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August 24, 2023

Daisaku Ikeda Sends Message to Opening of Soka International School Malaysia

First entrance ceremony at Soka International Schools Malaysia
Students of the inaugural class attend SISM’s entrance ceremony, embarking on a new academic journey

On August 24, 2023, Soka International School Malaysia (SISM), the first international school in the Soka education system, held its inaugural entrance ceremony, welcoming 112 students from nine countries and territories.

Located in the city of Seremban on a 50-acre, state-of-the-art green campus, SISM integrates junior and senior high school education and uses English as the language of instruction. It offers the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) curriculum, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program and the Cambridge International A Levels. As a school based on Soka (value-creating) education philosophy, it is centered on humanistic education and aims to foster global citizens of wisdom, courage and compassion. The initial intake of students will study in years 7 to 9.

As the school’s founder, Daisaku Ikeda sent a congratulatory message, stating that Malaysia has, over many generations, grown into a multicultural society through its spirit of tolerance. He encouraged the students to support each other as they develop into global citizens in the diverse setting of Malaysia. He emphasized, “The stage is set for you to create new value, playing a role you script for yourselves in which you triumph.” He concluded saying, “May your time at Soka International School Malaysia be the most fruitful of all, your days spent first and foremost in good health, cherishing friendship with your fellow classmates and enjoying every moment in the highest of spirits.”

Soka International School Malaysia is an eco-friendly campus
SISM’s eco-friendly campus is equipped with solar panels and a rainwater harvesting system

Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada and Senior Vice President Yoshiki Tanigawa, who are respectively SISM senior adviser and senior director, joined local dignitaries from Malaysia and six other countries at the ceremony.

Michael Kok Fook On, the school’s CEO and chairman, expressed his heartfelt congratulations to the students and thanked the parents for entrusting their children to the school. He remarked, “With deep respect and gratitude, I look forward to you all creating a wonderful tradition, culture and history of SISM” and urged everyone to grow together into genuine learners and global citizens.

School Principal, Dr. Wendy Yee Mei Tien, encouraged the first cohort of students—the ones who will set the school’s foundation for future generations, to establish a tradition of excellence and mutual respect. Highlighting SISM’s rich diversity of cultures, religions and traditions, she stressed that it is through understanding, patience, and courageous efforts to appreciate such diversity that students can build a strong and harmonious network of friendships.

Incoming SISM students on their first day of class
Incoming SISM students

Soka Gakkai Malaysia General Director Koh Sia Feai expressed his hope that the school would produce an unending stream of bright, talented young people committed to the creation of a hope-filled future for all. He encouraged the students to build a school culture with an “ever-progressing and strong spirit of learning.”

Two incoming student representatives spoke at the ceremony. Dhairya Khera from India shared, “My determination is to become a victorious genuine learner and global citizen by giving my best in my academic endeavors, expanding my knowledge and capability as an SISM pioneer, and becoming a better human being based on kindness, wisdom, courage and compassion.”

Jeannie Looi from Malaysia addressed her fellow students, saying, “We are here not only for ourselves but also to contribute to the happiness of humanity and strive for world peace. Together, let us support and uplift one another, celebrating our unique differences and learning from our shared experiences.”

 [Adapted from articles in the August 25, 2023, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]

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