Singapore Buddhist Mission’s E-Vesak Day Celebrations - Opening Remarks by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Published: 26 May 2021

Chief Venerable K. Dhammika,

Venerable Mahinda,

Members of the Singapore Buddhist Mission,

Ladies & Gentlemen,


1.    A very good morning to all of you.


2.    Thank you for inviting me and allowing me to participate in this wonderful event.


3.    This E-Vesak Day Celebrations, it’s really a privilege to be here.



4.    This is the 2nd year that the Singapore Buddhist Mission or SBM is holding an e-Vesak Day celebration.


5.    Normally, on Vesak Day, many of you, and I too, will visit Buddhist temples, take part in prayers, and make our offerings in person.


6.    But COVID-19 has changed all of that. We have had to change the format, we have to do it in this format, in different places.


7.    But the essence of Buddha Dharma – Doing of good deeds, reflecting on teachings of the Venerable Buddha, spreading the message of peace, love and kindness. Those remain unchanged.


8.    The SBM youth leaders, volunteers and partners have done well this year. They have put together a very meaningful program online which involves prayers, offerings or Puja, Dhamma Talks, a concert, and a wonderful new initiative – The Great Metta Sit.



9.    It is my pleasure to officially launch this Great Metta Sit today.


10.   The goal is to have 1,000 people pledge to practise 15 minutes of Metta Meditation, and sending thoughts of unconditional loving kindness to others. I repeat, unconditional loving kindness to everyone. All of us doing it together.


11.   The SBM and the Buddhist Youth Network will donate $1 for every minute of Metta Meditation pledged, and the beneficiaries would be the Firefly Mission and Aranya Sangha Dana Fellowship.


12.   I am glad to be one of the 1,000 persons pledging and participating in this Great Metta Sit today. Many people believe that when people come together with good thoughts and send those thoughts and meditation, it has a positive impact.


13.   I appreciate this initiative that the SBM has come up with to help others lead their lives in a purposeful and positive way, and to encourage a benevolent, calmer mindset through meditation. Meditation is not restricted to any particular religion. If you look at it, many religions have this approach.


14.   In the world we see today, we see a lot of uncertainty, a lot of tension, many different viewpoints, differences and arguments. I hope the message of peace, love and kindness will resonate deeply.



15.   I am told that more than 900 participants across all ages have signed up for today’s online celebrations.


16.   That is a very big number. It is not easy to have so many people, including the young and the elderly, to log on to the same Zoom event.


17.   This, I think, speaks not only of the resilience and adaptability of the SBM volunteers organising the event, but also of the strength of your bonds. It is an important thing to treasure.


18.   I wish everyone a peaceful and blessed Vesak Day.


19.   Thank you.