Penang State Barisan Nasional jumped on the bandwagon to launch ‘Najib for Moderates’ as their CNY theme this year, saying the idea came following the success of the recent forum in Kuala Lumpur.
Its state working committee chief Teng Hock Nan, who is state Gerakan chief, said the coalition applauded Najib’s initiatives and his bold proposal for moderation at the 65th United Nations meeting in New York in 2010. During a forum recently, Prime Minister Najib unveiled the formation of an institute of Wasatiyyah (Moderation) under the Prime Minister’s Office to pursue moderation in “democracy, rule of law, education, human dignity and social justice”.
While the slogan is attractive, I believe we should not miss the opportunity to discuss what is 'moderation' to Barisan Nasional?
It is a waste of time and unproductive if politicians are too preoccupied with the polemics but not the content and substance of a slogan.
On democracy: Is Penang Barisan willing to support the sanctity of Malaysia citizenship vis-a-vis the dual socio-political status created by the politicization of the New Economic Policy? I remember Ambiga was severely criticized by some Perkasa and UMNO members for suggesting that citizenship should the centrality of democracy. I would like to hear a respond from Penang Barisan and Teng. What is their moderate viewpoint?
Rule of law: It is the bulwark of a functioning democracy. Rule of law means the enforcement of law must be done impartially, justly and without fear or favour. It is worrying if some individuals are treated differently from the rest. If stern action is being taken against certain individuals or publications for spreading racially or religiously sensitive rumours or allegations, it must be enforced fairly and democratically to protect the interest of all. If the powerful and rich can dodge the long arms of law, then the rule of law is not longer seen as fair or just. What's Penang Barisan view on rule of law?
What's Teng response towards those who are playing with fire and trying to revive feudalism through the role of the royalty? In Malaysia, the role of constitutional monarchy is symbolic and a reminder of Malaysia's feudal past but it does not mean that we are disrespectful for putting the constitution above the royalty.
What's Penang Barisan definition of moderation on education, human dignity and social justice? Are these values being applied with moderation at all times?
Why isn't Hasan Ali, Ibrahim Ali and some other provocative individuals being brought to justice for their action and words?
Why isn't 'Najib for Moderation' being practiced by Barisan Nasional nationally?
Nonetheless, I am proud that Penang continues to lead. We hope to take the lead again in promoting moderation, true moderation.