Source: The Sun
Date: 26 April 2011
I WISH to warmly welcome the views of Datin Halimah Mohd Said in her insightful letter "Responsible voices must prevail" (April 21). I sincerely hope others will follow her gallant example in being neutral and professional in commenting on public policy issues without racial or religious prejudice.
Indeed more Malaysians of all backgrounds have to speak out much more to influence the public and especially the voters on the merits and demerits of public policies and practices that are adversely affecting national unity and our country’s future.
The silence of our silent majority can be deafening and is proving to be damaging if not disastrous to our fragile society. Only with more open and honest debate by the moderate Malaysians, who constitute the silent majority, can the racial extremists and religious bigots from all quarters be countered and isolated in the national interest.
It is therefore encouraging that the Sarawak elections have shown that the urbanites who are generally better educated and informed, voted against the corruption, and racial and religious discrimination and other abuses in our system. On the other hand the rural voters who are less critical and more concerned with basic needs like food, water, electricity and transport were easier to satisfy.
But as the electorate gains experience in being aware and monitoring the KPIs of the elected representatives, the use of racial and religious politics will diminish, as Malaysians rise above race and religion and vote for those who really serve them, regardless of race and religion and provincial affinities.
Hence, we have to develop a Movement of Malaysian Moderates, to fight extremists who will seek to undermine our weak national unity for their own selfish short-term political and economic gains and greed.
Our prime minister has promoted the fine concept of moderation abroad. We could now underscore this new policy of moderation by persuading the silent majority to form this Movement of Malaysian Moderates at home to reinforce what we are trying to promote overseas.
We Malaysians should all start by monitoring the words and actions of racial and religious extremists and prepare from now to isolate them at the ballot box.
Let’s get started for our nation’s future wellbeing.
Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam
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