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Whither 1Malaysia?

A lot have been said and written about this subject since Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak assumed premiership in April 2009. But in reality, 1 Malaysia is not something new. We are in fact 1 Malaysia since Merdeka, or perhaps way before that.

What has happened since then?

In principle, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the 1Malaysia concept. I believe only insane citizens would want disharmony among themselves. But here comes the famous problem. Malaysians always have problems with policy enforcement or implementations. Whether or not 1 Malaysia will succeed, the outcome can only be seen in the next 5 to 10 years, or maybe even 20 years.

According to renowned historian, Prof. Khoo Kay Kim, race relations in Malaysia have gotten worse since the 1960s. The interesting question is, when was the turning point? When did we go astray?

National unity (sounds more politically neutral than 1Malaysia) cannot and will not succeed without strong participation, sacrifice and commitment from the rakyat themselves. There has got to be a strong change of mindset.The change might take years or even a generation to come, but somebody has to have the strong political will to take the first step.

Now, what would be "the" ultimate step(s)? Obviously, there is no magic wand to solve this problem overnight. But everyone from political leaders, bureaucrats, opinion leaders, activist and concerned citizens should re-look at the idea of a Malaysian unity. Slogans, campaigns, rhetorics; all these are as good as meaningless without having any strong substance in them.

We used to be proud of our slogans like Malaysia Boleh, Malaysia Truly Asia and today, 1 Malaysia. We are proud of our multiculturalism; unity in diversity and so on. But take a minute and ask ourselves, what is the ONE thing that binds the whole MALAYSIA together?

Could it be our national language (Bahasa Malaysia)? Our food (roti canai)? Sports (Nicol David)? our Rukunegara? etc etc? Are they effective enough to instill unity?

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This blog article was first published at Klik4Malaysia.com

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