"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'
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