– by Clement Ting
– The Malaysian Insider
Feb 02, 2012

FEB 2 — Ever since DS Najib took office on April 3, 2009, “unity” is yet another word used on slogans without much effort to embrace the word for what it truly means. Let’s look at the latest and hottest slogan promoted by our dear PM himself, 1Malaysia.

The 1Malaysia slogan is now everywhere — from Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (KR1M), 1Malaysia clinics, 1Malaysia pillars, banners, posters etc. I am not trying to run down the idea as I think this idea has successfully reached everyone from the urban cities to rural areas. However, I feel that it is just an empty slogan with no one taking heed of what it actually means. Furthermore, this 1Malaysia slogan is contradictory in so many ways to the extent that instead of promoting unity, it is possible that it is doing the exact opposite.

Why is it contradictory? To start off, people of different races interpret the meaning differently. Tun Mahathir mentioned in his blog (http://chedet.cc/blog/?p=468) that:

“The Malays generally interpret 1Malaysia to mean real adoption of the national language as the home language by every citizen as happens in other multiracial countries. They also expect the abolition of Chinese and Tamil schools and ensuring the private sector has a fair participation of Malays and other Bumiputeras.”

According to the Constitution, the rights of the Chinese and Indians to continue studying in their vernacular schools are protected. So maybe there is a problem with the understanding of some of these Malays whom Tun M spoke about.

Similarly for the non-Malays, they interpret 1Malaysia as having abolished the rights of Bumiputeras and a fair and equal treatment towards all Malaysians according to article 8 of the Constitution, which talks about equality. This is also an issue because certain quarters assume these rights to be inalienable, and those not accorded similar treatment would feel aggrieved.

Without a proper definition of what is 1Malaysia, it will just be another empty slogan, at best, no matter how effectively the government promotes it. What is more, it may even create complications and arguments on what is truly 1Malaysia.

Let me give you another example on how contradiction to the ideals of 1Malaysia can bring more harm than good. The PM and his Ministers must sing the same song. When the PM personally advocates the ideals of 1Malaysia, his Ministers should not confuse race with nationality. Both serve a priority to us all; one as an individual, the other as a member of a collective group. They cannot confuse these themselves and must set the right example to all of us as Malaysians. As a result of this oversight, PR’s CM Lim Guan Eng declared in retort “I am Malaysian first, and Malaysian last”.

Although our nation is 54 years old, our unity in its purest form is still questionable. Our fathers and theirs before them, would always speak about the good ole’ days where race didn’t matter. They would get involved and immerse themselves in each other’s culture and celebrate their uniqueness. Today, we have to pay thousands of ringgit to produce TV commercials to show how Malaysians are expected to interact and to personify a “false” object of unity. We don’t need to. We just have to understand, embrace and celebrate each other’s differences, uniqueness and strengths.

Malaysians and the culture we have are colourful. How can we expect unity if such wonderful cultures are not embraced?

To make matters worse, recently some extremists demanded that Muslims not celebrate Christmas simply because it is an annual celebration to commemorate the birth of Christ, and that Muslims should not wish others Merry Christmas. What is wrong with Muslims celebrating Christmas? Do they not realise that Nabi Isa, who is also Jesus Christ, is also a prophet in the Quran as well?

Michelle Yeoh once said in an advertisement about a decade ago, “This is Malaysia, truly Asia”. I personally envision and believe that Malaysia, with its many races, dialects, culture, beliefs can one day blend together peacefully to create the truly Asian flavour.

Lots more work must be done than just advertising the current 1Malaysia slogan. We need the Government to be a catalyst to realise this ambition. Our leaders need to truly stand for 1Malaysia, for if they ever wish for a united Malaysia, our leaders themselves must be effective in showing us the path towards unity.

Otherwise, all these hopes of 1Malaysia will just be another dream waiting to be realised.

  1. #1 by Winston on Friday, 3 February 2012 - 9:15 am

    How to have 1Malaysia when even ministers are saying that
    they are Malays first.
    All this talk of 1Malaysia is just to have some nice little ditty
    to show foreigners that we are “truly” united.
    But we are not and the actions of the BN government shows
    very clearly that we aren’t!
    So, it all boils down to 1Malaysia = 1 Cock & Bull!

