JOHOR BARU: Encouraging youths to embrace peace and spread the message of love should be emphasised to ensure a harmonious nation, said former Johor deputy police chief Datuk Aishah Mohamad.
In view of the fact that 35% of criminals in the country involved those below 25 years, she said that it was only right to engage the youths and encourage them to be advocates of peace.
“We have to begin by creating awareness on the importance of maintaining peace, especially among youths who are the future of the nation,” she said in a speech during the Peace Blossom in Johor forum here on Saturday.
Aishah said that spreading and upholding peace among the people could also contribute to securing public safety and bringing down crime rates in the country.
Recalling her 46 years of service in the force, Aishah said that she began her career under the Perak police contingent during the communist era in 1975, when Malaysians movements were restricted and curfews imposed.
“We have to keep our history in mind and remember our journey with many lives lost in a battle to achieve peace in this country and that this should not be taken for granted,” she added.
The peace forum, organised by International Women’s Peace Group, was the first of its kind in the state, which saw support from local non-governmental organisations including Johor Women’s League and the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation.
IWPG Malaysia representative Sarah Gun said that the forum aimed to promote peace in the country and the world.
The Korean-born said that she grew up in Singapore, in a society where race was the biggest issue growing up.
“I used to be pessimistic about world peace because the only time one would usually hear the word “world peace” was from the lips of Miss World or Miss Universe.
“Singapore is a rather peaceful country but when I went out to the bigger world, I realised that there were many other issues and it did not seem to be a peaceful world,” she said.
Gun believes that world peace could be attained if everyone stood united, but peace itself has to begin from within a person.
“We want to make world peace a possibility and this is why we are going to the grassroots to promote peace and unity,” he said.