Najib, sit down with Pakatan
SHAH ALAM: The political scars left from a divisive 13th general election are yet to heal, with the country veering off to the dangerous paths of extremism and racism.
But there is still hope if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (pix, top right) rises above the clamour of partisan politics and sits down with Pakatan Rakyat to discuss issues of national concern.
Najib must show leadership and accept the call for a national dialogue with Pakatan – that is what veteran Umno politician Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah suggested.
He said Najib should use the dialogue with the opposition to resolve the tensions left over by the extremely divisive May 5 polls, with voters being separated over partisan politics.
“Any dialogue [between the government and the opposition] is useful, as it is for the benefit of the people,” he told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur.
He also said that as a leader, Najib should grab the opportunity [and accept the offer] to meet with the other side to heal the bitter political divisions.
“I’m not the one to decide, but what benefits the people should be given due consideration,” he said.
He was commenting on Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s (pix, top left) Merdeka Day speech, in which he offered to meet Putrajaya to discuss certain issues that are affecting the country’s wellbeing and future.
“We believe that it is imperative for the prime minister to convene without the slightest delay a roundtable meeting between the government and Pakatan in order to deliberate on the issues raised and formulate a comprehensive solution,” he reportedly said.
However, Anwar denied that he was proposing to set up a unity government, saying that he wanted to discuss four key issues: governance, crime, racial unity and corruption.
In the aftermath of the May 5 polls, Najib had proposed setting in motion a national reconciliation process to address the rise of extremist sentiments that is affecting national unity.
The government then set up the National Unity Consultative Council to conduct studies on how to improve national harmony and racial unity under Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup.