Will UMNO General Assembly next week send out a clear and unmistakable message that UMNO will be the vanguard and not be the major obstacle to a movement of moderates against extremism in Malaysia?

I applaud the Sarawak Chief Minister, Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s call to the majority of Malaysians to be united and speak up against extremism as the country cannot afford to have extremists given its diversity in terms of race, culture and religion.

Speaking at a Barisan Nasional youth retreat dinner in Kuching last night, Adenan said the country could become a worse place not because the minority did not do enough, but the majority did nothing.

The Sarawak Chief Minister warned that the danger of extremism is looming in the country and it is for the moderates to speak up for moderation, pointing out that the majority cannot be silenced for the fanatics and extremists do not speak for the country.

Adenan’s speech is like a breath of fresh air after the surfeit of suffocating statements, speeches and demands in recent weeks and months giving the world the impression that extremism has taken over the country and that Malaysia’s multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious diversity, tolerance, harmony and goodwill have suddenly become a liability instead of an asset – which seemed to be further reinforced by Malaysia’s shocking jump in the Global Terrorism Index 2014 to the Top 50 countries in the world to be watched for terrorism problems.

This is a most surprising turn of events when Malaysia had always prided herself in the past few decades as a model and viable and successful microcosm of a peaceful and united multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-religious society and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak had spearheaded the Global Movement of Moderates with his clarion call to moderates of the world to unite and stand up against extremists, declaring:

“The fight against extremism is not about Christians versus Muslims, or Muslims versus Jews, but moderates versus extremists of all religions. We therefore need to rally a coalition of moderates; those willing to reclaim their religion, and pursue the path to peace.”

But strangely enough, in the past four years since Najib’s first speech at the United Nations General Assembly proposing a Global Movement of Moderates, Adenan is the first Barisan Nasional leader to make the call in Malaysia on moderates in the country to unite and isolate the extremists.

It is food for thought that Najib has yet to make a stirring call in the country to moderates in Malaysia to unite against the extremists – although this is his favourite topic in international forums.

Will UMNO General Assembly next week send out a clear and unmistakable message that UMNO will be the vanguard and not be the major obstacle to a movement of moderates against extremism in Malaysia?

Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy UMNO President, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today that UMNO is at a critical stage and it must change or be changed.

Is Muhyiddin prepared to take the lead to urge UMNO to be the vanguard and not be a major obstacle to a movement of moderates against extremism in Malaysia?

When UMNO vice president and Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein announced last week that the relevance of maintaining the Chinese school system will be one of the “hotly-debated topics” during the Umno annual general assembly next week, many Malaysians are reminded of Hishammudin’s offensive, irresponsible and provocative “Malay keris” antics in previous UMNO Youth Assemblies.

Is another ferocious bout of Chinese-bashing in the works at the UMNO General Assemblies next week – just like the orgy of Chinese-bashing immediately after the 13th General Elections in May last year with the UMNO organ, Utusan Malaysia leading the attack with the irresponsible and misleading front-page headline and question “Apa lagi orang Cina mahu?” (What else do the Chinese want?).

This will be a manifestation of continuing “extremism” and not the triumph of moderation and isolation of extremism, which is the objective of the movement of moderates, whether globally or in Malaysia.

Four years after Najib first mooted the proposal of a Global Movement of Moderates, it is still difficult to identify UMNO/Barisan Nasional Ministers, Chief Ministers and Mentri-Mentri Besar, as well as national and state leaders, who are prepared to be in forefront to take up the cudgel of moderation against extremism.

Adenan has spoken up. What about the other UMNO/Barisan Nasional Ministers, Chief Ministers/Mentri-Mentri Besar?

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 22 November 2014 - 4:20 pm

    The political capital seekers and political narcotic distributors want to talk about Sedition Act, the want to talk about vernacular schools, BUT they don’t want to talk about 1MDB, they don’t want to talk about PFI, or the Sabah RCI…when these things can bring down the entire country, not the sedition act or the vernacular schools..

  2. #3 by boh-liao on Monday, 24 November 2014 - 11:21 pm

    UmnoB, voice of moderation
    Ha, ah – ban ban tan loh, tan ku ku leh

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