Date: 25 January 2012
It is highly commendable that Malaysia, under Prime Minister Najib
Abdul Razak's leadership, has been promoting the wise philosophy of
moderation at home and abroad.
The International Conference of the
Moderates in Kuala Lumpur held on 19 Jan, was impressive as the
beginning of a long universal campaign, to spread the philosophy of
This is essential to fight the growing extremist ideologies and practices that we see not only abroad but even at home.
international conference was quite a success with the active
participation of about 50 speakers and 350 delegates from 70 countries.
they welcomed the prime minister's initiative to hold this significant
conference, they also rightly raised some serious concerns on the future
viability and prospects of this proposed Global Movement of Moderates.
it is important to establish at the outset that moderation should not
only be aimed at combating extremism and terrorism in the field of
religious understanding and accommodation/tolerance.
pertinent the moderation movement has to fight extremism that is
practiced across the board, in the social, economic, ethnic, and
cultural fields as well.
Malaysia and other countries can make
major contributions to enhance policies and practices of moderation in
all these spheres of human endeavour, only if we can show that we
practice what we preach.
Yes, Malaysians have much to be proud
about our record of relative moderation. However we must recognise that
we have also a lot more to do and to achieve, if our call for moderation
is to be credible and taken really seriously.
Hence, to be
realistic and relevant, we have to resolve to do more to put our own
house in better order. Our own policies and practices need to be
reviewed, revised and even transformed at a faster pace.
serious problems of polarisation in our country have to addressed much
more strenuously. For instance national unity has been eroded by some
narrow sectarian policies and practices that have cause much dissention.
and racial harmony can also be considerably improved, if constitutional
provisions are implemented with more fairness and moderation.
the first step is for government to come down hard on extremist
pronouncements and actions like kicking cow heads and throwing pig heads
at sacred places of worship.
Politicians who make seditious
remarks should be immediately pulled up and charged for causing public
discord, and not be allowed to get away with their extreme views.
government policies and the implementation programmes must be
thoroughly scrutinised for elements of extremist practices that violate
the spirit of the constitution.
All Malaysians must be seen and
feel that they are treated equally on the basis of their basic needs and
their human rights, rather than mainly racial and religious
Anyone, especially political leaders, found
guilty of promoting and practicing extremist conduct has to be pulled up
and made accountable.
This is particularly pertinent in our unique multiracial, multi-religious and multicultural society.
this is essential to ensure that we receive more support and less
criticism, both internally as well as externally, for this laudable
initiative to promote moderation, to counter all kinds of extremism and
especially terrorism worldwide!
Unless we can show the world
that we mean what we say in our own country, it may be difficult for
Malaysia, despite the best intentions of our prime minister and the
government, for Malaysia to continue to lead in the Global Movement of
All peace loving, progressive and true Malaysians will
give their full support to this philosophy of moderation, given its
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