  2. #2 by k1980 on Friday, 3 February 2012 - 9:51 am


    //The MCA has endorsed the Election Commission (EC) proposal to bar non-tax paying overseas Malaysians from voting in parliamentary or state elections as absent voters.//

    Very good. Now extend this ruling to ALL Malaysians who do not pay income taxes ( 80% of the population)

  3. #3 by cintanegara on Friday, 3 February 2012 - 10:37 am

    When the government led by our beloved statesman Tun Dr Mahathir, announced the idea of building Vision School , everybody was very excited. They felt it would provide the best platform for young school children of all races and both sexes to interact without any prejudices or baggage. This particular tool (ie Vision School) would provide the perfect environment and opportunity for these students….

    Sadly the plan was never materialized …….

    Which political party was against this idea? Why didn’t they allow their kids to mingle around with other races???? Now, the leaders of that political party are talking about ‘Malaysian First’…..

    Looks like the veteran politician is the only one who declares himself as Malaysian First…..Malaysians want Nik Aziz, Hadi Awang and other PAS leaders to make the same declaration….


  4. #4 by Bigjoe on Friday, 3 February 2012 - 10:38 am

    I actually worry when people get nostalgic about unity and worst its always romantic. People should get in their head – Mahathir/UMNO-Perkasa/BN destroyed what we had and could have had. There is no way we are EVER going to get back what we lost.

    However, it does not mean we cannot construct something similar, something closer and something better. What is clear now is the attempt of reformist to move our nation from affirmative action to some sort of social-welfare state. Its a major change of course but hardly truly ground breaking as idea of governance and development is concern. Look US and Europe, free-market and free-will leaders and you see social-welfarism destroying their state finances and still income gap worsening.

    Malaysia cannot afford the NEP anymore. That is clear. But social-welfare is merely an opportunity to change to something else eventually. Because social welfare will have to be temporary, the need to execute well and to make sure the result of that social-welfarism is not simply welfare but empowerment – empowerment to free people of as much dependencies as possible.

  5. #5 by k1980 on Friday, 3 February 2012 - 11:01 am

    The title “Gor” in Ah Jib Gor is not glamorous.

    The word “Sor” (as in sor-chai, meaning ‘clown’) should be added.

    Therefore we have Ah Jib Sor Gor, a most glamorous name

  6. #6 by ranger on Friday, 3 February 2012 - 11:47 am

    “Do they not realise that Nabi Isa, who is also Jesus Christ, is also a prophet in the Quran as well?” I do not know what faith Clement Ting professes, Jesus Christ is not a prophet, he is the Son of God, the Anointed One. That is the most important believe in Christendom. The Muslims do not believe that, they made him into a prophet 600 years after Christ went to the Father.

  7. #7 by ranger on Friday, 3 February 2012 - 11:49 am

    “Do they not realise that Nabi Isa, who is also Jesus Christ, is also a prophet in the Quran as well?” I do not know what faith Clement Ting professes, calling Christ a Prophet is blasphemous, Jesus Christ is not a prophet, he is the Son of God, the Anointed One. That is the most important belief in Christendom. The Muslims do not believe that, they made him into a prophet 600 years after Christ went to the Father.

    • #8 by ivan on Saturday, 4 February 2012 - 2:14 am

      As per the line, “is also a prophet in the Quran as well?” – Clearly, he was just referring to what was recorded and perceived by the Muslims in their Quran (http://ms.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabi_Isa_a.s.).

      FYI, he’s a very close friend of mine and he is a very devout & pious Christian. Needless to say, the concept of Trinity has been etched in his soul since a long time ago.

      In fact, this clarification is uncalled-for, you just have to read painstakingly and understand the context before dishing out a comment like this. Lastly, ‘blasphemous’ is a strong word. Cheers.

  8. #9 by undertaker888 on Friday, 3 February 2012 - 11:52 am

    If they want to be Malay first then go back to Indonesia or Kalimantan lo. If want to be Chinese first then go back tiongsan lo. If Indian, balik Kerala lo.

