When Najib’s proposal for a “multi-racial hostel” could make front-page headline news in mainstream media

When Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s proposal for a multiracial hostel to foster better national integration among pupils in secondary schools under the 1Malaysia spirit could make front-page headline news in the mainstream media, it is testimony of how far Malaysian multiracial nation-building had deviated and failed in the past five decades.

As Malaysia is internationally publicized as “Malaysia truly Asia” show-casing multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-lingual unity in diversity, multiracial hostels should have long become an accepted part of national life.

Instead, they seem to have become an increasingly extinct species after over five decades of nationhood to the extent that Najib’s proposal for a multiracial hostel in Kuala Lumpur appeared to be a great brain-wave of his 1Malaysia slogan.

Malaysia has traversed the road from multiracial hostels in the early decades of nationhood, celebrating Malaysia’s diversity of races, languages, cultures, religions, cuisines to increasingly mono-ethnic hostels where tolerance and acceptance of unity in diversity have assumed decreasing importance.

Is there a political will under Najib’s 1Malaysia to examine why Malaysia’s multi-racial nation-building had gone so wrong in the past five decades in failing to take full advantage of the rich diversity of ethnicity, religions, languages, cultures, cuisines and customs in the country?

Will Najib’s proposed multi-racial hostel be truly multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-lingual where the new generation of Malaysians can meet, live, learn and play in the hostels to appreciate Malaysia’s multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-lingual unity in diversity in everyday life – the greatest and richest assets of the country?

Or will it end up as another manifestation of empty sloganeering without seriously addressing the acute and complex problems of nation-building and national unity in Malaysia?

  1. #1 by Loh on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 - 1:07 pm

    ///Is there a political will under Najib’s 1Malaysia to examine why Malaysia’s multi-racial nation-building had gone so wrong in the past five decades in failing to take full advantage of the rich diversity of ethnicity, religions, languages, cultures, cuisines and customs in the country?///– Kit

    He knows the answer, but he has not the political will to do the right thing. That is why BN government leaders go around doing everything else, except the right thing, and hope that it might bring some results to blunt any attack on them.

    UMNO loves polarisation because election results depend only on majority vote. Polarisation ensures that UMNO has an edge, until March 2008. That is why UMNO was happy to replace trained non-Malays by Muslims from abroad. They even subject ordinary Malays competitions from these NEWMalays and yet home-grown Malays still consider UMNO the saviour. That might be changing.

    Pre-1969 university colleges (hostels) and hostels of teachers training colleges were examples of multi-racial hostel where foods for Muslims and non-Muslims were served in the hostels. I bet Najib’s new hostel serves only Muslims foot. A new attempt cannot even meet what the country had right from colonial days.

  2. #2 by -ec- on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 - 1:52 pm

    it is simply too stressful for our students!

    you have to excel in your study, flight for scholarship, never ending extra curricular programs, national services…. and now you have to go live in a nazi concentration camp!

    all the problems of the national service training are not yet resolved and the results of the training program are not yet evidenced, and now nr is talking about another similar program… do we still need to ask ktk about the performance of the national services since its inception?? or someone else?

    simply a waste of tax payer money! we will witness another mismanaged cr*p.

  3. #3 by taiking on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 - 1:55 pm

    Najib-o-err- multiracial-err-
    err multiracial-hostel-err-ism is hereby pronounced a great success. Umno gobermen will allocate RM10b for setting up a research based world class tertiary institute to study and to teach the world najib-err-cultural-multi-ahh-hostel-racist-ism. We will engage the best brains in the world to teach there. Tan Sri Dato Dr Prof Apapunboleh (a highly regarded ex-umno leader – all non-umno members are ban from mentioning his past records) will be the first vc.

  4. #4 by lkt-56 on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 - 2:10 pm

    1)A “multiracial hostel” to foster unity.
    2)National service to fostering unity.
    3)The TV is propaganda of 1Malaysia concept
    4)A 1Malaysia F1 team to foster unity through sports!
    5)Laws to keep people from stirring up racially sensitive issues
    6)Vision schools…

    The list goes on. All the above will come to nothing if we continue to embrace communal politics. Politicians who use communalism to gain support are doing so out of their selfish lust for power and wealth. Even religion have been used to propagate communal hatred.

