Around 1,000 people gathered at the Singapore Soka Association (SSA) headquarters this morning for Mercy Relief’’s (MR) observance of the 10th year since the 9/11 pandemonium (approximately 8.50pm SIN time) which jolted the entire humanity.  Incidentally, it was the immediate ensuing war in Afghanistan that led to MR’s first ever deployment of its personnel for the Singapore Medical Relief missions to Spin Buldak in South Afghanistan. To date, MR remains Singapore’s own and only implementing humanitarian relief and development organisation, serving 20 countries across Asia.


Leaders of the main faiths in Singapore led a ‘Unity in Silence’ observance for the thousands who perished in innocence a decade ago, and prayed for a more unified and benign human nation. Following that, the leaders shared their thoughts and aspirations on peace, unity and harmony amongst mankind.


Unity in Silence – Leaders of the main faiths in Singapore led a prayer for the thousands who perished in innocence a decade ago.

The event, entitled Chord for Peace signifies the human spirit working in unison, regardless of culture or creed, for a better and more peaceful world. It also symbolises the correlation of different voices pitching towards a mutual and universal tune – to extend hands and connect hearts through servicing those in need.

At 8.50am (12 hours before the actual 10-year mark), Advisor to MR, Speaker of Parliament Abdullah Tarmugi addressed the audience, “Singaporeans, have reacted reasonably and positively. We have shown great courage, maturity and adaptability in dealing with the crisis. But with increasing connectivity through the Internet and new media, people now have greater access to unlimited information, including various ideologies, which can cause disharmony and distrust among us.  Hence, we must continue to be attentive and united as we mould our lives and landscape into the future.

An example of making the best from the common phrase ‘Unity in Diversity’ is MR. The humanitarian cause strongly binds its Board of Directors comprising individuals from varying religious, social and professional backgrounds. Since 2007, the Singapore-born humanitarian NGO has been headed by a Hindu Chairman, a Buddhist and a Muslim as deputy chairmen, and a Sikh Secretary.

Vice-Chairman of MR and General Director of SSA Ong Bon Chai, Mr and Mrs Abdullah Tarmugi, MR Board of Director and MP Fatimah Lateef and esteemed Religious Leaders gracing the September 11 observance.

Mr Abdullah added, “At Mercy Relief, we also realized that poverty often breeds vulnerability. The more disadvantaged a community is, the more vulnerable it is to surrounding threats, be it natural or man-made. Thus, regardless of our differences, we must look out for each other and work together towards a common cause.

Advisor to MR and Speaker of Parliament Abdullah Tarmugi addressing the attendees at 8.50am.

Venue host, the Singapore Soka Association (SSA), had its Chairman Jerry Oh to bring the simple yet significant Observance to a close. He quoted from the President of Soka Gakkai International, Dr. Daisaku Ikeda’s essay ‘From the Ashes’ (A spiritual response to the 9/11 tragedy), “We were not born into this world to hate and destroy each other. (But) We must restore and renew our faith in humanity and in each other.”

SSA Chairman Jerry Oh addressing the guests, bringing the Observance to a close. 

About Mercy Relief

Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance.  

In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal,  Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.

For more information, you may call us at 6514 6322 or email

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