Annan calls on Malaysia to take lead in Muslim world

Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan on Friday called on Malaysia to play a more prominent role in the Muslim world to help overcome international tensions.

Annan calls on Malaysia to take lead in Muslim world
Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan on Friday called on Malaysia to play a more prominent role in the Muslim world to help overcome international tensions.

Annan praised Malaysia for building a harmonious multi-ethnic society, but said it had been too reticent to exert its leadership among Muslims worldwide.

"You have a wonderful example here of co-existence between various races and religions. There may be tensions but you've managed the ethnic mix better than any other society that I can think of immediately," Annan said during a two-day visit to Malaysia.

"I think your example is something that you should be able to share with the rest of the world where dialogue is sorely needed."

In an earlier speech to government and business leaders, Annan described Malaysia as a leader in the Muslim world, adding, "and yet I detect a reticence to invoke this convening power."

"The world is looking for new voices of moderation and reason; don't wait to be asked," he said.

Malaysia's population of more than 26 million people is 60 percent Malay, 26 percent Chinese and eight percent Indian. Malays are defined as Muslims from birth.

The former UN chief said extremist elements had exploited religion to support their brutal cause, referring to the divide between the West and Islamic world.

"We must start by reaffirming -- and demonstrating -- that the problem is not the faith -- it is the faithful, and how they behave towards each other," said Annan, who stepped down as UN secretary general last year and now leads two humanitarian agencies.

AFP

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Temmuz 2007, 18:51
YORUM EKLE