– Kennee Wong
The Malaysian Insider
February 26, 2014
Yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak penned an article about the government’s new initiative for a more cohesive and united Malaysia.
Called the National Reconciliation Plan (NRP), it will be unveiled and implemented in the next few months and he has shared a bit of what is to come.
I cannot help but to wonder if the NRP will be another irresolute proposal that will have little consequence towards the improvement of our nation’s race and interfaith relations.
I commend him for the courage to voice his aspiration for a better Malaysia.
It takes a bold resolve on any authority figure to approach such a delicate situation head-on.
Enthusiastic terminologies aside, I find he has shared nothing more than wishful thinking that all peace-loving public has long thought of.
I had been pining for a more decisive and authoritative conduct from my prime minister, and not simply lament over the current state of affairs we are finding ourselves in.
At this deteriorating juncture, we can ill afford another stop-gap measure.
Back in 2011, we had a glimmer of hope when the 10-point solution was drawn up.
It is now, however, a subject of scorn and ridicule as the government seemed to have backtracked on the agreement.
The seizure of Alkitab in Selangor in January 2014 was a good example.
It was a convenient revelation that state religious laws will override the 10-point solution even when there was a comprehensive mention of country and the peninsula in the first and second points.
What use is a promise when it is ineffectual when it comes to resolving matters of interfaith discords at the executive level?
I have never felt so belittled for exercising my democratic right to vote in the last general election.
It was barely hours after the results when the prime minister proclaimed that a “Chinese tsunami” was the reason for Barisan Nasional’s declined support.
Surely, a more thorough post-mortem ought to have been conducted before issuing such a premature and pandering assumption.
The excuse was later debunked, but never to be acknowledged formally by BN.
As much as I would like to see less racial hatred in our multicultural society, I do not think highlighting the nuances of a Malay policeman helping an old Chinese woman crossing the street will be a good example.
It would only serve to reinforce the racial differentiation in an otherwise colour-blind society that we should be striving for.
Alternatively, I would prefer to see politicians put an end to making irresponsible statements with regard to race relations and interfaith matters and reprimand their colleagues when they misbehave.
Instead of sweeping news coverage of extremists under the carpet, the right approach has to be at the root of the vexation itself.
While it is decorous not to provide a pedestal for the extremists to be lionised, they cannot be dispensed from justice as a deterrence for other heinous stunts.
Cowardly acts of subversion may be ignored by the rakyat, but action from the authority has to be unwavering and they cannot be seen dragging their feet when it comes to procedural investigation.
It has often fascinated me how much we have progressed since Malaysia’s independence, owing to the profusion of technological advancements.
The immediacy of information and news should match our growth as a nation.
In spite of that, it is also the abuse by reckless parties for political expedience that we are regressing at a worrying rate.
The prime minister’s call for reconciliation will need a more methodical approach instead of mere rhetoric if he wants to see a positive outcome, otherwise his NRP would be fast known as No Real Purpose or Never Really Plan. – February 26, 2014.