Paris: The world meets and marches in solidarity


This is a message addressed to the Prime Minister written more in sorrow than anger. This is a plea.

A somber Sunday. I have just seen the CNN live telecast of the solidarity march.

A million and a half souls came together to condemn the barbaric murders in Paris earlier in week perpetuated by agents of terror associated with radical Islam, a minority of the billion plus followers of Islam.

The march drew leaders from across the globe. The scenes depicted heads of Government from across Europe; there were others from Asia and Africa. There were Muslim leaders – King Abdullah of Jordan; the Prime Minister X of Turkey; PM. Netanyahu of Israel; President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority marched with clasped hands.

The crowds waved flags of many nations – both Christian and Muslim. Islam clerics joined in the denunciation of the terrorists.

The scene portrayed an emotional outpouring of grief and defiance of the murderers who had not differentiated between Christian, Jew, or Muslim as the victims belonged to all three faiths.

As a Malaysian, I was overcome with shame and sadness, as there was no sign that my country was prepared to take a firm stand and join the vast majority in a united stand against those who preach and dispense terror and hate.

There was no Malaysian presence and not a single flag flew to signify that Malaysia was one with the rest of the world in sending a message to the forces of evil that murder and mayhem were not the answer to expressing feelings of being aggrieved.

There were pathetic remarks by some Malaysian leaders, past and present, offering justification for the catastrophic blood letting. Nor were there clerics who came forth to voice words of comfort.

The Prime Minister has speechified about the virtues of moderation on many occasions in foreign fora.

He has yet to speak to a domestic audience in the National Language on the same theme.

The events in the French capital elicited a brief comment; Wisma Putra issued a wishy-washy statement.

There was no effort by the Prime Minister to go to the French Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to sign the book of condolence or to join other world leaders uniting in Paris in condemnation of the murderous acts.

His weak reactions bring into question his sincerity and commitment to the message of moderation. His double speak has destroyed his credibility and claims to leadership as a moderate.

Regaining credibility and re-establishing his claims as a leader pledged to promoting moderation will demand actions to back his seeming hollow words addressed to selective audiences.

A number of demonstrable actions are within easy reach. These include:

• Go to the ground and deliver the message of moderation;

• Adopt a resolution in the March sitting of Parliament condemning terrorism;

• Curb the vitriolic and hate filled messages carried by the media and NGOs;

• Redouble efforts to prevent Malaysians joining or supporting the so-called Jihadist campaign;

• At the international level, use Malaysia’s membership of the UN Security Council to propose a resolution condemning acts of terrorism;

• In the capacity of ASEAN Chair, have ASEAN adopt measures to prevent nationals from lending support to or joining ISIS;

• Lead OIC countries to take steps to deny support for groups espousing terrorism.

Any failure to take actions will be viewed by the world at large as a failure of leadership and less than full commitment to checking the forces of evil.

The Prime Minister has a choice: Act now to establish his legacy as a leader promoting moderation even as he attempts to push Malaysia into the ranks of developed nations or be labeled a weak and insincere leader who stood still even as forces of reaction perpetrated barbaric deeds and left the country a divided nation struggling to find a place among nations truly practicing moderation.

A Saddened Malaysian.

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 14 January 2015 - 10:12 am

    What is most significant is that the likes of the Hezbollah and Iranian condemned the attacked. There was a “but” in their support but its a highly significant shift showing where sentiments are heading globally. For us, the most significant is the fact Mahathir chose to still bend the other way, revealing, as all old men do, true self as a radical and showing how out of sync they are with the world, even their very own..

  2. #2 by Noble House on Thursday, 15 January 2015 - 2:06 am

    France didn’t just march on Sunday. Today it sent an aircraft carrier to conduct Ops against ISIS in Iraq.

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