I have always been fascinated by religions and studied it at graduate school overseas. As a Christian, I do believe that we must respect the choices people make in regard to religion. It was therefore a singular honour for me to be conferred the Abdeali Tayebali Lifetime Achievement Award by the Family Trust.
I hope my acceptance speech and what my friend Dr. Gervis wrote will encourage you to let kindness to one another be the unifying factor for all of us, whatever faith tradition we embrace, or for that matter, no faiths at all.
Acceptance Speech for the Abdeali Tayebali Lifetime Achievement Award
Minister Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youths; Mr. Ameerali
Abdeali, Chairman of the Abdeali Tayebali Family Trust, Your Excellency and my dear friend,
Ambassador Kesapany, members of the Board of Trustees, leaders of collaborating organizations -
the Singapore Indian Association and the Jamiyah Islamic Centre - distinguished guests, ladies and
I am deeply honoured and humbled to be given this recognition for the life I live and the work I do.
When I was told that I was unanimously nominated by the board, my immediate reaction was that
there are many more worthy nominees. But my plea fell on deaf ears, so here I am to accept this
It is especially significant because I am a Christian. And I am being honoured by a Muslim Family
Trust. This is an important message to our fellow Singaporeans and to others around us that in
Singapore we value religious harmony. We can practice our own faith passionately without
disrespect to other faith traditions. We can be passionate and compassionate at the same time.
I would like to receive this recognition on behalf of all my friends of all faiths and no faiths who
believe in our common humanity bonded by a duty to be kind to one another.
As for me, I will continue to live my life and do my work based on the fundamental commitment to
love God with all my heart, with all my mind and with all my strength and to love my neighbours as
I am even more determined to work towards fostering a kinder and more gracious society and I
invite you to join me in this worthy endeavour. Therein lies the glimmer of hope for peace and
goodwill in a world at risk of imminent self-destruction.
May our lives be filled with faith, hope and love, wrapped with peace and goodwill to one and all.
Thank you very much, and God bless,
William Wan, JP., PhD.
29 Dec 2015