NCC needs to be set up under the Council of Rulers, says Nazir Razak

Nazir said 'our future was always going to depend on how well we practise moderation when we engage on issues and manage polarities.' ― file picture
Nazir said 'our future was always going to depend on how well we practise moderation when we engage on issues and manage polarities.' ― file picture

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 ― CIMB Group Chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak today said that the second National Consultative Council (NCC) or NCC2, a national platform for reconciliation, needs to be set up under the auspices of the Council of Rulers.

“Set up with the support of the government, political parties, civil society, academics, religious leaders and businessmen,” he said when launching The Star’s book Moderation, a collection of 28 essays that presents diverse views on the concept of moderation in Malaysia at Menara Star here today.

The first NCC was set up in 1970 after the 1969 riots.

Nazir said there was a need “to discuss moderately, behind closed doors, the long list of sensitive issues that range from the state of our education system, affirmative action, the role of religion in national life, the integrity of the Federation, the issues of corruption and competitive politics, and of course, rebuilding trust in our institutions.”

He said it was time to ask if the system mostly designed in 1970 still works well enough.

“Even the engineers of the system thought we would need an overhaul in 1990. And in those 26 extra years, the rest of the world has changed almost beyond recognition,” he said.

Touching on moderation, Nazir said for Malaysia, given its unique mix of races, ethnicities, cultures and religions, as well as its system of race-based political parties, “our future was always going to depend on how well we practise moderation when we engage on issues and manage polarities.”

Touching on the book, “I think the book cover’s sub-text for moderation ― see with clarity, hear with an open mind and speak with kind words ― is an excellent definition for the practice of moderation.

“We should undertake a campaign with this definition, to encourage all Malaysians to embrace these simple, but inherently powerful traits,” he said.    

He also commented on those who called themselves moderates, but are close-minded about the issues in which they differ, and even inflammatory in the way they express their disagreement.

“We should make it clear that having a couple of friends from different ethnic groups and not supporting ISIS does not make you a moderate. It’s your behavioural traits that matter,” he added. ― Bernama

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