Tuesday, 13 October 2009

1Malaysia, 1World... 1Universe?

"One Nation, One People". This is the catchphrase Malaysia's Prime Minister Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak most often uses to explain his 1Malaysia 'philosophy'.

Hardcore UMNO supporters, and those who have no interest in international politics would probably think this catchy phrase was originally invented by Prime Minister Najib. Well, just google the whole phrase and you'll know the exact same phrase has been used by politicians in the US and the UK, in Singapore and Indonesia, and in various other countries like Denmark, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Liberia, Armenia, Bhutan, Israel, Guyana and most probably, many more.

And if you think the term '1Malaysia' is unique, read about what Ehud Barak did to garner more support from Israel's diverse communities for the country's national election back in the late 1990's. He created an electoral coalition called 'One Israel' to attract voters who traditionally did not vote for and had negative views towards his Labour Party.

Not content with constantly badgering people in Malaysia with his '1Malaysia' slogan, our honourable Prime Minister recently went international to call for a '1World'! Sorry Mr. Prime Minister, Michael Jackson had beaten you to this more than 20 years ago with his song "We Are The World".

All past Prime Ministers of Malaysia and politicians from both sides, past and present, talked about national unity, racial integration, religious harmony, multiculturalism etc. What they disagreed essentially was on how to do it. The real truth is, 1Malaysia is not something new, and as can be deduced from Ehud Barak’s 'One Israel', is not even original. The only thing new is the ingenious way it is written (putting a digit together with a word), and the practice of attaching the term to anything and everything – 1Malaysia Formula One Team, Amanah Saham 1Malaysia, 1Malaysia Earthquake Fund, and 1Malaysia Lantern Festival.

Many local varsities I'm sure are in the race to set-up the Institute of 1Malaysia in addition to various conferences, seminars, exhibitions, campaigns, promotions, opening ceremonies, and whatever else that can be organised in the name of 1Malaysia. All this will be done as if '1Malaysia' is a completely new philosophy that came from our current Prime Minister's brilliant mind that no one else in this world dead or alive had ever thought about before.

Don't get me wrong. As a Malaysian who truly and deeply loves his country, I appreciate any good ideas for the nation no matter from where they come from; the Prime Minister, government ministers, opposition figures, wives of politicians or any Ahmad, Ah Chong or Mutusamy in the street. What I do find appalling is excessive sloganeering with no concrete measures to support the grand ideas mooted, and worse, clear intentional actions done to the contrary.

With President Obama now a recipient of the Noble Peace Prize, Prime Minister Najib may now have an added motivation to continue with his quest for '1World'. And to do even better than Obama and other earthly pretenders, Najib and his spin-doctors should start working on his '1Universe' speech to be delivered at the inaugural 'Intergalactic General Assembly' later in the future.

Related article: '1World, 1Malaysia...different planet'


Anonymous said...

"The only thing new is the ingenious way it is written (putting a digit together with a word)"

You're wrong here. Dont you know 1Utama? You see even writing style is ciplak.

Anonymous said...

It is a good thing that you highlighting this issue Mr. Zaki.

I first heard the phrase "one nation, one people" in the programme called Voices in Time mentioned by the former British Prime Minister,Margaret Thatcher not too long ago when it was aired on History Channel.When Mr. Najib came up with that concept, I knew it wasn't original.
I understand that he is just trying to make an impact, to show he has something different to offer but I think this is not the time to do that.
This is not the time to come up with a slogan.By the time Abdullah handed the premiership to him,he has the mess in Perak to deal with.The country is in bad shape, the economy is in shambles as well as his own party and yet he still find it fit to invent 1Malaysia and go around the country promoting it.
By being Prime Minister, it does not mean you can do everything that you like. That job comes with responsibilities.Does he realized how bad the situation is right now?

Zaki Samsudin said...

To both anonymous commentators above, thank you for your comments. I'm sure there are many more people in Malaysia who wish our PM will take more concrete steps to fix the situation in the country rather than embarking on this un-original yet expensive 1Malaysia marketing project.

