One Malaysia/1 Malaysia Syndrome

Posted: November 7, 2010 in Bangsa Malaysia, Discrimination, Freedom of Expression, Race + Religion

“Makan, Minum, Tidur Coca-Cola”
The phrase clearly states an absolute obsession over Coca-Cola. Fine by me, catchy and pretty clever as a marketing/advertising strategy there is no doubt about that, after all it is a product. But what would be the case with the latest obsession our dearest government has been infected with…Would it be a marketing strategy? Propaganda? Visionary dream? What would you call it?
I call it the 1Malaysia syndrome. You basically see it everywhere… Let’s just have a breakdown of how 1Malaysia syndrome is seeping into our lives, our workplace, our homes, our schools, our media and the list never ends.

Image 1: 1Malaysia blog by Dato Sri Najib (but of course)

Image 2: 1Malaysia Facebook Group

Image 3: 1Malaysia Booklet

Image 4: 1Malaysia News Item

I need not elaborate further, don’t you think? You get my drift, yeah? Well, it is everywhere. It’s on print (essay competition etc), TV (mystory)…. I almost feel as though this concept has been de-valued or even forced, so common that it bears neither significance nor relevance in this 21st century.
Some might say, hey cher you are such a skeptic but let’s just look at the bare facts. 1Malaysia is sure as hell not a new concept; it’s been recycled over and over again when the nation requires crutches to stay afloat. It’s been used time and time again in different ways; using different names by different people that sit right up there (I ain’t talking about god, that is for sure!).

All of a sudden he becomes a hero because he is all about unity, all about togetherness, all about the coming of all races no matter the color, the culture, the religion and the list goes on. 1Malaysia, who can fault such a noble vision, such a community puller but the question is what is behind 1Malaysia or more like who and why!!

Quoted from the 1Malaysia booklet;
(can be accessed at
“1Malaysia adalah penerusan agenda membina negara”
– In simple words, it means 1 Malaysia is a continuation of an agenda in the direction of developing a nation.
Some of the key words used in this document;
“Penerimaan antara kaum”
-Acceptance among the races-

“Peningkatan ketara sikap toleransi”
-Increase of tolerant attitudes-
“Tiada mana-mana pihak yang akan dipinggirkan”
-No party will be sidelined-
“Sikap sampai lewa dan acuh-tak-acuh tidak boleh wujud….”
-Could not be bothered attitudes should not exist-
“1Malaysia adalah satu transformasi ketara”
– 1 Malaysia is an obvious transformation-

PM Malaysia(current one-2010) says;
“1Malaysia adalah satu gagasan bagi memupuk perpaduan di kalangan rakyat Malaysia yang berbilang kaum, beteraskan beberapa nilai penting yang seharusnya menjadi amalan setiap rakyat Malaysia”
– 1 Malaysia is a notion to foster unity among Malaysian of varied races based on a few crucial or important values that should be a practice for every single Malaysian-

Like I’ve mentioned before, 1Malaysia is a recycled concept (think Bangsa Malaysia during Mahathir’s time). No issue with that really, good concepts should always be emphasized and fostered but if it is such a great concept why was it not picked up by the nation, by its people? Simple, just one word- “Hypocrisy”
It’s as simple as a father telling his son to quit smoking because it is bad for him and the very next minute lighting up a ciggie right in front of his son and smoke his lungs out. Good for you, bad for me scenario? It’s like what you should do and what the reality really is…

Let me tell you why 1Malaysia will never work;
1. Affirmative action –it is argued that it should remain as we should not questioned the Bumiputera’s right, in fact we should help them but my question is who helps those in need regardless of race? What about those who are in the same boat but just not Bumiputera, do they not matter? (refer to the third keyword phrase above- already people are being sidelined and continue to be)
2. Malaysia’s raced based party system (by this I don’t mean a partay but political party!)- it is argued that there should be an acceptance of all races yet we are founded and continue to grow on a political system that clearly is based on race (think MIC, MCA, UMNO). We still use race cards when elections are near, we still call each other special names that reflect our races, we still call ourselves “Malaysian Indians, Malaysians Chinese etc”.(some might argue, what’s in a name but I argue that it reflects much more than just the name but how we have been brought up to think and feel as Malaysians which is divided!)
3. Perpetuation of the importance of race being individually singled out in official documents or forms- If race does not matter and everyone is accepted, why does race play an important role when applying for a dog license, a job, a scholarship etc? Acceptance of ALL RACES? Think again!
4. Double standards of how race is portrayed attacked and ridiculed on a seasonal basis. There are so many cases in which race is used as political currency or worse still weapon that is often brushed off or ignored. Think Siti Inshah Mansor of Sekolah Menengah Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra racist remarks that went ignored, Awang Selamat on his article “Bisikan from Utusan that was had threatening elements(, Makkal Ossai printing of pictures of Jesus holding a cigarette( and the list goes on…
I could go on but I think the reasons are evident and in your face already…

I have written about the concept of Bangsa Malaysia and lots that relate to 1Malaysia over the years, on numerous occasions;

All I can say is a very wise man once said;
The power entrusted to us is not to be used against others, not to improve our position and not to make us rich. The power is to be used in the interest of the people” – Tun Hussein Onn

Yet here we are almost 50 years later talking about a concept that has been talked about by numerous parties including myself with no real action. We talk and talk and talk but we are still rooted in the same system that imprisons us. We have pillars of the nation that advocate a concept they truly do not believe in, let alone understand. So 1Malaysia? I say start talking action that truly reflects that, I have in a small way, have you? No point plastering adverts after adverts to drill in the concept of 1Malaysia to the public if you guys up there do not understand it beyond superficial notions of 3 main races playing guli together or congkak(only being constantly portrayed through TV/Adverts etc when the reality is far from it)! So is the power being used for the interest of the people? Is that what 1 Malaysia is or merely another political instrument to favor the ones in power?

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