Initiative, the Malaysian Interfaith Network and the Penang Gandhi Peace Centre.He is also a recipient of Right Livelihood Award, popularly known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”. He was also president of the Consumers International and the International Environmental Liaison Centre. He said while there was a surge in racism, bigotry and fascism in the world today, Malaysia was presented with its own challenges that must be addressed to ensure that the people continued to live in harmony in a multi-cultural setting. “We have a beautiful rainbow of a nation and a model of multiracialism, multi-faiths and multi-cultures. We must do all we can to keep this world-admired asset. “It is the basis of Vision 2020 and the Rukun Negara. The youth must be inspired to feel that, especially now that the minimum voting age is being reduced.” Dr Anwar, who is the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action and Think City’s chairperson emeritus, said “21 Projects of Hope” was his own version of “Vision 2121” to help prepare the world to face the challenges of the 21st century. Elaborating on the lecture, he said the topic would focus on non-violence and the importance of balance and harmony, trusteeship, stewardship and accountability.“I will share some of my experiences and present 99 ways to make the world a better place, and how you can find peace with yourself, peace with other people and peace with Mother Earth."
Datuk Dr Anwar Fazal's Full Speech
INVOKING THE SPIRIT OF TRUSTEESHIP – Can Gandhi’s Ideas of Trusteeship Address the Challenges of the 21st Century? @ Mahatma Gandhi Lecture, Indian Studies Center of the Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand