New Straits Times

JAKIM: LEE’S SERVICE EARNED HIM AWARD

His commitment, friendly approach should be emulated, says D-G

- ADIB POVERA KUALA LUMPUR news@nst.com.my

TAN Sri Lee Lam Thye, in his 45 years of service to the community, has become a respected figure for his contributi­ons to fardu kifayah (communal responsibi­lity), which transcend race and religion.

Malaysian Islamic Developmen­t Department (Jakim) director-general Datuk Mohamad Nordin Ibrahim said based on these criteria, the social activist was named as one of the four recipients of the annual national-level Maulidur Rasul award.

Lee, who is Eco World Foundation chairman, received the award in the social activism category at the national-level Maulidur Rasul celebratio­n in Bukit Jalil on Saturday.

Nordin said Lee was the 16th non-Muslim to receive the award since 2000.

“Lee is a social activist who fulfilled all the criteria (as a Maulidur Rasul award recipient).

“Apart from his ideas and commitment to community service, Lee’s friendly approach in helping people should be emulated by everyone,” he told the New Straits

Times.

Lee is the only non-Muslim recipient of the award this year. Other recipients of the nationalle­vel Maulidur Rasul award were Hospital Mesra Ibadah pioneer Datuk Dr Khalid Ibrahim, academicia­n Professor Datuk Dr Asma Ismail and humanitari­an activist Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid.

Syariah expert Datuk Seri Daud Muhammad was the recipient of the Maulidur Rasul Perdana Award.

“Previously, the award was given to the Orang Asli, Indians and Bumiputera­s from Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.

He added that the committee in charge of the awards this year comprised personnel from Jakim’s Research Division.

The previous non-Muslim Maulidur Rasul award recipients were Assistant Commission­er Mit Emong, who was Kelantan Narcotics Investigat­ion Department chief (2000); former Chemistry Department deputy director-general (operations) Chang Hon Fong (2002); and, former Putrajaya Fire and Rescue Academy head Gan Hock Seong (2003).

Other non-Muslim award recipients included former deputy higher education minister Datuk Dr Mary Yap Kain Ching (2007) and author, lecturer and activist Dr Lim Swee Tin (2016).

Nordin said the theme Negara Rahmah Ummah Sejahtera (Blessed Nation, Prosperous Ummah) was chosen for this year’s celebratio­n to remind people that Islam was a blessed and merciful religion, which promoted respect, love, tolerance, forgivenes­s and compassion.

“Love and compassion are encouraged in Islam and observed in the concept of rahmah (mercy), as highlighte­d in the Quran.

“By embracing rahmah, we can resolve disputes amicably, which will enable the community to live in harmony. Rahmah is proof of the community’s moral pinnacle and exceptiona­l behaviour.”

Lee said he was overwhelme­d for being named the recipient of the award. He described his work as a national service.

“From the first day I started my ‘national service’, I am always guided by humanitari­an principles.

“As a Malaysian, I am colour blind in my approach because I am committed to serving the country,” said the former chairman of the National Institute of Occupation­al Safety and Health, who is continuing his work under the newly establishe­d Alliance of Safe Community non-government­al organisati­on.

 ?? PIC BY ZUNNUR AL SHAFIQ ?? Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye is the 16th non-Muslim recipient of the nationalle­vel Maulidur Rasul award since 2000.
PIC BY ZUNNUR AL SHAFIQ Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye is the 16th non-Muslim recipient of the nationalle­vel Maulidur Rasul award since 2000.

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