PUTRAJAYA: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has urged all parties to use communication to strengthen Malaysia’s democracy and not let it be hijacked by the bigots and hate mongers.
Outlining it as one of the five moral foundations that should be set when communicating, she said the voice of reason, the advocacy of kindness and mutual respect as well as the call to unity must prevail.
“It is not enough to complain to each other about the negative vibes created by the bigots and hate mongers. Do not let sectarian politics grow in this country.
“The rakyat must speak out and define our identity and democracy. Otherwise, the voice of hatred and animosity will gain more momentum and become like a runaway train that will one day hurt us all,” she said in her keynote address at the Workshops of the World Communicate 2019, here today.
Also present were Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) Founding President, Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin Tuanku Muhriz and Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) chairman, Datuk Seri Azman Ujang.
Dr Wan Azizah said all parties should focus on creating a narrative of togetherness, kindness and mutual respect and make it the dominant and loudest narrative.
“More Malaysians should speak out for the sake of preserving our new democracy, for the sake of our hard-won freedom, and for the sake of our children,” she said.
Dr Wan Azizah said another moral foundation when communicating was to be mindful of the nation’s long-term interest in building a better future for Malaysia.
She said building a new Malaysia or Malaysia Baharu was not an easy task as it was more like trying to ride a canoe for the first time.
“The canoe will twist and turn as you try to learn how to paddle and steer at the same time. You may be clear where your destination is but getting there on the canoe is not so straightforward,” she said.
Explaining further Dr Wan Azizah said, Malaysians would get better at constructing the new Malaysia by continuing to communicate and learn from one another.
“We need to continue to communicate and have open and honest conversations about how we want to shape Malaysia’s future. Don’t leave it to politicians alone,” she said.
The other three moral foundations when communicating highlighted by Dr Wan Azizah were always communicate with conscience; use power with kindness; and communicate with others and not merely to others.
The Deputy Prime Minister said she hoped the five foundations she had presented would be a starting point in laying down the moral foundation of communication.