Redha Ben Shahrir said...

This is a good thing. I do hope lot of people read this.... :)

bubu said...

Slm w.b.t.

It's been awhile. Interesting post indeed.

Altho I'm not so much of a gov's fan, but I gotta hand it to the benefits "1Malaysia" had given to the nation. Needless to say, people have endlessly debate over its rationale: "Is is a good thing or a bad thing?"

However, one thing that I won't agree to is as you've mentioned, it is not original. It was not credited appropriately to how it was originated from. The fact that it was made as if the PM introduced it was, to me, not right.

On the issue of focusing more on marketing the concept of 1Malaysia rather than addressing to other needs of the nation, I would differ in what has been said. Probably he sees a different picture that we might ever not see, and he(PM) thinks that there is a need, to promote that. There will always be part of the followers complaining what leaders are doing, and at times ppl think that they are right.

Well, we are looking from different perspectives, or different depth of problems faced, which I believe sometimes followers don't see what the leader sees, and of course, vice versa. I realized this even more after I myself was entrusted to be one(a leader, not PM, of course), and could not possibly understand y everyone is against me at times. I only prayed that what I did was what I think is the best for certain situations.

Lets put it this way, when there's a wound, a prompt, logical to treat it is to use a bandage. But some may think that it is better to wash it, let it dry at the same time be a good listener to the person who is wounded. Probably we (the followers) might see the previous option as the most feasible/obvious action to do and the PM saw an alternative to it. Who knows?

But definitely, if money is spent extravagantly on promoting and doing it at a cost that would jeopardize other matters, then that would be obviously inappropriate.

Appreciate any criticism. Thank you.

Zaki Samsudin said...

Brother Bubu, thanks for dropping by again.

Like I said in my post, I appreciate any noble efforts by anyone, including PM Najib, that benefits our country. But this 1Malaysia thingy is obviously more of a marketing strategy & propoganda to garner political support, especially from amongst the non-Malays. I will never say the whole thing is useless but there must be a limit as to how often and how far you go in promoting it. Excessive sloganeering is what I despise and this seems to be something so deeply rooted in our culture. My contention is, just do it! There's no need for slogans, theme songs, official launchings etc.

I appreciate your positive outlook into the PM's intentions and viewpoints. However, in order to convince more people of his sincerity, we need to see how far he is willing to go in executing policy changes that benefit those who are truly in need regardless of racial and religious background, and political inclinations. It is so hypocritical for a PM to say 1Malaysia this and that when the fact remains only states and parliament constituencies under BN receive substantial financial allocations from the federal government! If he does something concrete about issues like this and after that boast about 1Malaysia bla bla bla, the whole effort would appear more respectable.

Anyways, I think we'll be talking about this for quite sometime since Najib will remain as PM for at least a couple more years. After that, you probably won't hear about it again. Islam Hadhari? Does anyone still remember what that was?

Anonymous said...

They even change "salam sejahtera" to "salam Satu Malaysia".What a joke.
It looks like our PM trying to create cult of personality with mass promotion of 1Malaysia.
Another Chairman Mao in the making..

Zaki Samsudin said...

Anon 6:39,

Thanks for dropping by.

I guess in due time, students in national schools will be greeting their teachers "Selamat Satu Malaysia Cikgu" :)

...and just like Chairman Mao's wife, our first lady loves the spotlight too.

Alfian_Troxion said...

hahaha! A good one Bro. asal ko tak kasik tau aku pasal blog ni dari dulu. okes. aku nak kasik kat mak aku soh baca. ok tak? hehehe

Zaki Samsudin said...

Pian, you are welcome to invite your mom to read my blog.

I started this blog initially for discussions with my students when I taught a course on 'Political Psychology' last year. But I think I did once email everyone in my email list about this blog.

Probably need to market the blog more but I think I kinda like the way it is now. Not popular obviously like chedet.cc but I do have a small group of regular readers/visitors.