Pusat Komas is amused and shocked with the suggestions of the Ministry of National Unity to conduct a fresh round of consultations with the aim of consolidating opinions of the public for the purpose of strengthening national cohesion and social unity.
Our reactions are motivated by the lack of seriousness of learning lessons from the past and repeating the same type of modus operandi, while lacking seriousness in instituting real changes.
The suggestion for more rounds of consultation is redundant as numerous consultations and legwork was done extensively since the National Unity Consultative Council, which was established back in 2013. Seven years since the completion of the council, we are still way behind in materialising the its concrete suggestions for achieving national unity and social cohesion. The ministry must refer and take cognisance of the past consultations, as many fruitful ideas were constructively proposed by the council based on broad-ranging public consultations.
There were already enough proposals by the NUCC and the previous government to kickstart a strategic plan in forging a harmonious inter-ethnic relationship, which is an undiscounted measure for the creation of a unified society.
Pusat Komas also reminds all that the previous Pakatan Harapan government had conducted similar town hall meetings with various stakeholders; thus it begs the question why is there a need for a new round of consultations when it wastes resources, especially in these times of economic severity due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Furthermore, If the new government is committed to national harmony, then there is no sound justification for the ministry’s refusal to advance on the bill on a national harmony and reconciliation commission, which was a strong move to mitigate racial sentiment in the country.
Our nation needs concrete actions to be taken rather than delaying them in the name of discussions. We believe only political courage can move us forward, and it is incumbent upon this newly formed “negotiated” government to prove that it is serious and willing to move the nation away from race and religious-based discrimination.