    So what went wrong with our society? Has competition made us all so inhuman?

  5. #5 by singma on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 - 2:29 pm

    First thing first before building this kind of hostel, has Najib sort out all the hatred against the non-Bumi in Biro Tata Negara training.

    Or is this hostel building just another “Satu Projek Barisan Nasional” to enrich certain contractors/cronies?

  6. #6 by spthang123 on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 - 3:30 pm

    Sorry out of the present topic.
    I can acess M today this morning. Go to google and type raja petra kamaruddin. Click one of the URL and wait .Be a bit patient using streamyx.

  7. #7 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 - 3:58 pm

    In the public university hostels e.g. MU, UKM, USM etc, are the students paired with a room-mate of another race or religion?

    Or are they polarised?

  8. #8 by donplaypuks on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 - 5:27 pm


    It it wasn’t so sad we would all be laughing.

    This is all tokenism.

    1 such hostel ain’t gonna make a summer and bring the races together from a young age.

    If PM Najib is serious, muti-racial hostels should be standard. To do this he would have to overhaul the entire education system and policy. Has he the goolies to do it?

    We are all of 1 race, the Human Race

  9. #9 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 - 5:27 pm

    One now seldom mention fact about Singapore public housing is that its required to be multiracial (each block at one time but now I don’t know). A little known fact is numerous complains about choice flats being empty but Chinese Singapore unable to buy them because they are allotted for Indians and Malays only.. Even then, Singapore had a hard time making the public housing multi-racial.

    The only way this hostel idea can work if the rent is so much cheaper that students willing to put up with the stupidity of it all including obvious programming that is going to take place. In other words, the only way to make this work is for the government to LOSE MONEY – not necessarily big money but significant money nevertheless. (but it will be big money because the contract to cronies will make it big.. not the racial mix idea thing)..

    All this again is camouflage and avoidance of the real fundamental problem which is BN or more specifically UMNO policies.. Camouflage and avoidance that is being paid for by us the Rakyat….

  10. #10 by monsterball on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 - 6:51 pm

    LKS post said it all.
    hhhhmmm….”Multi-Racial Hostel”….meaning all races living cheap “hostel”…while those crooks stay in 6 star hotel..5 stars not good enough…too cheap.
    Maybe Najib is saying….multi races found in hostel….all females.for all sorts of services..cheaper than Thailand.,…hahahahahaha
    UMNO crooks have funny way to express themselves.
    Mahathir said yesterday….he steeped down when people do not want him…urging PAS Nik and MIC Samy to be like him.
    Finally…..Mahathir hinred if he did not step down…..UMNO would have lost governing the country long ago.
    Chance given to Abdullah…but NEVER to Najib…that’s for sure……so much so….Mahathir is all powerful again in UMNO.
    Adopted son….good for nothing.
    See..he wants Isa for the Bagan Pinang by-election..election….he got it.
    Nazri remarks…all ignored……powerless now.
    Putting a proven crook and side lined from 12th GE….voters are not impressed….now clearly showing UMNO have limited members.
    Lets see how big the in will be for UMNO.
    Candidate welknown to buy votes.
    Voters should take the money…all stolen from them anyhow…..and vote for …change in government.
    Lets see how many will do that. I think UMNO is in for a big surprise.

  11. #11 by rckk007 on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 - 9:32 pm

    Ya, blame it on his advisors or publicists, who are all trying to use “1Malaysia” for everything their minds can think of. “1Malaysia F1 team”, “1Malaysia song”, “1Malaysia news”, etc, etc. We can be sure there is more to come…

  12. #12 by katdog on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 - 9:42 pm

    Another lame brained idea.
    Just like National Service to promote racial integration.
    Just like some idiots idea to only have one school system to promote racial unity.

    These are all superficial. These people (in BN) still cannot accept and admit to the real root cause of racial division in this country….the reason is THEM and their racially divisive policies!

  13. #13 by Godfather on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 - 10:00 pm

    The next mainstream press headline:

    “Rosie’s fart has no smell !”

  14. #14 by HJ Angus on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 - 10:10 pm

    Yes this is yet another BN project that involves a building project as that is the most common way to make profits for some.
    Why not make use of the dozens of boarding schools all over the nation that largely cater to young Malays?

  15. #15 by izrafeil on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 - 10:21 pm

    1malaysia is a temple not far from masjid jame, which gives out free lunch everyday to hindus, muslim and buddhist without care of your skin color,

  16. #16 by Ramesh Laxman on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 - 10:54 pm

    Dear YB Lim,

    Do not be taken up by these offers including the decision to meet the 7 Per cent quota for indians in the Civil Service. The Malaysia Civil Service means the ” Perhidmatan Pegawai Tadbir Dan Diplomaik.(PTD) At the time of independence, if I am not mistaken, there was an unwrtitten agreement among the Founding Fathers that recruitment into the then elite Malaysian Civil Service should be on a 4 : 1 ratio. If you study the recruitment statistics for MCS after independence until around 1970 you will understand what I mean.

    This is important because in a Parliamentary system all decisions of the government generally originate from the Civil Service and is implemented by the Civil Service after the appropriate decisions are made by the Cabinet and Parliament.

    It is my hope that you together with the other members of the PR wil take up this matter. The future of our nation depends on this because if the racial balance reflected in the Malaysian Cabinet permeates right through the the entire civil service and other institutions funded by the government you will see a sudden change in the mood of the citizens and who knows this may be the recipe for Barisian National to remain in power indefinitely.

  17. #17 by cseng on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 - 11:02 pm

    By the same virtue of the heading, 1 Malaysia should not be made a slogan after 53 yrs of Merdeka.

    After 53 yrs of merdeka, after 1 malaysia, after multi racial hostel… there are still minister who do not agree with Malaysian Malaysia afterall.

  18. #18 by imranj78 on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 - 12:06 am

    Are you saying that the multi-racial hostel is a bad idea? I don’t think so. I believe you agree that such a hostel is a good way to encourage and foster a higher degree of intermingling between the races. You are just simply trying to take the `thunder’ away from Najib because you know he is doing the right thing.

  19. #19 by undertaker888 on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 - 12:41 am

    The reason for racial polarisation in this country is the teachers in madrasah or religious school spinning the web of hatred to their students. It all started in the 70s.

    I have 8 year-old kids calling me communist and pendatang from Cina during that time. Now who taught them that?

    Building more hostels, 1M F1, etcetra etcetra will not make it any better. Najib has to look at the root cause.

  20. #20 by cto on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 - 1:10 am

    #18 by imranj78 on September 30th, 2009 00:06

    Are you saying that the multi-racial hostel is a bad idea? I don’t think so. I believe you agree that such a hostel is a good way to encourage and foster a higher degree of intermingling between the races. You are just simply trying to take the `thunder’ away from Najib because you know he is doing the right thing.


    Once in a while, the newspapers will report a case of a great grandmother or grandfather completing a University undergrad degree. In all cases that I have read so far, the great grandparent sacrificed her/his studies for the sake of the family due to circumstances that are beyond her/his control e.g. war, death of a spouse etc. These are heart warming stories without exception and I applaud the newspapers for reporting these stories and most of all I applaud these old graduates for the tenacity shown in the quest for knowledge and self improvement.

    I have, however, never read a story about a great grandmother or grandfather still trying to graduate after 50 years of failing and trying when she/he has been given every opportunity to graduate. I don’t think that the newspaper would consider such a story as newsworthy. In addition, I do not think that the newspaper would want the risk of being sued for defamation cos’ the great grandparent ought to feel ashame.

    Having said that, I guess one should give the second set of great grandparents some due credit for sticking around and trying to graduate despite failing every year. If this is the “thunder” that you want to highlight and be proud of, I shall grant you that with some reluctance.

  21. #21 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 - 6:10 am

    What for “multi-racial hostel” making front-page headline news in mainstream media?

    I’d be happier even if they devote 2nd page to the reporting on the injustice for the family of A. Kugan, when no one is held accountable and charged for his custodial death!

    I think you should step up pressure on this issue. Otherwise cases like A Kugan and Teoh Beng Hock will certainly not be the last.

