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We’re sorry, says Buddhist chief high priest

 | August 13, 2013

Buddhist chief high priest K Sri Dhammaratana said as we live in Malaysia , we must be sensitive to other religions.

PETALING JAYA: Buddhist chief high priest K Sri Dhammaratana Nayake Maha Thera has apologised on behalf of a group of Buddhists who meditated in a surau in Johor recently.

“We would like to apologise to our Muslim brothers and sisters for the actions of a certain Buddhist group from Singapore in having their meditation session at the surau of a resort in Kota Tinggi,” he said in a statement today.

The chief high priest was referring to a viral video clip depicting a group of Buddhists led by a monk chanting inside a surau of a resort in Tanjung Sedili Besar.

The video showed the group sitting on mats while facing a picture of Buddha , which was placed on a table underneath Quranic verses that were hung on one of the walls.

“I advise Buddhists in Malaysia and Singapore to respect the religious sensitivities of other religionists while carrying out our own religious obligations,” added Dhammaratana.

Using common sense

When contacted by FMT, Dhammaratana expressed hope that an incident of this magnitude would not repeat itself.

“I try my best to encourage Buddhists to not have this kind of incident in the future,” he said.

Declining to say whether the actions of the Buddhist group were right or wrong, he instead said: “We have to understand as we are living in Malaysia, you have to use a little bit of common sense.

“We should not make other people unhappy, we should try our best to make everyone happy.

“All Buddhists must at all time be conscious and aware of the fundamental principle expounded by Lord Buddha: ‘It is impossible to build one’s own happiness on the unhappiness of others’,” he said.

Police have since arrested the resort’s 45-year-old operator, a Singaporean with Malaysian PR status.

Known only as Ahmad, he was arrested yesterday afternoon at the Tanjung Sutera Resort. He has been remanded until Aug 16.

Police said the incident is being investigated under Section 295 of the Penal Code for injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class.

Also read:

Resort owner remanded for four days

Police probing ‘misuse’ of surau claim


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