Saturday, February 22, 2003

Campaign unites Malaysians as a nation


The peace initiative, which began on Jan 3, has become more than just a movement to avert war on Iraq and liberating the Palestinians from perennial attacks by Israel.
As days go by, more Malaysians have come to believe that the call for peace is not just for the two countries but for the whole world.
In a recent event, the patron of the People’s Alliance For Peace Malaysia (Peace Malaysia), Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the initiative had taken shape to mean more than just an anti-war effort.
“This uniting theme has led Malaysians of all races, religions and walks of life to join hands. Even as the dark clouds of war loom large, it is possible to find a silver lining.
Hishammuddin believes that this initiative, that will reach its pinnacle tomorrow at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad joins some 250,000 Malaysians at the mammoth peace rally, will keep the nation united.
“No matter what our political leanings, cultural and religious beliefs are, Malaysians are united in their protest against war. Malaysians are becoming more vocal against the superpowers which solve the world’s problems by heaping injustice upon injustice.
“We have become more matured despite not having faced such adversity in our country. Our history is different but at least we know and understand,” he said.
He is becoming more confident as the peace signatures roll in, by the thousands daily, to the Peace Malaysia secretariat, that the superpowers may soon have no choice but to adhere to the call for negotiations rather than attack Iraq and face the wrath of millions.
Hishammuddin also lashed out at certain quarters which believed that the peace drive was a mere political ploy.
“This initiative is not a government-mooted one. It is supported by the Government, but more importantly, it is a move by common Malaysians,” he said.
To emphasise this peace call, the peace rally will also be carried live to the hotels where the 12,000 Non-Aligned Movement Summit delegates are staying through giant television screens.
As Dr Mahathir receives peace signatures bound in hundreds of volumes tomorrow, the message to the world is clear – Dr Mahathir’s numerous statement on anti-war is not just his own call. It is a call that is echoed in all corners of the nation, by the millions of Malaysians who believe in peace.