What transformation is Najib talking about when he could not even get UMNO GA to endorse his 1Malaysia policy nearly four years as PM and UMNO President?

In his interview with Malay Mail yesterday, when asked about “factions that were skeptical of 1Malaysia in UMNO itself”, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that it was by design that he did not define the concept very clearly as “there should be an element of strategic ambiguity so that once you introduce the concept like that, as time goes by, the definition could be defined by taking on board the views of people as we go along”.

He claimed however that “the concept of 1Malaysia is now clearly understood”!

This is indeed a tall claim which Najib could not possibly believe himself.

In fact, Malaysians are entitled to ask what transformation is Najib talking about when he could not even get the UMNO General Assembly to endorse his signature 1Malaysia policy nearly four years since becoming Prime Minister and UMNO President, when the 1Malaysia Policy represents the very basis of all his “transformation” programmes, whether government, economic or political, i.e. GTP, ETP, PTP, etc.

Malaysians are surprised that after nearly four years, Najib is saying that he had deliberately left the 1Malaysia concept vague and nebulous, which was not what he said in his first year as Prime Minister.

For instance, in February 2010, in his keynote address at the 1Malaysia Economic Conference, Najib expressed unhappiness about the various misconceptions over the 1Malaysia concept which he introduced upon taking office in April 2009, lamenting: “ I am greatly saddened that such an idea, which is not terribly complicated, is so often not understood.”

How could Najib now claim that he had deliberately allowed “an element of strategic ambiguity” in the definition of 1Malaysia, when the definition of 1Malaysia was clearly, fully and plainly spelt out right from the very beginning, particularly in the 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap, viz:

“The goal of 1Malaysia is to make Malaysia more vibrant, more productive and more competitive – and ultimately a greater nation: a nation where, it is hoped, every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first, and by race, religion, geographical region or socio-economic background second and where the principles of 1Malaysia are woven into the economic, political and social fabric of society.”

The 1Malaysia GTP Roadmap declared that Malaysia has “chosen a unique route – that of unity of diversity and inclusiveness, while ensuring fairness to all and remaining anchored in our Constitution” – which means that “we embrace our diversity of ethnicity, religions and beliefs and, by being inclusive, build mutual respect and acceptance into a social foundation of trust and cohesiveness”.

It is clear right from the beginning Najib could not get the UMNO leadership and the Cabinet to endorse his 1Malaysia Policy, as his Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin did not mince his words when he repudiated the 1Malaysia policy by publicly declaring that he was “Malay first, Malaysian second” – with no reprimand or contradiction by Najib.

In fact, in July 2011, Najib dodged the question when asked at the Malaysian Students Leaders’ Summit whether he was prepared to state that he was Malaysian first and what he thought of Muhyiddin’s infamous remark of being “Malay first and Malaysian next”.

Najib did not answer the question, saying:

“I don’t want to respond in a way that will divide me from my deputy. 1Malaysia is our guiding philosophy. It does not matter what you say, just as long as you follow (the 1Malaysia concept.”

Most ominous of all, Muhyiddin had the support of the UMNO eminence grise, Tun Dr. Mahathir who publicly said he did not understand Najib’s 1Malaysia concept and that “Malaysia has become more racial than ever”.

Now Najib is making a virtue out of necessity, trying to camouflage his failure to get the endorsement of the UMNO leadership for his 1Malaysia policy as a deliberate stance of strategic ambiguity to get more people “on board” the concept!

1Malaysia has degenerated to sheer electioneering gimmickry to win votes for UMNO/BN in the 13GE, “transforming” from the initial giveaways of 1Malaysia T-shirt, 1Malaysia-Tupperware and 1Malaysia notebook to 1Malaysia Water Tanks, 1Malaysia Clinics, 1Malaysia Housing and 1Malaysia RM500 Cash Aid.

But UMNO is still fully committed to the exclusive ideology of Ketuanan Melayu which is the very antithesis to a supposedly-inclusive 1Malaysia concept.

This is illustrated by the episode in the recent UMNO General Assembly where UMNO delegates stood in silence and shed tears touched by an overseas UMNO club student representative’s rendition of ‘Anak Kecil Main Api’, a song that bemoans the fate of Malays for being sidelined in their own land.

The song, which was written by former National Civics Bureau (BTN) chief, was taught to all those who attended the BTN courses, which is compulsory for students before attending local public universities or going overseas on government scholarships.

The questions raised by this episode include:

• 55 years after Merdeka, 42 years after the New Economic Policy and half a century of UMNO political hegemony, who must bear responsibility for the fate of the Malays marginalised in their own country? Shouldn’t the UMNO-putras bear the greatest responsibility?

