PETALING JAYA: Two prominent Malaysians have given their backing to the moderation campaign and call to set up a National Consultative Council 2 (NCC2).
They expressed support for a national recalibration initiative by gathering the best minds and leaders across society, an idea mooted by prominent banker Datuk Seri Nazir Razak.
AirAsia boss Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Enra Group Bhd executive chairman Datuk Kamaluddin Abdullah took to Instagram to give Nazir their support.
“My friend @nazir.razak says he’s getting desperate .... I empathise ... a moderate Malaysia was where I came from and a moderate Malaysia is where I want to be ... where I want my children to be ... Let’s all not lose sight of the bigger picture coz we’re blinded by politics and bad blood ...” Kamaluddin posted on his own profile together with a picture of a pensive-looking Nazir.
In his original post, Nazir admitted to “feeling desperate” to see Malaysians coming together in a spirit of moderation.
Fernandes had replied in the comments section, asking Nazir not to feel so as most Malaysians are moderate.
“Don’t be desperate. We are the majority. The majority of Malaysians are moderate. They are just silent. Time to not be silent. I’m happy to take leave to be on NCC2. Where do I send my CV?” he asked.
Banker Tan Sri Dr Mohd Munir Abdul Majid, however, opined that an NCC2 may not be the best solution for national renewal, revival and growth.
“I fear ego-tripping, grandstanding and multitude of words would only result in some report some way down the road gathering dust,” he said in an interview.
Instead, Munir said he favoured government-appointed high-powered working groups set up to study and achieve a set of objectives within a set timeframe and can be made public.
Noting that Malaysia was sliding away from its constitutional structure and institutional reforms were required to “arrest” such a slide, he said he would support any process that achieved three objectives, of which the first would be to renew and reiterate Malaysia’s commitment to a democratic political system based on the Federal Constitution as well as the Rukun Negara.
“We must revive what was underlined by the Rukun Negara.
“This was (created in) 1970, just after the riots. Yet our leaders could see the need to ensure that we remain a democratic country even when democracy had been suspended,” he said, referring to the state of emergency declared after the May 13 riots.
The second objective, he said, would be to check the threat to national unity “caused by non-adherence to and disrespect” for Malaysia’s plural society.
The final objective would be to repair Malaysia’s digital economy via innovation and technology to create greater competition and opportunities, he added.
The original NCC was set up in 1970 after the May 13, 1969 riots to “establish positive and practical guidelines for inter-racial co-operation and social integration for the growth of a Malaysian national identity”.
It was created by Malaysia’s second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein.
Nazir, who is Razak’s son, has repeatedly called for the setting up of an NCC2, most recently at the book launch of The Star’s Moderation at Menara Star on Thursday.