PETALING JAYA: Providing space to hear the voices of the people and the silent majority is key in the campaign to push for moderation, according to various groups.
Association for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham) secretary-general Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria said as the country prepared to welcome the National Day and Malaysia Day, The Star’s initiative yesterday was well-timed.
“Let us build bridges, listen, feel, appeal and reason out ways to build a better Malaysia for all,” he said.
The Star’s campaign is a reminder to its readers that the newspaper had always been, and will always be, open to Brave Views and Bold Ideas – but tempered by the voice of moderation.
The newspaper pledged to keep discussions open, rational and moderate, and showcase the many liberal, moderate and balanced voices.
The Star has also pledged that it would be at the forefront to nurture and ensure the resounding triumph of moderation and reason over extremism and insanity.
Denison said the majority of Malaysians believed that moderation was the way out in resolving difficult issues. Problems bred with groups that took extreme positions, he added.
“If we keep to the framework and guidelines of the Federal Constitution and Rukun Negara, we will be able to sit down and talk things over,” Denison said.
“Even if we totally disagree, we can still be able to agree to disagree,” he said, stressing that Malaysia’s progress would be hastened if all ethnic and religious groups worked together.
Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) chief operating officer Tricia Yeoh, in supporting the campaign, said it was high time a media organisation took a stand on the issue of moderation.
“The campaign is much needed, and my hope is that the other media, including the vernacular press, emulate the move,” she said.
Transparency International Malaysia president Datuk Akhbar Satar said the campaign for moderation was a step in the right direction to bring Malaysians together.
He said these days, Malaysians seemed to be more divided and only came together for sports.
“We need to accept each other, problems and all,” he said.
Suriana Welfare Society for children chairman James Nayagam said of late, love, understanding and acceptance that were promoted by all religions seemed to be lacking in Malaysian society.
“The call and campaign for moderation is a good effort which should be supported by all right-minded people, regardless of race and religion,” he said.