I am increasingly irritated by the 1Malaysia campaign. Not sure why people are so into this slogan as if this is something new. Even the corporate sector joined the bandwagon and riding on the catchy slogan with their glossy advertisements in the mainstream television.
While Najib’s massive campaign may have been positively welcomed by the rakyat, it has become an irritant and more so when his own party members are still within the old mindset as reflected in some of their speeches and not to mention various articles in Utusan Melayu.
While everyone blames Utusan Melayu for racist centric articles, the same can be said with Tamil newspapers and I was told, even Chinese newspapers. It’s just that all Malaysians can read Utusan while not all Indians or Chinese Malaysian can read Tamil or mandarin newspapers, what more Malays.
Unless Najib’s own party members reflect the slogan in their actions, this 1Malaysia will soon end up like “Gemilang, Cermerlang and Terbilang” in the next general elections.
1Malaysia maybe nice and catchy to some people, especially the kids, but it’s pointless if people chose to segregate themselves and the fact that we have a system that segregates children from young. And we all know that this systematic segregation is well supported by the same people who champion for 1Malaysia, Malaysian Malaysia and others similar slogans that are not popular.
On the other hand, if Malaysians really wants to be united, not just be seen to be united, they have to make sacrifices, I mean big sacrifice here. That would be the current generation’s biggest contribution to the next, and they will certainly be remembered centuries to come.
I am, of course, referring to the single stream school idea which has been reignited, read here.
If Najib and Muyiddin is serious about 1Malaysia, they should do their best to float a workable idea towards establishing one single school stream. It may not be appealing to Chinese and Indian educationist, or rather chauvinist, but an attractive and quality national school may work to attract non Malays back to national school. This may include introduction of English medium schools, which I believe will definitely attract all races.
With the race and racist sentiments hitting high notes recently, I had a first hand look on old 1Malaysia in one small cowboy town called Paloh in Johor. I attended a function held by my father’s friend, an Indian Malaysian. Whilst it was a small function, it was well attended by multi-racial crowd within the neighborhood. What was surprising it that, the non-indians outnumbered the Indians.
I had the opportunity to have a chat with the folk there. I gathered that most of them work in saw mills, estates, factories, transportation and small businesses catering to the residents there. I also realized that being in a small town, they, regardless of race, depend on each other for job, business and daily needs.
When they started talking about politics, one of them turned to me and said that ‘you educated people are the ones who are creating all kinds of problems for this country’. He further added that there have not been any racial problems in the small town ever. He also mentioned that their biggest problem ever was with the communist insurgency back then when Paloh was known to be one of the communist stronghold back then in Johor.
I was taken aback but not surprised with the accusation against KLites as there are certainly lots of truth in that statement. Throughout the conversation, everyone showed genuine warmth towards each other, as they have been for decades, something that I hardly see in KL. Life there is simple and slow but people are enjoying themselves and would not want a complicated life such as in KL even if given millions of Ringgit.
So 1Malaysia is certainly not new, but an old wine in a new bottle. And according to the folks in Johor, educated Malaysians chose to deliberately crack and eventually break the old bottle over the years.