Buddhist devotees light candles for Singapore's peace

Buddhist devotees light candles for Singapore's peace
PM Lee at a ceremony conducted on Sunday by Venerable Master Hsing Yun. Sitting in front of Mr Lee is Venerable Hsin Bao, Abbot of Fo Guang Shan (Singapore), and on his left is Mr John Sim Cheng Huat, president of Buddha's Light Association (Singapore).

SINGAPROE - Thr Singapore Indoor Stadium was ablaze with the light of 10,000 electric candles on Sunday night as Buddhist devotees here took part in a ceremony led by Venerable Master Hsing Yun, the Taiwanese founder of Fo Guang Shan and founding president of Buddha's Light International Association.

Joining them in lighting a candle for Singapore's peace and prosperity was Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who praised the good work done by the Singapore chapters of both organisations.

Besides providing spiritual guidance to devotees, members also help the poor and give medical care to the elderly regardless of race and religion, PM Lee said.

On Buddhism, Mr Lee said its central tenets promote tolerance and contribute to a stable and harmonious society.

Tolerance, he said in his speech in Mandarin and English, is key to Singapore continuing to thrive as a nation of people of many races and faiths.

"Singapore is a multiracial, multi-religious society," he said. "Here we have created an environment where people of all faiths live in harmony and peace with one another.

"Because all ethnic groups give and take, live and let live, and accommodate one another's practices and beliefs, hence all groups have maximum space to follow their own beliefs, and practise their own faiths."

The 86-year-old Venerable Master led the audience in praying for peace for the nation, an upright Government, prosperous economy and harmonious society free of racial strife.

Also present were MPs Seng Han Thong, Yeo Guat Kwang, Liang Eng Hwa, Janil Puthucheary and Gan Thiam Poh.

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