Monday, January 27, 2014

Anwar calls for national consensus

PETALING JAYA: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim today called for all Malaysians to reach a national consensus on crucial issues that impact the sub-stratum of the nation’s identity.
“There has been, particularly in the last few months, a series of circumstances and developments that collectively are fast eroding the cohesiveness that is so crucial to our identity,” the Permatang Pauh MP told a press conference here.
“These developments appear to be reaching a crescendo that threatens to tear the very fabric of our unity apart,” he added.

Anwar stressed that prevention is better than cure and called upon all parties to cease questioning the position of Islam as the religion of the Federation.
“We must reject the notion that Islam is under threat. We must reject the notion that there is some sinister conspiracy to replace Islam as the religion of the Federation with some other religion,” he said.
“In fact, we have not seen this building up of tension since the events leading up to our national tragedy of May 13, 1969,” he lamented.
“The voices of hate and animosity, the voices of prejudice and suspicion, and the voices of wreck and ruin are attempting to drown out the harmony, cooperation and understanding that we have managed to build on the ruins of this tragedy,” he added.
Anwar urged leaders on both sides of the political divide to set aside all partisan concerns and show real leadership in easing the tension and work towards ameliorating the situation.
He said the nation should remain focused on “things that really matter” so that the country can move forward.
“Let us work together to tackle the issues of governance, transparency and accountability,” he said.
“Whether it is at the Federal or state levels, let us resolve to stamp out the cancer of corruption which still plagues us,” he added.
He also called on all Malaysians to help the police to fight crime and “make our homes, our schools, and our shopping complexes safer”.
“It is morally incumbent on us… to go beyond partisan lines and come to a national consensus on how to move the nation forward,” he said.
“Duty towards the nation, even greater than duty to party, impels us to take up the challenge.
“We must strengthen our resolve and summon all our moral courage to see this through,” he added.
Asked what would be Pakatan Rakyat’s first step towards this national consensus, Anwar said his coalition has extended an olive branch to Barisan Nasional and it was up to the ruling coalition to accept their offer.
“We’re not asking for anything except to engage a dialogue about a major national issues.”
Last week, Anwar said he was ready to meet Najib Tun Razak to discuss on national issues.

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