“Proposal for Mediation Council to address inflammatory issues, promote de-escalation”

CONSIDERING the controversial and inflammatory remarks by various persons in the last few weeks, it is time to institute a mediation set up to address the hot issues before they are spread around, creating tensions and threatening the various racial and religious groups in the country.

Malaysia is dangerously going down the slippery path of hate and inflammatory remarks, which could not only cause a rift and split in erstwhile peaceful communities.

The government, more so the self-titled unity government, needs to nip the problems in the bud through tough and appropriate steps and not let things deteriorate and fester to the point where they threaten the coexistence of the various communities.

I am sure 99% of Malaysians value our diversity and act accordingly, but 1% is enough to poison the country.

The disintegration needs to be ended. The unity government has been too slow in understanding the situation and acting to prevent a snowballing of emotions and anger among the various groups. The past Barisan Nasional (BN) governments though not perfect, were more daring to tackle the problems head-on.

As it is, the socio-economic situation is getting worse as the cost of living spikes causing hardship to the people and preaching hatred and making inflammatory statements are the least the people want right now.

Moreover, the unity government and the Opposition should be faulted for allowing provocative remarks on social media, hate statements, commercial boycotts, doxxing, mob rule and lynching to be done without severe counteraction.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim needs to take firm action now before circumstances get beyond his control and threaten the multi-party government.

One of the reasons for the deterioration is the fact that there are hardly any strong leaders able to rein in troublemakers or resolve the various crises that have plagued the administration since the unity government was formed in November 2022.

Since then, there has been a geometric progression of problems and not a day goes by without someone somewhere creating a problem for the country’s beleaguered leadership.

There is no problem in Malaysia that cannot be resolved in the unique time-tested Malaysian spirit of muhibbah (goodwill). The National Unity Ministry is not pro-active and is unable to act or even issue statements about recent episodes of hate speeches, fear-mongering and anti-national behaviour.

It is time to initiate a Mediation Committee/Council (MC) to speedily act on this kind of errant behaviour that threatens the country’s core values and social cohesion.

When racial, religious, or other issues arise, potentially causing societal division, prompt action by the MC is imperative. The MC should comprise capable and uncompromising leaders who are not afraid to tackle any person or issue.

Upon deliberation and discussion of the issue, the MC must quickly come up with a fair and equitable decision that needs to be acted upon by the government and the enforcement authorities.

Furthermore, the MC should be allowed to act on its own initiative whenever it senses trouble brewing, should the problem be left unchecked.

The decision should be fair to win the trust of the people who will ultimately look upon the MC for its equitable decisions to calm the situation.

Malaysia needs an MC urgently, and the unity government should not allow things to fester further to the point that the unity government becomes a source of ridicule and helplessness. – March 29, 2024


V. Thomas is a Focus Malaysia viewer.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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