TOKYO, July 05, 2018 – It’s no secret! People one-on-one connection is about humanity and it goes beyond sustainable peaceful co-existence. That was the gist of an exclusive global interview summarised by Journalist Yosuke Kaneda of Seikyo Shimbun, Tokyo – the Soka Gakkai International Daily with Professor Tan Sri Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, Founding Convener of Sejahtera Leadership Initiative (SLI) and Chairperson of Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) who is the 14th President of International Association of Universities (IAU). The significant impact created by a community of people regardless of whatever race, class, religion and political interest who shared the same vision for world peace and harmony that will lead to a closer relationship of trust and mutual respect.

Professor Tan Sri Dzul is deeply connected with people in Japan. In 1944, his father Sensei (Cikgu) Razak came to Japan from Malaya then as a government sponsored foreign student and studied at HIroshima University. Cikgu Razak who experienced World War 11 firsthand in his youth, was one of the victims of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima on August 06,1945 and Nagasaki on August 09, 1945. “Nothing is more barbarous than war. Nothing is more cruel.” Cikgu Razak survived from the disastrous bombing and witnessed the human devastation and sufferings of war. He retuned to Malaya after the war and served as a teacher of Malay and Japanese language, sharing his personal testimonies as atomic bomb survivor who witnessed struggle against radiation-related illness.

According to Seikyo Shimbun, for almost 20 years Professor Tan Sri Dzul has been working on the topic of sustainable development and deeply involved in the promotion of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) at UNESCO and United Nations University. ESD is teaching people to think about ways to engage with things that exist “outside” humanity, for example, forests, climates, and economic well-being activities. Education should explore further into the inner self in depth. The external world is a concrete manisfestation of one’s “heart” and it is a process of which human heart reached out to the environment.

He aptly said, “When we look at Human history, it can be divided into four different phases as we progress – ‘The Age of Hunter and Gatherer’, ‘The Age of Agricultural Revolution’, ‘The Age of Industrialization’, and ‘The Age of Technological Innovation’ or the ‘Age of Artificial Intelligence’ (AI). And from now on, we are moving into an era which put much emphasis on the spiritual being. As I’ve always mentioned in my presentations and books, we can name this era – ‘The Age (Era) of Human Revolution’. I think what is very much needed in this ‘Age of Human Revolution’ is the ‘Education of the Heart’ for every individuals.

“Generally speaking, very seldom we are taught about the ‘heart’ in schools. As the Islamic scholar, Al-GHazali suggested, if people can control anger, they can suppress their earthly desires and the desires to control, but it is necessary to have the education which teaches one to control egoism. This viewpoint that finds value in the heart shared by human beings can be said to be Oriental values as compared to the Western which puts more emphasis on the brain.”

In a nutshell during the global interview with Seikyo Shimbun, Professor Tan Sri Dzul stressed that, “In order to deepen one’s understanding on peace, it is important to create “connection” with people of diverse backgrounds cut across the artificial political boundaries. In japan, there is this word ‘kizuna’ – which means connection. This word ‘kizuna’, which connected the people in Fukushima after the earthquake in 2011. In Africa, the word ‘Ubuntu’ carries the solemn meaning humanity. In Malaysia, there is another word that we took from the Chinese ‘kongsi’, which means sharing among each other. We can find the way of thinking which values ‘connection’ existing in various cultures. Therefore, the current youth generation needs more dialogue than ever for sustainable peace.”

Prepared by :
Dr. Zulkifly Baharom
CEO Sejahtera Leadership Initiative