Dr. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon were given a royal traditional Malay welcome with the beating of drums; women dressed in traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian costumes welcomed them with garlands of orchids.
The organizing committee was chaired by Tan Sri Datuk Paduka Dr. Hajjah Saleha Haji Mohamed Ali (fondly called “Nenek,” or grandmother). The Senior Vice-Chairman was Tan Sri Datin Paduka Seri Hjh Zaleha Ismail. They met weekly to plan a memorable event. Dr. Teh Su Thye, Secretary General of UPF-Malaysia, oversaw the preparations, and volunteers from Germany and Japan provided substantial support.
By the time the main program began at 3:00 PM the Plenary Hall of the newly-built Kuala Lumpur Convention Center was filled with 2000 guests eager to hear Father Moon deliver his peace message.
Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, a Minister in the Prime Minster’s department, welcomed Father and Mother Moon on behalf of the Malaysian government, praising their peace initiatives in the Middle East and his vision for a Bering Strait crossing. He described Malaysia as a country with a majority Muslim population with a historic tradition of multi-culturalism, racial harmony and good governance.
A devoted Christian, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok ended his speech by saying “About 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ said: ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ He also urges humankind to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free. I am sure all the prophets and great leaders throughout history had in one way or another made exhortation for peace. Let us strive for peace. We begin at home, in our family. You and I, each and every one of us have a role to play to ensure a better tomorrow. Shalom and peace be with us all.”
As the organizing chair of the event, Tan Sri Saleha gave the welcoming remarks. She had been scheduled to undergo a major operation one week before the event. However, she postponed the operation in order to attend the inaugural convocation, despite protests by her doctors and family members. She thanked God for giving her eight decades of life during which she had ample opportunities to practice the culture of heart within this country and also in other parts of the world through a network of global relationships. She encouraged everyone present to support the Universal Peace Federation’s peace initiatives.
The event included an invitation for couples to join in a world peace blessing toast of marriage rededication.
Father and Mother Moon stayed in the Petronas Twin towers. One of the towers was built by a Korean company and the other by a Japanese company, and Tan Sri Saleha was instrumental in the planning their construction.