Businessman Effendi Norwawi and senior lawyer Johari Razak joined the bandwagon to support CIMB banker Nazir Razak’s call to bring back the National Consultative Council 2 (NCC2) to chart the nation’s future.
Effendi, a former minister in charge of the Economic Planning Unit, said the NCC2 was necessary as Malaysians had to “take a hard, objective look” at the obstacles.
He said it is a good time to create a credible and respected platform for prominent enlightened Malaysians to get together and review where we are today, and if we are heading in the right direction to where we want to be as a nation.
On the other hand, Johari, who is a brother of Prime Minister Najib Razak, said the proposed council should comprise a representative group of leaders and strategic thinkers to spearhead reforms and set a new path forward for Malaysia.
“Open-minded, nation-first and moderate discourses defined the spirit of the first NCC, and now we must again summon the same spirit of reforming Malaysia,” he added.
Both men were responding to a call by banker Nazir to have an NCC2 – an updated form of the council spearheaded by his late father and Malaysia’s second prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein in 1970.
The original NCC was set up after the May 13, 1969 riots to establish positive and practical guidelines for inter-racial co-operation and social integration for the growth of a Malaysian national identity.
Asked on the NCC2’s role in nation-building, Effendi said it should focus on building the Malaysia envisioned by its people for the generations to come.
“Hopefully, the deliberations of the NCC2 can generate positive conversations among Malaysians to create a more positive, optimistic outlook.
“The key to this success would be the quality of council members, and the eminent, trusted and respected leadership of this council,” he added.
Meanwhile, Johari was concerned with developments in the socio-political arena.
He said deteriorating inter-communal relations, growing inconsistencies between syariah laws and the Constitution, declining education standards, increased corruption, diminishing institutional checks and balances, and increased talent drain.
Many of these issues are intertwined and cannot be effectively addressed in isolation, as solutions will involve trade-offs and compromises between different groups or objectives, Johari added.
The idea for the NCC2 has won backing from a host of notable Malaysians, including former International Trade and Industry Minister Rafidah Aziz, AirAsia group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes, Enra Group Bhd executive chairman Kamaluddin Abdullah, Jemoreng assemblyman and former Perlis mufti Dr Juanda Jaya and current Perlis mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin.