Buddhist community has set tone of tolerance and acceptance of other faiths: PM Lee

As Singapore celebrates its 50th birthday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called on the people to reflect on the values of unity and inclusiveness that have brought the country this far and will keep it going. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 
As Singapore celebrates its 50th birthday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called on the people to reflect on the values of unity and inclusiveness that have brought the country this far and will keep it going. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 

SINGAPORE - As Singapore celebrates its 50th birthday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called on the people to reflect on the values of unity and inclusiveness that have brought the country this far and will keep it going.

These values are not dissimilar from Buddhist values such as kindness, tolerance, compassion, selflessness and moral integrity, he said at a concert organised by the Singapore Buddhist Federation to celebrate Vesak Day next month and SG50.

Mr Lee also said he was grateful that the Buddhist community, as the largest religious group in Singapore, has set the tone of "tolerance and acceptance of other faiths"

The community has done good work to help Singaporeans regardless of race, language or religion, he told the more than 6,000 concert-goers.

Citing the Singapore Buddhist Free Clinic, he noted its seven branches give free medical services to sick and needy people.

Also, the Metta Welfare Association, which runs nine welfare centres that provide care and education for the elderly, students and children across the island.

In education, the Buddhist community has also spared no effort, setting up Maha Bodhi School, Mee Toh School and Manjusri Secondary School, he said.

The combined choir of students from the three schools were among the 600 who took to the stage at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. They include South Korea's award-winning Didim Dance Company, giving its first performance here.

yanliang@sph.com.sg