HONOLULU: Slightly more than a year after mooting the idea for a Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) and with increasing international support, Malaysia has decided to launch a GMM foundation in January.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the foundation would be launched at the inaugural international GMM conference between Jan 17 and 19.
“We must make the most of this momentum with the increasing international support.
“This drive for moderation will fail if we, as leaders of governments, businesses, churches, mosques and universities, simply see it as an academic exercise.
“We cannot afford to sit in ivory towers, hold discussions and produce dusty documents which assert that something must be done’. We must take real action, deliver real change,” Najib said in his speech at the East-West Centre here on Saturday.
“We must ensure our voices are heard not just the voices of moderate Muslims but also of moderate Christians, moderate Hindus, moderate Jews, and moderate atheists,” he said.
The GMM idea was first announced by Najib in New York in September last year.
In his 20-minute speech, the prime minister shared with the 200-odd guests, comprising academicians, professionals and students, the efforts to transform and reform Malaysia since he came into office.
During a question-and-answer session, Najib described the increasing voices of dissent in Malaysia as “one of the signals of a mature democracy”.
Rather than stifle dissent, he said, the Government preferred to deal with it through the political process.
Asked if he considered China an ally or a threat, Najib said Kuala Lumpur never looked at China as a threat.
He said China’s growth was inevitable, adding that the best way was to engage with the economic giant and look for opportunities.
“If you look at China, you see 1.4 billion people. And then, we think 1.4 billion people?’
“If they each consume 1kg of palm oil, can you imagine how much palm oil we can sell to China?
“So, that is creating opportunity,” he said to the applause of the audience.
Source : The Star