  22. #22 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 - 6:21 am

    On so called “Malaysia’s multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-lingual unity”, see reaction of this commentator (Lek) September 29, 2009 on suspects not being charged –


  23. #23 by monsterball on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 - 7:41 am

    Tunku Abdul Rahman knew Lee Kuan Yew was right to demand a Malaysian Malaysia…….but his race not ready yet.
    He wanted 25 years.
    All Malaysians agreed.
    When Mahathir took over…Malays were well educated and it should take him few more years to stir the Malays to be Malaysians..with him shoeing the best example.
    Instead he chose to be a Dictator…fooling his own race…and became the most cunning and corrupted PM we can ever hope to get.
    His dirty politics are legendary…and admired by foes and friends.
    Only Malaysians have shown to the world….what we think of Mahathir….and they begin to know….Malaysians are no fools.
    This “1 Malaysia” stuff is a piece of UMNO low class side show…by Najib..to try his style…how to keep Malaysians…..accepting unity with race separations. …accepting UMNO as the Savior..for Malays and ….Islam .
    It is the support to have false titles…showing how greedy and corrupted they are….never ever admitting that at all……always denting.
    It is their controls to keep programming the minds of Malaysians….no freedom at all…..that brings Malaysians minds… backward…..never forward.
    It is Mahathir who showed the ways to UMNO….everything Tunku Abdul Rahman is against of…….and Tunku was old and helpless….which we all know..how ungrateful and disrespectful Mahathir was to him.
    Do recall…..under Mahathir…..the family of Tunku refused to get Tunku buried in the National mosque.
    Tunku suffered the most…with Tun Razak ousting him..and Tunku gave up peacefully. Tunku was never power crazy like Mahathir.
    A sincere leader who loves Malaysians do not know how to be that cunning.
    Certainly..Tunku was not greedy..and all his Ministers lived a simple natural lives.
    Go and compare Malaysia….from th time Mahathir took over…and you will know..he is the real devil reincarnated…so evil…so cruel..so cunning and so greedy.
    What is UMNO now?…corrupted to the core..so said Tunku Rithauddin….an not one UMNO minister dare to dispute that.
    Such a powerful statement..from a well respected UMNO man…holding the post of a watch dog for UMNO………but surrounded by hounds…hyaenas….crows…that makes him powerless to do anything for UMNO sincerely
    He is too old to resign…as I am sure he would…if 20 years younger.

  24. #24 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 - 8:12 am

    On the 1Malaysia concept introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Mahathir said the people, especially the younger generation must be given the opportunity to mingle and study together and build up friendships with different races.

    “During my time we had more opportunities to make friends with other races,” he said. – Bernama

    Being Malaysia’s longest serving PM (22 years in office), Mahathir could have many chances to bring the various races together, why did he claim yesterday that he had more opportunities to make friends with other races during his time? One can only speculate that the government has been in favor of a policy of mono ethnic-ism in nation building.

  25. #25 by taiking on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 - 8:32 am


    Money politics – an important aspect of najibonomics – is gaining ground fast. And it is being exported to the US via harvard uni. Graduates who later became economic advisers to the US President would be preaching najibonomics with a strong dose of money politics. Like the Indons (toyo’s countrymen) we should claim intellectual property rights and demand royalty.

  26. #26 by taiking on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 - 8:46 am

    Wot multi racial hostel thingy is dat? Dont we already have it before? Phark. If the man has to re-cycle and reuse old idea it means either he (a) is out of idea; or (b) does not know wot the phark he is doing.

    Re-using / re-cycling fallen heros like Isa and expired bn politicians and disbarred lawyer is all that he could think of.

  27. #27 by Joshua on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 - 10:37 am

    this will never be…as racial disparity will go on irrespective of whatever..

    even corruption is getting worst despite ACA and MACC- sound good.


    How does corruption affect us? Let me count the ways
    Posted by admin
    Tuesday, 29 September 2009 18:10

    But PAS does not declare war on corruption. PAS declares war on beer and sexy women. PAS does not understand that corruption and poverty is the real enemy. Poverty enslaves us. Corruption makes us even poorer.


    Raja Petra Kamarudin

    Most Malaysians don’t think twice about the level of corruption in this country. Some even welcome it. How many times have you illegally parked your car or dashed through a red light and paid the policeman a bribe of RM50 or RM100 to save paying a RM300 fine if you are issued a summons?

