Call on Najib and Cabinet to endorse the Open Letter of 25 Eminents to send a clear message to the nation and the world that Malaysian government fully committed to moderation against intolerance, extremism and bigotry
The Open Letter by 25 Malay former top civil servants and personalities on December 8 asking the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to show leadership against festering extremism and intolerance is undoubtedly the No. 1 News Event of the Year.
Never before has an Open Letter by the citizenry struck such a resounding chord in our multiracial, multi-cultural and multi-religious nation, as evidenced by the enthusiastic support from all groups of Malaysian society, not confined to Malays and Muslims, like ‘I am #26’ online petition with over 5,000 supporters; “KamiJuga25″ (We, too, are 25),signed by over 1,600 supporters; 95 NGOs in Malaysia, 22 Muslim activists and a multitude of support demonstrated by diverse groups and strata of Malaysian society in the past fortnight.
But the reaction has started, and the assaults on the 25 Eminents will escalate in personal attacks, character-assassination and viciousness employing the full resources of the intolerant and extremist media and social as we witnessed in the past two days.
This is the time for all moderates, crossing race, religious, gender, age and even political party lines to take a stand for moderation and marginalize, isolate and defeat intolerance, extremism and bigotry which are the greatest threats and enemies of a plural society like Malaysia.
This is the time for the positive politics of inclusion to replace the negative politics of exclusion!
At international fora in the past four years promoting wasatiyyah and the Global Movement of Moderates, Najib had called for a movement of moderates to drown out the extremists.
As he said in one such wasatiyyah conference, “We must ensure that our voices are heard — not just the voices of moderate Muslims but those of moderate Christians, moderate Hindus, moderate Jews and even moderate atheists.
“If these voices are to become loud enough to drown out the extremists, they need to be heard from every corner of the world.”
The voices of moderate Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, gender, age or political affiliation, are being raised to drown out the cacophony of the coarse loud-mouths and thugs from those preaching intolerance, extremism and bigotry.
The question is whether Najib will provide leadership for the voices of moderation to drown out siren calls of intolerance, extremism and bigotry.
It is now two weeks since the Open Letter of the 25 Eminents and the resounding support from all strata and groups of society, both Muslim and non-Muslim for moderation to drown out extremism in Malaysia, have shown the power of their call.
Is Najib prepared to present the Open Letter of the 25 Eminents to the Cabinet to get Ministerial endorsement to show to the nation and the world that the Malaysian government is fully committed to the course of moderation against intolerance, extremism and bigotry?
Is every Minister a moderate and prepared to take a stand against intolerance, extremism and bigotry?