KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 — Prime Minister Datuk Najib Razak said today that he will bring Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s idea of a “national consensus” to the Cabinet.
The prime minister said he had first mooted the idea after the general election last May but that allegations of phantom voters and opposition-led rallies denouncing the election results had overshadowed events.
“Seeing that it is our initial suggestion that has resurfaced, let me discuss this with the Cabinet. Whatever it is, we want our country to be peaceful,” he told reporters after launching the book “Maps of Malaya and Borneo: Discovery, Statehood and Progress” here.
Yesterday, Anwar called for leaders from both sides of the political divide to set aside enmities and work together to ease growing communal tension and rebuild national unity.
He also urged all quarters to stop questioning the position of Islam as the religion of the Federation and reject the notion that the religion is under threat.
Today, Najib pointed out that he had called for national reconciliation immediately after the divisive Election 2013, on the condition that both political rivals respect the election outcome.
He noted how his offer was rejected by the opposition pact that refused to accept the result and instead launched a series of nationwide rallies to protest what they alleged to be widespread electoral fraud in the general election.
“Whatever the political ideology, it is important for us to act based on law and take care of the sensitivities of all races, religions, respect each other’s rights based on the country’s Constitution and laws at the federal and state level,” he said.
Earlier today, Anwar said Pakatan Rakyat will soon write to Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to initiate bipartisan dialogue with Barisan Nasional on current issues after the Umno vice-president accepted the offer.
Communal ties have been strained since the general election, with religious tensions flaring up again following a January 2 raid by the Selangor Islamic Department (Jais) on a bible distributor in Petaling Jaya, where over 300 copies of Malay- and Iban-language bibles were confiscated for containing the word “Allah”.
Last week, protesters at an Umno-organised rally were reported to have held up banners threatening a recurrence of the deadly May 13, 1969 racial riots over an alleged slight by an opposition lawmaker against Najib.