Run for Peace in Malaysia: Peace Starts with Me!
Every two years, people around Malaysia don their Run for Peace T-shirts and head out to meet new people, make new friends and run together to highlight the importance of peace.
What is Run for Peace?
Run for Peace is a noncompetitive biennial event organized by Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) that encourages people from all walks of life, particularly young people, to come together for the sake of peace. The event is the key activity of SGM’s September Month of Peace during which SGM members make special efforts to raise awareness that peace begins with the individual. Runs are held in cities throughout Malaysia over distances usually between 3 and 10 kilometers.
What makes Run for Peace different?
A family-friendly event
Many people look forward to participating in Run for Peace as a family-friendly activity open to people of all ages that promotes an active and healthy lifestyle while celebrating the value of community and a common wish for peace.
A platform for expanding friendship
Malaysia is an ethnically and religiously diverse country, and Run for Peace provides an opportunity for people to connect across those differences and form friendships.
A call to action for peace
“Peace starts with me!” is the slogan of Run for Peace, reflecting the Soka Gakkai’s philosophy that a positive change within the individual is the basis of a positive change in society. It is a message of empowerment and a reminder that the actions of each one of us can make an important contribution to creating harmony and peace in our communities, societies, countries and the world at large. Efforts to promote the run and spread the ideals of peace facilitate heart-to-heart dialogue and exchanges, which have a lasting effect.
The 2023 event adopted the additional slogan, “ActNOW for SDGs!” putting focus on sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals.
SGM’s largest peace event
Run for Peace is SGM’s largest peace event, and the runs are often flagged off by top government officials or notable figures. Since the first Run for Peace in 2005, some 400,000 people have participated. About 1,000 people joined the first run. In 2015, the run became a nationwide event with more than 92,000 people taking part. In 2019, over 115,000 peace lovers joined in 28 locations in 13 states. After a three-year hiatus as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Run for Peace returned in 2023 with 55,000 participants in 23 locations.
What did the 2023 participants have to say?
Ros Areesah, who participated in the Selangor run
“This is my first time participating in this event. I have built new friendships with people from different ethnicities. And I now have a better understanding of the SDGs. Run for Peace has taught me that I can initiate actions for peace by being friendly with others.”
Jess See, who participated in the Penang run
“This event spreads the significance of peace to the wider population . . . I think organizing the Seeds of Hope and Action [environmental] exhibition and promoting the SDGs are excellent initiatives. I am determined to turn what I have learned into actions in my daily life.”
Dato’ Masri Razali, mayor of Seremban
“This noncompetitive run is well-received by people from various ethnic groups. Many participants are seen coming with their families. I fully agree with the event’s slogan, highlighting that even small steps will eventually bring about great results as long as we are moving in the right direction.”