Call on Najib to immediately clarify his blog-post

The biggest mystery now in the Najib premiership is the National Reconciliation Plan (NRP) which he first announced after the Cabinet meeting on January 29 and which he blogged about a week ago on Feb. 25 as until then nobody has ever heard anything about such a NRP.

What is noteworthy is that no other Cabinet Minister, not even the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, who is entrusted with the specific portfolio of national integration and national unity, had ever breathed a word about the NRP, both before and after the Jan. 29 Cabinet meeting.

It would appear that nobody else in Cabinet and Government apart from Najib knows anything about the NRP.

There are two big questions about both the events of the Jan 29 Cabinet meeting and Najib’s blog post three days ago.

Firstly, about Najib’s first mention of the NRP on Jan. 29 in his post-Cabinet statement where he said that “at today’s cabinet meeting, the members had examined a plan to develop and promote an environment which was conducive to and would help promote national reconciliation through unity and consensus in the country” and his second mention of the NRP in his blog three days ago that the NRP will be unveiled and implemented over the next few months.

Why is Najib treating the NRP like a strip-tease show, unpeeling one piece of clothing after another, completely unwilling to make full public disclosure of the proposed NRP?

Did the Cabinet give its blessings and approval for the NRP at its meeting of 29th January and why is not possible for the proposed NRP that was examined by the Cabinet on January 29 to be immediately made public to allow for public feedback and input so that it could be a more comprehensive and inclusive roadmap for national reconciliation in Malaysia?

As I said in my Third Open letter to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet before the Cabinet meeting of 29th January, I welcomed Najib’s earlier statement that he would bring Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s call for a “national consensus” to the Cabinet meeting.

In fact, the constant theme my three Open Letters to the Prime Minister and Cabinet in January this year was to ask them to accept the olive branch offered by the Pakatan Rakyat leadership “to love and save Malaysia” by preserving and promoting national unity, harmony and tolerance in the country and to take firm action to stamp out any nefarious and treacherous plot to cause racial chaos and religious conflagration through incessant incitement of racial and religious animosities and hatred in Malaysia.

Thirty long days have passed since the Cabinet meeting of January 29. Why has the Prime Minister or his representative failed to follow up on the Cabinet decision of January 29 to contact the Pakatan Rakyat leaders for a Barisan Nasional-Pakatan Rakyat Leaders’ Summit on national unity, reconciliation and consensus?

On 10th February, UMNO Secretary-General Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, who had been appointed by the Cabinet to liaise with the Pakatan Rakyat on the proposed national reconciliation and national consensus talks, said Barisan Nasional would have to have its first meeting on the issue as only UMNO had so far agreed to the talks.

Tengku Adnan said once BN coalition members agree to the talks, he will contact PR to fix a date.

It is the height of irresponsibility, at a time when racial and religious polarization is worsening by the day because of government inaction if not condoning of the incessant incitement of racial and religious hatred, conflict and tension through lies and falsehoods, that 30 days have passed without a follow-up on the Jan. 29 Cabinet meeting – no BN Supreme Council meeting and decision on the issue or contact with the Pakatan Rakyat for national reconciliation talks.

As a result of this government drift and inaction on important issues in the country, there has been an unprecedented spate of incidents to further raise racial and religious tensions like the Feb. 6 “slap and chicken” demonstration by the self-styled “Council of Islamic NGOs” committing a slew of offences including criminal intimidation, sedition, incitement of violence against a woman, incitement of violence against a Member of Parliament and incitement of another May 13 riots.

Yesterday, DAP National Vice Chairperson and MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok was again subjected to criminal intimidation, when the Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) Selangor issued her a 10-day ultimatum to apologise for her “Onederful Malaysia CNY 2014” video, falsely accusing her of insulting the security forces over the Lahad Datu incursion tragedy when her video had made no mention about the Lahad Datu incident, with the threat to mobilise a “battalion” to protest against her!

This brings us to Najib’s blog post three days ago, with the question whether the criminal inaction and negligence to uphold the law and order by the Police, the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Government in the last 30 days is the result of the Prime Minister’s advice that the best response to instigators and extremists is to “ignore” them instead of condemning or giving them attention!

Najib must be the first Prime Minister in the world to proffer the advice to all and sundry, including the law enforcement agencies like the police and the Attorney-General’s chambers, to ignore flagrant breaches of the law by instigators and extremists in their incessant incitement of racial and religious animosities and hatred through lies and falsehoods to create racial chaos and religious conflagration.

If this is not Najib’s intention, he should immediately clarify his blog post and declare that he, as Prime Minister, wants all law-enforcement agencies to uphold the law and give no quarter to instigators and extremists who want to pit race against race and religion against religion through incessant incitement of racial and religious hatred and conflicts.

Is Najib prepared to make such a clarification before any more damage is done to the authority and credibility not only to his Prime Ministership but also to the elected government, as otherwise what is use, role and purpose of law-enforcement agencies like the police, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, etc?

In fact, I call on Najib to immediately clarify his blog-post that it is not a directive to bar the police, AG’s Chambers and all law-enforcement agencies from carrying out their duties to give no quarter to instigators and extremists incessantly inciting racial and religious animosities and hatred.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah