September 30th, 2014
AS a passionate promoter of moderation and national unity, I was heartened to read Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai’s article “Keep pushing for moderation” (Sunday Star, Sept 28).
All true Malaysians have no alternative but to push hard and long for moderation in all aspects of our lives in Malaysia’s multiracial, multicultural and multi-religious society.
Unfortunately, there are still many demagogues and political opportunists, racists and religious bigots who promote hate to split our beloved country.
Worse still, some of these undesirable and disruptive characters seem to thrive and get away with impunity, despite the Sedition Act!
According to Wong, most Malaysians are fed-up with these cheap politicians and roughnecks who preach and spread ill will and disharmony amongst us.
The authorities should come done hard on religious and racial hate mongers.
However, this does not mean that honest and constructive critics of poorly formulated policies and practices, must be charged, while the real crooks are condoned.
The Star’s Voices of Moderation campaign must continue with greater push and purpose. The campaign should not slow down. The majority of Malaysians may even want this campaign to become a full-fledged “National Movement for Moderation” or NaMM.
Together with the National Unity Consultative Council, the Global Movement of Moderates and many other committed NGOs, NaMM must be formed with full backing from the Government.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak did very well at the UN General Assembly by condemning extremism. The Government must follow-up and show that it means business by going all out to weed out racial and religious extremism.
There must be a peoples’ movement to fight for moderation which can come under the second phase of the Voices of Moderation campaign.
It would also be timely to set up a NaMM foundation to promote moderation and national unity. Surely about 1,000 corporations and individuals could donate RM1,000 each to kickstart the proposed NaMM fund.
Those who teach and preach extremism should be identified, chastised and even isolated and ostracised, in the interest of public safety and security.
Our multiracial country cannot afford to tolerate extremists from any quarters. We have to send a clear signal to all extremists that NaMM will expose extremists and ensure that political extremists will not succeed in our elections.
The supporters of extremists must be prevented from doing more harm to our country.
I strongly support Wong’s appeal to fellow Malaysians to keep fighting for a Moderate Malaysia.
We must do our part if we truly want a united and progressive Malaysia.
So let’s rally together as Malaysians to launch NaMM to protect our blessed country; Malaysia.
TAN SRI RAMON NAVARATNAM
Asli Centre for Public Policy Studies
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