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The Star’s book a voice for moderates


PETALING JAYA: The silent majority of moderate Malaysians have been given a voice through a book titled Moderation published by Star Media Group.

The book, which features a collection of 28 essays by prominent Malaysians and journalists, presents diverse views on the concept of moderation in Malaysia, a campaign spearheaded by The Star since 2014.

The book was launched by CIMB Group chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak at a ceremony held at Menara Star here yesterday.

In his speech, Nazir applauded The Star for its moderation campaigns, the latest being the Anak-Anak Malaysia Walk 2016 held last month.

“I’d like to think that the phenomenal response to these and other similarly themed initiatives in recent times are a reflection of the growing realisation among the moderate yet largely silent majority of Malaysians that we need to assert ourselves and be heard.

“We need to recapture the discourse, re-frame the narrative and re-stitch the colourful but tattered social tapestry of this multi-cultural, multi-racial and multi-religious nation that we all love and cherish.

“This book will certainly help our cause,” he said.

United voices: Nazir (in red tie) with Star Media Group CEO and managing director Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai (sixth from right), Star Media Group Berhad editor-in-chief Datuk Leanne Goh (seventh from left), Star Media Group executive editor Soo Ewe Jin (in wheelchair) and the contributors at the launch of the book at Menara Star, Petaling Jaya.
United voices: Nazir (in red tie) with Star Media Group CEO and managing director Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai (sixth from right), Star Media Group Berhad editor-in-chief Datuk Leanne Goh (seventh from left), Star Media Group executive editor Soo Ewe Jin (in wheelchair) and the contributors at the launch of the book at Menara Star, Petaling Jaya.

Nazir described the book as an important, timely and excellent collection of essays from writers who discussed many definitions, experiences and perspectives on moderation.

“I think the book cover’s subtext for moderation, ‘See with clarity, hear with an open mind and speak with kind words’, is an excellent definition of the practice of moderation.

“We should undertake a campaign with this definition to encourage all Malaysians to embrace these simple but inherently powerful traits,” he added.

He also said there were too many people who called themselves moderates but were close-minded about issues they differed on and inflammatory in the way they expressed their disagreement.

“We should make it clear that having a couple of friends from different ethnic groups and not supporting ISIS does not make you a moderate. It’s your behavioural traits that matter,” he said.

Among the book’s notable writers are Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, Datuk Seri Idris Jala, Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, Azmi Sharom, Datuk Seri Azman Ujang, Wan Saiful Wan Jan, Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar and Sharyn Shufiyan.

The Star Online editor Philip Golingai along with journalists Dina Murad and Michelle Tam also contributed essays to the book.

The diverse writings range from analytical pieces on the Allah issue, policies that created today’s antagonistic climate and the growing “Arabisation” of Malay Muslims to lighthearted stories of growing up in a mixed heritage home and of a Peninsular Malaysian’s first visit to Sarawak.

Moderation, which retails for RM48, is available in all major bookstores.

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