    What’s the fuss? Let’s send moodin back to Palembang or Kalimantan first. He can monyet first or orang utan second we don’t care.

  9. #10 by Godfather on Friday, 3 February 2012 - 11:56 am

    Cintanegara Ali is at it again….doesn’t understand or doesn’t care about the hypocrisy of his boss wasting rakyat’s money. Beloved statesman ? More like an old fox being kept alive by [email protected] to see the damage he wrought on Bolehland. Also to see the demise of UMNO.

  10. #11 by waterfrontcoolie on Friday, 3 February 2012 - 12:18 pm

    Yeah, cintanegara, you talk about vision schools but do you actually know waht happen even in the current National schools? Most of the half-baked teachers whould prefer to teach religion rather than teaching what they are paid to do. Yes, most Chinese would prefer learning subjects to take care of their future. As for their “future world’ they prefer to leave it to their Creator in their private rendezous when the time comes! Of course, you are blind or ignorant to this as all you care are lies
    of your master in BN. We know that if those lies are no longer accepted by the majority of Malaysians, especially amongst the POOR MALAYS; your days are also numbered!

  11. #12 by undertaker888 on Friday, 3 February 2012 - 12:44 pm

    Vision school by cintamyfoot beloved Kim Ha Thir? What would they be teaching in that school by those half baked teachers? Look at the quality churned out by national schools compared to vernacular schools.

    Look at cintamyfoot still sitting under the rambutan tree after finishing vision school. The rest of us already at the durian tree.

  12. #13 by Bunch of Suckers on Friday, 3 February 2012 - 1:46 pm


    According to MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, it is a good proposal as no country in the world gives blanket approval for its overseas citizens to vote.

    “All the countries have various conditions, they have no blanket approval,” he said….

    Just name a few nations: UK, USA, Canada, NZ & Australia are allowing their overseas living Citizens to vote at embassies even though they don’t contribute any taxes internally!!! Voting is legal and compulsory in NZ & Australia no matter where you live.

  13. #14 by jus legitimum on Friday, 3 February 2012 - 1:55 pm

    Cintanegara appeared again with his mouthful of trash .Beloved statesman it seems.That old senile hack looks more like an old wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  14. #15 by sightseeing on Saturday, 4 February 2012 - 5:25 am

    ||“Do they not realise that Nabi Isa, who is also Jesus Christ, is also a prophet in the Quran as well?” I do not know what faith Clement Ting professes|| ranger

    Ranger, your comment is out of context. To be fair to Clement Ting, he did not call Christ a Prophet. He was referring to Nabi Isa, who is also regarded as Jesus Christ in the Quran. Christian faith is based on the Jesus Christ as recorded in the Bible and not any other jesus christ in the Quran or any other books.

  15. #16 by boh-liao on Saturday, 4 February 2012 - 6:10 am

    Dis is d ONLY farked up nation is d world where ALL citizens R NOT encouraged 2 b known as 1 common NATIONALITY: MALAYSIAN
    Rather, d ruling gomen WANTS citizens 2 b known according 2 their RACE first
    Truly a RACIST gomen, how 2 progress lah as a united nation

  16. #17 by ranger on Saturday, 4 February 2012 - 1:55 pm

    “by ivan on Saturday, 4 February 2012 – 2:14 am ” this clarification is uncalled-for, you just have to read painstakingly and understand the context before dishing out a comment like this. Lastly, ‘blasphemous’ is a strong word. No I read it correctly, your friend is being politically correct. You know the years of indoctrination has affected your friend. That has made his thinking that of a Dhimmi. It is blasphemous to equate Christ with a Prophet. Trying to be tolerant does not mean one has to be tolerant of intolerance. Your friend is bending over.

  17. #18 by cemerlang on Sunday, 5 February 2012 - 10:31 am

    Since the beginning, there is bersatu teguh, bercerai roboh. Unity is strength. 1Malaysia is all that. What is so different about unity and 1Malaysia ? It’s just the dance of words. Dance slow. Dance fast. It is still about moving the body following the rhythm of the music. Arts twisted all around is still arts.

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