PETALING JAYA: Reasonable Malaysians need to shape public discourse on policies and issues, says Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) chief executive officer Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
He said moderates in Malaysia tended to be low-key and their views were often unaired in the public sphere.
“I urge the moderates to speak up more and reclaim the centre stage to shape public discourse on policies and issues,” he said.
Saifuddin stressed that in a democratic country, everyone deserved the chance to be heard, including the extremists in society, but the best way for moderates to be heard is to speak louder than the extremists.
“The only way to do it is by using the voices of the moderates to drown them out and by showing how things can be done in a moderate manner,” he added.
Saifuddin said the majority of Malaysians believed in moderation.
“Malaysians as a whole have been subscribing to the middle path by respecting and tolerating others. That is why we can claim that the big majority of Malaysians are moderates,” he said.
He said Malaysians from different religions coming together to offer prayers to the victims of the MH17 and MH370 tragediesshowed that everyone could accept each other’s religious beliefs.
Saifuddin said the The Star’s campaign to encourage moderates to speak up had come at the right time.
“Unfortunately, there are one or two media (outlets) that give too much space for the extreme voices and too little for the moderates.
“We need to give more space for the moderate voices,” he said.