Thursday, October 14, 2010

Adopting a mindset of moderate thinking

The Star,Oct 7,reported that many leaders attending the Eighth Asia-Europe Summit (Asem) have expressed support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s call to make moderate thinking a global trend. The positive response from world leaders has prompted the PM to think of ways to promote such moderate thinking worldwide

The biggest challenge to world peace in extremism of any sort be it racial, religious or any other ideologies. Although all religions came into to existence to promote peace among men but today their abuses have become a serious threat to that peace itself. In fact religious extremism has become the most serious threat to the human race today and unless moderation is adopted by all there is real fear of the extinction of the human race with the availability of sophisticated nuclear weapons. The PM’s call for moderation is indeed timely and wise and must be heeded by the world community.

While our PM’s call was well received by leaders outside, it is more important for our own leaders to heed his call. As the saying goes ‘Charity begins at home’ so must moderation also begin at home where extremism is also from time to time threatening to disrupt the peace and harmony in our multi-racial and multi religious nation. Of late there has been number of incidences that were the result of such extremist attitude among some members of the population and even leaders at high level. These numbers may nevertheless be small but if not nipped at the bud, the damage they could cause to undo the peace and harmony can be tremendous.

The authorities should be firm to act against anyone, regardless of race, religion, political affiliation or social status, who is seen to advocate extremism in any form. Prompt and stern action against such people is the only way to deter those who may want to resort to such extremist activities for their own vested interests. Those in positions of power and influence, like political leaders, educators and civil servants must be seriously warned not to say or do anything that would touch on the sensitivities of others. Activities that encourage religious and racial moderation must be held from time to time to emphasize its importance among all such leaders.

A moderate mindset is of utmost importance for ensuring lasting peace among the diverse ethnic groups in our country. We may have many ideal policies to promote tolerance among the people, the latest being the 1Malaysia policy. These will remain just political rhetoric unless there are deliberate and sincere attempts to implement them without fear or favor. We must not let the few with extremist’s minds among us to derail the peace and harmony that the vast majority of Malaysians want.

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