    And that is cheap, mind you. In the police lockup, we have to pay the policemen RM100 for a three-minute local phone call and RM10 for a stick of cigarette. So that comes to RM200 per packet. I paid RM200 for one night’s ‘protection’. For RM200 I was placed in a ‘special’ lockup where a detainee awaiting trial for murder took me under his wing so that the others could not get at me. He even threw in a cigarette as part of the ‘package’.

    And it costs RM250,000 for a drug dealer to escape the gallows.

    My wife, who in 2001 was detained overnight in the women’s section of the police lockup, the same night I was arrested, spoke to one Indonesian woman who was on her second drug dealing arrest. The first time she and her husband were arrested they had to pay RM500,000 for both of them to get released. They were trying to arrange another RM500,000 to get out of this second arrest. So that came to RM1 million for two arrests. Imagine how much they must be making dealing in drugs. More importantly, imagine how much the police are making each time they get arrested.

    I spoke to many of my Chinese businessmen friends and they admitted that it is easier to do business when corruption is involved. This saves time since you can bypass the normal requirements and get your applications approved much faster by just bribing the government officers. Sometimes, when you are not ‘eligible’, you can become eligible by paying bribes. So bribes actually help when faced with certain obstacles — and there are definitely many ‘obstacles’ when dealing with governments in third world countries like Malaysia.

    pw: Arthur pskbv

  28. #28 by Godfather on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 - 11:13 am

    What do we expect the mainstream press editors to say ? That UMNO should not allow a way back for Isa, a politician found guilty of money politics ? That UMNO should not interfere with the independence of Petronas by insisting on Omar Ong as a director when he had already been rejected once by the Petronas board ?

    UMNO can’t change. All they can do is to use the mainstream press to spin, and all the editors have no choice but to follow what the warlords want.

  29. #29 by born in Malaysia on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 - 11:58 am

    1 Malaysia slogan created by PM is just another gimmick used by UMNO to fool the naive stupid people that all races in Malaysia are treated equally.
    In actual fact, especially the Chinese and Indians are treated as second class citizen and ripped off of their rights as Malaysian citizens till today by the UMNO government..
    How can we be One when only Malays get special rights and quotas?. All Malaysians are born in Malaysia, but the special rights are not just for the poor but for only one race no matter they are rich or poor..
    Is this rights and quotas being set down by the British Government when independent was given to Malaysia during 1957?

  30. #30 by Taxidriver on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 - 12:16 pm

    monsterball and yhsiew at #23, #24

    You hit the nail on the head. Tengku had the noble vision of a truely progressive and united Malaysian Race. His dream was shattered by Mahathir Mohammed, the very mention of which name made him cry during the final years of his life saying ” How I wished I had not lived this long to see all this happening” He left this world a very disappointed man.

    Tengku, may your soul rest in peace. The Rakyat will stand up to fulfill that noble vision of yours.

    Bangkitlah Rakyat Malaysia!!!

  31. #31 by Winston on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 - 1:21 pm

    As far as UMNO is concerned, polarisation works in its favour because without the race card, they just cannot win any elections.

  32. #32 by Taxidriver on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 - 4:10 pm

    National schools to foster unity? National language to foster unity? National service to foster unity? ‘Open House’ during festive seasons to foster unity? Is Najib admitting that all of those above are not producing the desired results so that he now comes out with a new ‘packing’ to fool the rakyat again like the “Multi-racial Hostel”? Like all esle before this, it is doomed for failure.

    1Malaysia can only be realised if UMNO Baru leaders have multi-racial minds, multi racial ears and multi racial hearts to carry out multi racial actions. A better and surer way for this to happen is voting UMNO Baru out and let PR take over the Federal government.

  33. #33 by tanjong8 on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 - 9:46 pm

    Najib suggests a multi-racial hostel ?

    Yes one where Umnoputras, MCA eunucks, MIC jaga and the Sabah kataks shall dwell.

    Main food shall be cow’s head curry.

  34. #34 by tanjong8 on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 - 9:51 pm

    It is said that corruption is quite accedpted by the Malaysian public.

    This is to be expected with Umnoputras and the Utusans in power.

    Tell me how else can you do business or get things done without giving a dollar or two under the table in the present system ?

  35. #35 by cemerlang on Thursday, 1 October 2009 - 10:51 pm

    …and ALL facilities in the hostel are meant for PUBLIC USE…PUBLIC USE…not sendirian berhad regardless what national religion there is.

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