BY DR NASHARUDIN MAT ISA
Every once in a while, there comes a most kairotic moment, and for Malaysia, such a defining moment came in 2010 in the august hall of the United Nations General Assembly when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak implored and declared the need for a global movement of moderates — of all faiths — to once more seize the initiative of the global world from the hands of extremists.
Admittedly, the concept of moderation is not a novelty, but the movement and alliances of moderates represent a new paradigm in the field of international relations, and with such grandiose plans and ventures of man, the onus certainly falls upon him to not only manage expectations, but ultimately to also deliver.
Nov 1 will mark the first year of my tenure spearheading the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMM), and unmistakably, while a number of engagements and initiatives have been made to realise my initial goal of “bringing back GMM onto its initial track”, much needs to be done, be it in the most decisive of manner or in the most strategic of senses.
In a period of much confusion, there remains the crucial need to address issues of the world, from rampant extremism to reactionary Islamophobic acts and policies, to subsequent elements of the human migration crises and manipulation of human rights.
These issues need to be addressed through the most just and wisest of approach. The old adage goes that Rome was not built in a day, but rest assured, Malaysia is on the right track to maintain its elegance and decisiveness in manoeuvring diplomacies of the global world.
To date, efforts have been made to revitalise the concept and movement of moderates in the world to truly form a global movement of moderates.
The first year has been marked by numerous engagements aimed at fostering closer bonds of cooperation and coexistence with the likes of the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and various organisations from Afghanistan, France, and Australia, to name but a few.
The upcoming Lao Asean Roundtable on the Langkawi Declaration of GMM represents the continuation of regional engagements and programmes, to be followed by cooperation of alliances with the Wasatiyyah Institute of Peace and Development of Thailand and similar organisations in the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore.
As things stand, GMM is currently engrossed in a luncheon lecture session concerning countering violent extremism, and the concept of moderation, as organised by GMM and the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta, involving numerous Asean diplomatic corps and relevant agencies.
While it must be acknowledged that proper propagation of moderation is required to avoid confusion about the concept, it is nevertheless a most heartening development.
Its promotion and understanding have not only been met with a firm mandate of the prime minister, but of further significance, an affirmative acceptance from not only our neighbours, but also China, Czech Republic, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
In navigating the seas of geopolitical diplomacy, Malaysia continues to remain steadfast in its principles of prospering together, and with the promotion of moderation, it seeks to continue the spirit of intercultural coexistence, based on the precepts of justice, knowledge and equilibrium.
The African proverb states that to walk fast, then go alone, but if desiring to go far, then one has to go together. GMM welcomes the involvement of all as it seeks to continue its endeavours in forging a truly global movement of moderates across all walks of life, in the name of global peace, prosperity and righteous knowledge.
*Dr. Nasharudin Mat Isa is executive chairman-cum-chief executive officer of the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation