1Malaysia Foundation Trustee Lee Lam Thye has suggested that a national consultative council be set up to address issues on national unity and racial integration.
Lee said the council should be made up of representatives of interested groups or individuals who could offer suggestions or ideas to help address the current development.
"It is also to address key issues on how to bring the nation together after a strongly heated and bitterly-contested general election," he said in a statement (reported by Bernama).
Lee also called on all political leaders and all strata of society to immediately stop the drfit towards racial polarisation.
"The time has come for us to identify more ethnic bridge builders and emphasize on their crucial role, at this juncture, to break down the serious racial divide in the larger interest of improving ethnic relations in our country.
"Multiracial living and community are part of our history and heritage. They have become a key source of racial integration for years and have certainly played a part in making Malaysia a harmonious place to live, learn, work and play," he said.
The Prime Minister had on Monday said the government would embark on national reconciliation efforts to unite the people who seemed divided in the 13th General Election.
International Movement for a Just World (JUST) president Dr Chandra Muzaffar, who supported the formation of the council, said it was important not only for national unity, but more so for the restoration of racial relations.
"The council must represent all the political parties, individuals within or outside the political arena who can contribute ideas on solidarity and participate in sincere dialogues," he said.
However, Chandra said the prime minister must give detailed explanation on the actual meaning of national reconciliation so that it would be truly understood by every strata of society.
Chairman of the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation Tan Sri Razali Ismail said all parties should support the idea thrown by the prime minister, as we could not allow the tension arising from the general election to worsen.
He stressed on the partiality of the government and its institutions, saying that the effort to reconcile the nation must be done with the acceptance of all races, and added that political parties should not take advantage from the effort.
Another vital ingredient for national reconciliation, according to Razali was that the press must be free.
"What is not right must be mentioned by the press. We cannot reconcile if the press is not free. The people must be made to have a say in the press. This is to regain the ability in making the people believe what has been distributed by the press," he said.
He added that national reconciliation was also needed to build national consensus in addressing many internal or external issues.
Meanwhile, the Director of the Technology Policy and International Studies Centre, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) International Campus, Profesor Dr Azmi Hassan said the quickest action that the government could do towards national reconciliation was through the formation of the cabinet.
"The make up of the cabinet members is most important to demonstrate that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government is transparent and sincere in forming a Malaysian society and championing the cause of all races in the country," said Azmi, who is also a Geostrategist Expert.
He said the cabinet that would be formed should still have a minister from the Chinese community although the MCA had stated its stand not to join the cabinet to honour the decision of the top party leadership earlier.
Explaining further, Azmi said one of the measures that could be taken by Najib in efforts to regain the support of the Chinese voters was to make way for a representative from the Chinese non-governmental organisation (NGO) to join the cabinet.
"The situation cannot be aggravated, that's why we must invite a group that is trusted by the Chinese community such as the NGO in the fields of social, education and economy. That is the best way to reconcile the situation," he said.
For historian Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim, whatever measures that were being implemented by the government now and in the future towards national reconciliation, the most important question was the schooling system.
He said it was possible that now was the time for the national education system which emphasised on examination where the student must memorise to obtain high marks be replaced with a system that absorbed the spirit of patriotism among the students.
"We need to decide whether we want a national education system that would turn the young generation into citizens that give priority to the country or to become individuals who only think about self-interest," he said.
DAP national deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw said the move to promote the spirit of unity after the election process was timely, but any racial sentiment must be checked first of all.
"Solidarity must be based on policies and statements that were not inclined towards a particular race, religion or region alone," said Dr Tan, who is also the Kepong Member of Parliament. -- BERNAMA