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MERCY Malaysia's Datuk Dr. Jemilah Mahmood Is First Malaysian To Win Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 20 October 2006
Kuala Lumpur - MERCY Malaysia’s President, Datuk Dr. Jemilah Mahmood yesterday was conferred the highest honour by the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College, USA. The award, created to celebrate human rights and non-violence, was accepted on her behalf by her husband and co-founder of MERCY Malaysia, Dato’ Dr. Ashar Abdullah, as Dr. Jemilah is currently attending a training programme in Sweden with the United Nations.

“I am indeed grateful that the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award represents recognition of our work and service, and more importantly celebrates our beneficiaries – the men, women and children who, with their will and strength to survive and dignity to continue living in the face of such challenges, have never ceased to inspire us,” said Dr. Jemilah.

“You cannot imagine how proud we are to wear our vest and how kind people are to us when we strive to be kind to others,” added Dr. Jemilah. “And we pray that even if we continue to grow fast and strong, MERCY Malaysia will remain an organization deeply rooted in respecting culture and retaining a strong sense of humility and earnestness.”

The Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award symbolizes the tradition of peace-work based on non-violence that Mohandas K. “Mahatma” Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Dr. Daisaku Ikeda share, and, it is hoped, will inspire and empower every person to take responsibility for the improvement of the human condition.

In his capacity as dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, Morehouse College, Dr. Lawrence E. Carter Sr. conferred the award on Dr. Jemilah to mark the launch of the Gandhi, King, Ikeda – A Legacy of Building Peace Exhibition that is presently being held by the Soka Gakkai Malaysia organization.

“We are proud to link Dr. Jemilah’s name with the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award as she is an exemplary human being who has caught our attention with her undying efforts of providing medical and humanitarian aid through MERCY Malaysia to those suffering, regardless of race, colour or creed,” said Dr. Carter. “And we believe that it is through reflection and action, as has been shown by Dr. Jemilah, that the course of the world will change and peace will be ushered into communities across the globe.

“As Mahatma Gandhi once said, be the change that you want to see.”

Dr. Carter is the creator of the renowned exhibit featuring factual information, inspirational quotes, and colourful photographs of the three individuals for which the award is named: Mohandas K. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Daisaku Ikeda.

Gandhi was a full-fledged revolutionary firmly committed to non-violence. He took the lead in the long struggle for India’s independence from Britain, and worked for elimination of racial discrimination in South Africa, promotion of Hindu-Muslim unity, and abolition of untouchability. King was an advocate of non-violent social change strategies who fought to abolish racial prejudices. A recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, he founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which is defined by its commitment to non-violence and non-cooperation with unjust laws. Ikeda is the president of Soka Gakkai International (SGI), a Buddhist organization with more than 12 million members from around the world. He is a Buddhist thinker and educator who believes in creating peace through personal interaction and dialogue across different cultures.

The award in their names was created to celebrate the lives and work of three individuals from three different cultures and continents whose common path of profound dedication to peace has been recognized internationally. Previous recipients of the award include former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young and 1998 Nobel Peace Laureate John Hume.
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MERCY Malaysia
MERCY Malaysia is a medical organization that provides humanitarian aid in crisis and non-crisis situations. We serve local communities through outreach programmes and our focus for the future will be to ensure that vulnerable communities in Malaysia are better prepared through risk education and disaster preparedness. MERCY Malaysia is active internationally and has sent relief missions to Kosovo, Cambodia, Indonesia (Maluku Island, Nias, Aceh and Jogjakarta), Afghanistan, Turkey, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Iran, Sudan, North Korea, Pakistan, Maldives and Lebanon. MERCY Malaysia also runs a Drug Rehabilitation and Assistance Programme to assist drug reformers return to society.

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