• With 1Malaysia concept and policy, shouldn’t the focus be on the marginalised and discriminated among all Malaysians in their own country, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Orang Asli, Kadazans or Ibans, and not just one community?

• Is this not the best proof that Biro Tata Negara has become the chief agency in government sowing anti-1Malaysia concept?

Can Najib answer these three questions in the spirit of 1Malaysia?

  1. #1 by cseng on Saturday, 8 December 2012 - 3:24 pm

    1 m’sia is suppose to be vague, you defined what is yours. Ubah of DAP is 1 m’sia.

  2. #2 by monsterball on Saturday, 8 December 2012 - 3:39 pm

    When a PM dare not call a spade a spade and give vague descriptions…it’s exposing a man…twisting here and there …hoping…hoping.

  3. #3 by cseng on Saturday, 8 December 2012 - 3:45 pm

    1 M’sia, to the corrupts is corruption, to business man is money making scheme, to crocodile is means meat for lunches.

    To the PM, an ‘illusion’ aiming for another term. It is everything and anything that goes by, off Pemandu’s packaging, alphabets sopa opera , walla! that is 1 M’sia.

    Understand? no? right!, it was designed vague. Not fair to say Umno did not endorsed it, you don’t even know what’s that. It was the tears sheded by the crocodiles.

  4. #4 by yhsiew on Saturday, 8 December 2012 - 3:55 pm

    ///“there should be an element of strategic ambiguity….”///

    The PM should not gamble away the future of the country by implementing uncertain, vague and ambiguous policies.

  5. #5 by Godfather on Saturday, 8 December 2012 - 4:58 pm

    Najib talked about inheriting legacy issues, as though he had no hand in those issues. Ask him about the Scorpene deal, the land deal in Majidee, and the land deal in Bukit Raja. All these happened during his tenure as Defence Minister.

    He is asking for more time, but the simple truth is that he needs more time for his cronies and relatives to grab as many projects as they could. Witness the rush to announce deals even when the country could ill-afford these.

    No sir, it’s time to call a spade a spade. Let’s put an end to this charade.

  6. #6 by Godfather on Saturday, 8 December 2012 - 5:01 pm

    You announce hundreds of billions of public expenditure. Even the so-called “private” investment deals have huge public funds involved e.g. Iskandar, TRX, so those are not truly private investment. You start digging here and there, and spend hundreds of millions and announce that the economy has grown by 5 pct in the last quarter. Any monkey could have done that by opening the public purse.

  7. #7 by Godfather on Saturday, 8 December 2012 - 5:04 pm

    Najib is now begging to be given another chance. His supporters have gone around claiming that unless Najib gets two-thirds, he will be removed, and the successor is going to be a lot worse. What they are saying is this: If you think that Najib is plundering the public purse, then the likely successor is going to plunder even much more. Is this the type of argument for proper governance ? That we should be saddled with a poor choice because the alternative is going to be worse ?

  8. #8 by Winston on Saturday, 8 December 2012 - 9:27 pm

    Perhaps Malaysians are by nature a very tolerant lot.
    So tolerant that they have a village idiot as the head of government.
    Haven’t we heard enough of what this village idiot has been saying?
    And the perverted MSM that humour him?

  9. #9 by Godfather on Saturday, 8 December 2012 - 10:00 pm

    In Penang, the clown made promises of a transport system and affordable housing. He didn’t mention that the funding comes from government guaranteed debt. We all pay, one way or another.

    Najib’s promises are a waste of time. He promised that lynas waste would be sent offshore. Now lynas is keeping its waste here. He promised the RCI on sabah; it’s still dragging on and on with no start in sight. Janji yang ditepati ? Are the rural folks that easily conned?

  10. #10 by Noble House on Sunday, 9 December 2012 - 2:02 am

    Tun AAB secured a mandate of over 90% in 2004. What happened back then? Next, we may hear the Malaysian Maverick saying “I do not understand what transformation Najib is talking about as it was with his 1Malaysia concoction”. Afterall, Umno is already transformed…..from ‘Lama’ to ‘Baru’. Moreover, it is God’s send according to that Umno Youth Information Chief! So how is it possible for Najib to do that unless he risks himself to a similar fate as that of Tun AAB?

    This is too big a task for Najib. Leave it to the Rakyat!

  11. #11 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 9 December 2012 - 2:28 am

    The big picture really is the man is literally just pushing the gas on the peddle on his cheat & buy strategy as hard as he can. The mediocrity is obvious now..

    In a way we should be thankful Najib is so mediocre because he is also mediocre on abuses too. As Mahathir said, he can do better and actually had. Najib is not blowing billons in speculative frenzy, he is not breaking further the constitutions and institutions which are already broken, etc.

    Its just time for us the Rakyat bosses to do the job we neglected to do for a long time already..

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