Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Pakatan pours scorn on Najib’s reconciliation plan, says it’s a little too late

BY EILEEN NG
FEBRUARY 26, 2014
Anwar (left) has said that Pakatan Rakyat was ready to work together with the Najib government for national unity. Opposition leaders have however questioned Najib's silence on several well-publicised provocative incidents. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 26, 2014.Anwar (left) has said that Pakatan Rakyat was ready to work together with the Najib government for national unity. Opposition leaders have however questioned Najib's silence on several well-publicised provocative incidents. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 26, 2014.Pakatan Rakyat leaders (PR) have poured scorn on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's National Reconciliation Plan (NRP), saying that it is a case of "too little too late".They pointed out that after months of raging racial and religious tension, where Putrajaya had remained mostly silent, Najib's overtures now seemed more like mere talk without any decisive action.
What Najib should have done immediately, they said, was to take firm action against extremist groups who have started to threaten society's fabric, by warning them that they will face the full brunt of the law.
In describing the NRP as a recipe for Najib to abdicate his responsibility as the nation's chief executive but still wanting to cling on to the perks of office, DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang said the opposition had never been consulted on the NRP.
"It is certainly presumptuous on the part of a government elected on a minority vote of 47% of the electorate to work quietly and in secrecy to conceive a NRP without consultation and input from Pakatan, which has secured a majority of 51% of the national vote," he said.
Instead, Pakatan's olive branch to Barisan Nasional on a national consensus to resolve outstanding issues is still waiting for an official response from Najib and the BN leadership.
He questioned whether the NRP is different from the National Unity Blueprint prepared by the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), and if it is, why is there a need for the Blueprint which would be similar to the NRP.
Lim (pic, left) said he was initially excited when he found out that Najib had blogged about an update on national reconciliation, hoping that it would signal an end to the nine-month rudderless government after the 13th general election last year. However, Lim said he was disappointed, as it does not inspire hope that there would be a new purposeful leadership.
The Gelang Patah MP was especially scornful over Najib's call to all Malaysians to ignore the extremists, saying what the premier should have done is to promise a pro-active and pre-emptive
action by not condoning the actions of any groups who promote hate and violence.
"I could not think of a more inane, useless or irresponsible plan to save the country from the sinister and nefarious forces out to pit race against race, and religion against religion, and to create racial chaos and religious conflagration, especially when it is the Umno and
BN-controlled printed, electronic  and social media which gave precious oxygen to such instigators by sensationalising their extremist demands – in particular Utusan Malaysia and the Umno/BN controlled electronic media of radio and television.
"Will Najib immediately issue a directive to Utusan Malaysia and all Umno/BN-controlled printed, electronic and social media to stop giving oxygen to these instigators and extremists by denying them the publicity they crave?
"If Najib is not prepared to issue such directive, is he not condoning the instigators and extremists in their dastardly act of trying to pit race against race and religion against religion through the incessant incitement of racial and religious hatred and tension with lies and falsehoods?" he asked.
Utusan Malaysia is Umno's mouthpiece and had numerous run-ins with the opposition, who have taken the Malay daily to court several times.
Lim said at the very least, Najib should have issued a final warn everyone of stern action against those out to create racial religious chaos.
Unfortunately, Lim lamented, Najib lacks the political will to do so, and instead only asked Malaysians to "destroy" the instigators and extremists “by having faith in yourself and your fellow Malaysians”.
"It is sad and shocking that after five years as prime minister, Najib does not seem to know that the deadly challenge posed by those who want to destroy the very fabric of Malaysian society through incitement of racial and religious hatred and tension is not 'Don’t
give extremists publicity', but 'Don’t give extremists any quarter' to stamp out those who ceaselessly incite racial and religious hatred with lies and falsehoods."
PKR deputy publicity chief, Sim Tze Tzin (pic, right), laid the current tension squarely on Najib's doors, saying that it was the premier who started dividing Malaysia after the 13th general election by blaming BN's massive losses on a "Chinese tsunami".
This, he said, was followed by a frontpage report by Umno's mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia "Apa Lagi Cina Mahu?" and Najib's own party comrades telling off unhappy Malaysians to leave the country.
This was further compounded by Najib's "elegant silence" when a church in Penang was hit by Molotov cocktails while a slab of meat, believed to be pork, was thrown near a mosque entrance, also in Penang.
"Malaysians have lost trust in your leadership, your popularrity is now below 50% and is dropping further. In order to regain trust among the rakyat, you have to clean up your own house first," Sim said.
The Bayan Baru MP cited three things that Najib has to do to immediately to resolve the current tension, namely suspend Utusan Malaysia for continuing to incite hatred among different races, charge racist organisations in court, and stop discriminating the non-Muslims and resolve the "Allah" issue.
"My advice to you is, talk is cheap and taking photos are easy, resolving difficult political issues need real leadership."
PAS central committee member Khalid Samad (pic, left) said many right wing groups have sprouted since the May national polls, saying they were bent on trampling people's feelings and creating tension, with little or no action from the government so far.
"Najib has been silent on this for a while, and suddenly he is speaking on national reconciliation... it seemed very hypocritical.
"Based on his statements alone, it is too little too late. If he wants to repair the damage done, he has to do more, such as curbing or putting an end to these right wing groups to underscore his seriousness.
"He should not talk about national unity and reconciliation but at the same time, allow these groups to do what they like such as slaughtering chicken and smearing its blood on banners featuring pictures of national opposition leaders," said the Shah Alam MP, referring to a group of Malay NGOs who had offered RM2,000 to anyone who would slap DAP lawmaker Teresa Kok, to show anger over her satirical video "Onederful Malaysia",  poking fun at Barisan Nasional leaders. – February 26, 2014.
~ The Malaysian Insider

No comments: