Speech by YAB Tuan Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister
State Christmas Open House @ 14th December 2014 at Fort Cornwallis
On behalf of the Penang State Government, we would like to warmly welcome everyone of you to our Penang State Christmas Open House 2014. This event is being jointly organised by the Penang State Government and Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) Penang. I wish everyone here a very Blessed and Joyous Christmas.
The theme for the Christmas Open House this year is
Jesus – Prince of Peace
In a world, torn by selfishness and strife, and in a country that is often confronted by racial disharmony and religious bigotry, the message of PEACE, SALAM, 平安, SAMATHANAM, must ring out loud and clear to all our citizens, at this time of Christmas and also throughout the year.
As we read the news on the papers or watch the news on TV, we know only too well that the world is badly in need of peace between neighbours, and between countries. Hence, we must all work together and do everything we can to bring peace to everyone around us.
The message of Christmas is that God sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to bring to the peoples:
“Peace on earth, and good will toward all people.”
People fight and countries go to war because they do not know peace. We can only have peace when we have found peace for ourselves, and then we share this peace with everyone around us. And this is the peace that Jesus Christ came to give to all those who will open their hearts and their lives to Him, the Prince of Peace. We can have peace with God, we can have peace with ourselves, and we can have peace with our neighbours. If everybody knows this peace, then there will be peace all around, --our neighbourhoods, our kampongs and towns, our country and the whole world will know greater love, joy and peace. When we work together for the welfare of everyone around us , and share our wealth and resources with those in need, there will be greater thanksgiving and mutual love, respect and appreciation, and everyone will be happier.
The Christians in Malaysia have always worked for greater peace and harmony among the peoples to promote the welfare and development of our country. In the past we have built schools and hospitals that are open to boys and girls, men and women, without any discrimination of race , or colour, or religion, for the benefit of everyone. Today, we still run many social services like orphanages, old folks’ home, drug re-hab centres, schools for the disadvantaged and refugees who have nowhere else to go to.
Christians and churches do this because they know they have the Prince of Peace in their hearts and in their lives, and they will keep working for greater peace for our country, and bring love and joy to as many people as we can. This Christmas Open House is one way for the Christians to share the joy and peace they have with our fellow-citizens in Penang and Malaysia and our friends visiting our beautiful country from overseas. We have again raised funds from among our churches for a special Christmas gift to three charities in Penang that are working among the poor and needy to help them in their work. This is the true message of Christmas. May God bless you with His peace this Christmas and throughout the New Year.
I would also like to share with you the meaning of Christmas - which is "sacrifice". Sacrifice is seem as negative because we, have to incur losses. However if we see Jesus' sacrifice, his loss is our gain. And Jesus gained too from his sacrifice - he gained by saving the souls from Satan.
Let us see sacrifice not in terms of immediate loss but place our trust that we will benefit when all benefits from our sacrifice.
We would like to thank the organizing committee, pastors, leaders and members of various churches as well as YB Wong Hon Wai and his staff, and other representatives from the Penang State Government and all those who have worked tirelessly to make this event a success.
HAVE A VERY BLESSED CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!