Malaysiakini Letter

'1Malaysia' has my deep suspicions

Gooi Hsiao Leung  |  Published:  |  Modified:

In a publicity stunt, Najib Abdul Razak announced that his One (1) Malaysia vision for the country had two key elements, ‘mutual respect’ and ‘trust among the different races’. He said:

‘Mutual respect is not just tolerance...that is just the bare minimum. Mutual respect means you have embraced unity in diversity. And secondly, we must trust one another. But trust is not something gained overnight.

‘But if done consciously over time, it will eventually happen...Once trust is developed, Malaysia will be the sum total of all races. We will not be moving as separate communities but as one Malaysia and we will be stronger.

‘It will be a new Malaysia because we'll change our mindset because we trust and respect each other.’

I must commend his spin doctors. His call for ‘respect for unity in diversity’ is very similar to the UN’s core value of ‘Respect for Diversity’. What is missing however, is the UN core value of ‘Integrity and Professionalism’.

Fortunately, he is not applying for a job in the UN. Unfortunately for us, he is applying for (and has obtained) the job of being our prime minister. I just cannot take what he says seriously.

Just as Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had at the beginning of his premiership made grand promises of reform and declarations that he will be a prime minister for all races, I have deep suspicions that Najib has neither the political will nor ambition to see through his ‘One Malaysia’ plan.

My suspicions are rooted in the:

  • government’s recent crackdown on freedom of speech;

  • the prosecution and persecution of Karpal Singh and his son, Gobind;
  • the ban on public speeches involving Altantuya;
  • Najib’s failure to confront the allegations connecting him to the Altantuya murder case;
  • the scandal involving the hundreds of millions paid out in the submarine purchase contracts;
  • the illegal power grab in Perak; and
  • the use of excessive force by the police to break up peaceful rallies.
  • All these events led up to the transition of power. It’s like a really good cinema preview of a very scary horror film about to be released in Malaysia.

    Personally, I am surprised he has the audacity to say that after 50 years of independence, our country has not fostered mutual respect and trust amongst the races.

    My interpretation of his call to ‘change our mindset and build trust and respect for each other’ is actually a call to Umno themselves to change the party’s mindset in order for BN to recover the loss of support and distrust from non-Malays in the aftermath of March 8, 2008.

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