Thursday, December 27, 2007

Anwars's advice to PM - realistic

Anwar tells PM: Greater threat is negligence

Terence Netto Malaysiakini ,Dec 27, 07 1:25pm

Malaysia is in greater danger from the negligence of those in power than from the rage felt by its recalcitrants, said PKR's de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

"Our society is in greater danger from executive negligence than from the extremism of its recalcitrants,” he said in an immediate response to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's Christmas Day strictures on religious extremism.

On Dec 25, Abdullah had taken the opportunity of his attendance at the Christmas Day tea party, jointly organised by the Christian Federation of Malaysia and Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur Murphy Packiam, to inveigh against religious extremisn.

The prime minister called on moderates in Malaysia to speak up to pre-empt fanatics from taking centre stage.

This drew an immediate riposte from Anwar, who with his wife Wan Azizah, also attended the tea party at the invitation of Archbishop Packiam.

"On the birth celebration of the Prince of Peace, it is right and fitting to remind every citizen of his or her value as a channel of peace, moderation and tolerance,” said Anwar, who also former deputy prime minister.

"But bear in mind that peace is not just the absence of conflict; it is the presence of justice. Where there is little or no justice, there will be a deficit in peace."

Anwar’s advice to PM

Anwar observed that Christian social teaching held peace and justice to be obverse sides of the same coin.

Of Abdullah's strictures on extremism, Anwar opined: "He is a purveyor of platitudes. He keeps his counsel when he ought to speak up.

“When he does speak up, he mouths pious platitudes which are about as useful as buying an umbrella after it has started to rain."

Anwar offered this piece of advice to the prime minister: “Look to the causes of disorder and not its symptoms, just don't treat the bark when the roots need remedy, reach for the panacea and not be satisfied with the placebo."

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