27 August, 2010

Najib declared that a "zero-tolerance" policy will be adopted towards racism.

Prime Minister Najib Razak has come out strongly to denounce racism, saying that the federal government should adopt the policy of zero tolerance on the issue, with special focus on those who try to incite racial hatred.

Najib pledged that anyone found to be racist, would face immediate action against them.

"Sometimes what is interpreted by others may not also be the truth," he said.

Asked if civil servants found to make racist remarks would be sacked, the premier also remained non-committal.

"We need to have an educational process. It is still quite nascent (for the civil servants). But rest assured, those who make racist remarks, action will be taken," said Najib

Meanwhile, Najib dropped hints that the door is still open for discussions on the hot topic of student participation in politics.

"I know that the cabinet recently announced that they are maintaining the status quo, but I am still thinking about the idea of letting students participate in politics.

"I still have an open mind on it so we can still debate the pros and cons, so that we can in the end make an accurate decision," he said.

"My desire is to see university students focus on academic excellence and not be engrossed with the politicking process. I am in favour of healthy politics but not if the process is abused," he added.

On the Barisan Nasional Youth Lab call to amend the Internal Security Act (ISA) to ensure it was not abused, Najib said the days of "scare politics" or using the ISA to wield power and show that one was in full control were gone.

"Misusing the ISA is counter-productive and will only cause people to be more angry and have more hatred towards the ISA," he added.

He said the era of "Government knows best" was over, adding that the 21st century called for the contestation of ideas from the people.

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