I have addressed three Open Letters to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Cabinet before three Cabinet meetings in January last month urging the end of national drift and loss of leadership and direction in the past nine months since the 13th general elections last May.
I also appealed to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet 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 ensure that no nefarious and treacherous plot to cause racial chaos and religious conflagration could succeed in Malaysia.
After the January 29 Cabinet meeting, Najib announced a Cabinet green light for a Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat Leaders’ Summit on national reconciliation and national consensus, claiming that he had first mooted the idea of national reconciliation after the last general election but various parties were not responsive to his appeals to come together.
For the past six months, Pakatan Rakyat leaders have been urging for Barisan Nastional/Pakatan Rakyat talks on national reconciliation and national consensus in view of the unprecedented slew of major national crises faced by the country, including the quintuplet of national crisis covering nation building and national unity, economic, educational, security and anti-corruption. The PR leadership never proposed the idea of “national unity” government.
I do not think claiming credit for the first to moot national reconciliation talks will the country very far if there is no sincerity, commitment or political will to come to the roundtable to achieve national reconciliation and national consensus.
I felt significant progress was made when Najib announced on Jan 29 that the Cabinet had given the “green light” for national reconciliation and national consensus talks with Pakatan Rakyat.
Najib had spoken of the “four thrusts to national reconciliation plan” namely social, political, government and international relations.
These “four thrusts” would serve as a useful proposal for a working agenda by a joint BN/PR Leaders’ Summit Secretariat which should have been formed to finalise the agenda and other details of the BN/PR Leaders’ Summit.
It is therefore most shocking that two full weeks elapsed with no follow-up action whatsoever to the Cabinet meeting of Jan. 29 which gave the greenlight for the BN/PR Leaders’ Summit on national reconciliation and national consensus.
Neither the Pakatan Rakyat nor any of its three component parties, PKR, PAS and DAP, received any official communication on the National Reconciliation and National Consensus talks.
I was most shocked when I found out the reasons for this procrastination.
Yesterday, the Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor told The Malaysian Insider that “the much-publicised national reconciliation talks between Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat will not be taking off anytime soon as Umno has still to get the green-light from its allies in BN”.
“We are going to have our first meeting and we need to engage the other parties in this effort as well” said Tengku Adnan, adding that only Umno has so far agreed to the talks.
“We are BN, and we work on a consensus basis as a multi-racial party, so we need to include the rest in it.”
I find this the height of irresponsibility for two reasons.
Firstly, Adnan had been appointed by the Cabinet to liaise with the Pakatan Rakyat on the proposed national reconciliation and national consensus talks.
Why is Adnan still dilly-dallying on the issue after two full weeks have passed.
Isn’t he aware of the urgency and priority of the bi-partisan national reconciliation and national consensus talks, especially as there are irresponsible and reckless elements – though a minority – who are trying to up the ante to destabilise the country through incessant incitement of racial and religious hatred, conflict and tension whether through demonstrations, provocative banners or extremist utterances, including raising the spectre of another May 13 riots.
Secondly, is Adnan suggesting that there are BN component parties which opposed the proposed national reconciliation and national consensus talks with PR?
Why hasn’t the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council convened in the past two weeks to give full authorisation and mandate for the holding of a BN/PR Leaders’ Summit on national reconciliation and national consensus?
What is the stand of MCA, Gerakan, MIC and the Sabah and Sarawak component parties on the proposed national reconciliation and national consensus talks with Pakatan Rakyat?
In fact, I want to specifically ask the new top MCA leadership of Datuk Seri Liow Liong Lai and Datuk Wee Ka Siong elected some two months ago why they are not in the forefront requisitioning an urgent meeting of the BN Supreme Council meeting?
Or are the new MCA leaders only interested to get back to the Cabinet and government so as to be appointed Ministers or Deputy Ministers but totally unconcerned about the great burning national issues facing Malaysians?
Tengku Adnan said once BN coalition members agree to the talks, he will contact PR to fix a date.
When will the BN Supreme Council be meeting? And when will Adnan be contacting the PR?
The Cabinet, at its meeting, should review the non-progress in the national reconciliation and national consensus talks in the past fortnight, which has virtually reduced the whole subject into a national joke.
The question all Malaysians are entitled to ask is whether Najib and the Cabinet are really seriously about national reconciliation and national consensus rising above partisan differences to end national drift and loss of leadership and direction?
Let Najib and Cabinet furnish the answer to all Malaysians after the Cabinet meeting tomorrow.
(Media Statement in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 11th February 2014)