Speaking at the 35th Unesco General Conference yesterday, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib has proudly talked about his 1 Malaysia concept.
He said " Our founding fathers in their wisdom chose at the outset of independence to use integration rather than assimilation as a national policy to manage race relations and to forge a new nation. It was a conscious choice much criticised when it was taken but ultimately vindicated by history. We have evolved from merely tolerating diversity to acceptance and now finally the apex of this mindset is celebrating diversity as a source of national strength rather than a source of conflict. This is at the root of the 1 Malaysia philosophy which I introduced at the outset of taking office last April. We believe in this philosophy, predicated on mutual trust and respect between all communities; my clarion call for Malaysia is 1 dream, 1 people, and 1 nation."
Although most Malaysians today still do not really understand his 1 Malaysia concept, Najib is determined to promote it, not only in Malaysia but to the world. Earlier he has done it by naming Malaysia's F1 racing team as 1 Malaysia F1, now he has said it in his speech at the world forum.
What actually is 1 Malaysia concept ? Is it a dream, an objective, a target or a slogan? Is there a time frame? Is there an implementation plan?
I wonder how many Cabinet members who are the policy makers and the civil servants who are policy implementers have really understood his 1 Malaysia concept. But one certain fact is that many Malaysians still do not know what it means.
In August, it was reported that a recent survey by Merdeka Center showed that 76 per cent were aware of the 1 Malaysia concept but 39 per cent did not know what it meant; 23 per cent believed that it meant unity among races; 18 per cent felt it signalled fairness and equality among the races and 6 per cent thought it sketched a Malaysia with no differentiation of races.For other Malaysians polled, 1 Malaysia was a political gimmick, a plural society, etc.
In fact, it was not that long ago when former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir had mentioned that he still could not grasp what 1 Malaysia means. Yet, Najib was promoting his concept to the world through his speech at yesterday's UNESCO Conference when even a former Prime Minister has admitted that he still does not know what it means.
Najib told the world forum that his clarion call for Malaysians is 1 dream, 1 people , and I nation.
He should explain why has he left out " 1 Policy'. Why cant Malaysia have 1 Policy that is fair and just to all Malaysians , irrespective of race and religion?
How can all Malaysians enjoy an equal place under the Malaysian sun if the BN government continues to implement policies which are divisive and discriminatory?
Najib can feel proud of his 1 Malaysia concept , but he should know that it is a concept that most Malaysians cannot be proud of and accept if it does not mean or include 1 Policy which is just and fair to all Malaysians.
Let Najib be reminded that true harmony and genuine unity among Malaysians of all races can only be achieved through the implementation of just and fair policies.