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Wesak Press Release 2012

Wesak Press Release 2012

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Published by Ho Yin Ching

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Published by: Ho Yin Ching on Apr 22, 2012
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04/22/2012

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Press Release on the Majlis Sambutan Hari Wesak 2012 PeringkatNegeri Selangor.
Dated : 20
th
Apr 2012 Time : 10:00 amVenue : Pejabat Exco Kerajaan Negeri Selangor , Tkt 15,Bangunan SUK1.
 
Background of Wesak in Malaysiaa.
 
Buddhist community began to request for Wesak to bedeclared as a public holiday since 1926 when the thenabbot of Mahindarama Buddhist Temple, Ven. K.Gunaratana make the proposal to the then colonialgovernment.b.
 
During the Japanese occupation, a Japanese official in Dec1944 urged the Penang Buddhist community to makerepresentation to the Japanese government to declareWesak in the coming year as a public holiday.c.
 
After World War II, the British government said it will onlyconsider declaring Wesak as a public holiday if both theMahayana and Theravada traditions can agree on a samedate to celebrate Wesak day. A meeting on 1
st
March1949 at Penang Buddhist Association agrees to celebrateWesak Day on the full moon of May.d.
 
On 12
th
April 1949, the colonial government declaresWesak Day which falls on 12
th
May 1949 as a publicholiday in Penang, Melaka, Kedah and Perak. Governmentservants who are Buddhists in Selangor, Kelantan, Perlis,Terengganu and Negeri Sembilan were given a holiday onWesak Day.
 
2
e.
 
After many years of efforts by Buddhist and politicalleaders, the Federation of Malaya government finallydeclares on 3
rd
Jan 1962 that the government hadadopted the day of Wesak as a public holiday for thewhole federation beginning from 1962.f.
 
The ability to make Wesak as a public holiday was amemorable event in the annals of Buddhism in thiscountry. It has united the Buddhist community to work
for a common interest in seeking the government’s
recognition of the community stature as the secondlargest religious group in the country.g.
 
For many years after 1962, the Buddhist communitynoticed that while the Prime Minister will regularly issuepublic congratulatory messages in-conjunction withimportant celebration of major religions in Malaysia, thePrime Mini
ster’s message for Wesak Day was
alwaysconspicuously missing. It was only in 1999 after years of representation by the Buddhist community leaders thatthe then Prime Minister began issuing congratulatorymessage for Wesak Day.h.
 
Requests have been conveyed to some federalgovernment ministers to organized official state eventsfor the day of Wesak.i.
 
On 5
th
June 2011, the Selangor State Government hadtaken the lead by organizing the first ever Selangor StateLevel Wesak Celebration in-conjunction with Wesak Day.Never in the history of the nation have any state or eventhe federal government had ever organized an officialstate event for the day of Wesak. j.
 
The Selangor State Government will once again organizeda state level Wesak celebrations at 6.30pm, Tuesday, 1
st
 

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