1 Malaysia: Unity in Diversity; as opposed to Unity in Uniformity
Posted by Oscar the Grouch on April 19, 2009
Whilst Mahathir has his Bersih, Cekap dan Amanah concept, Pak Lah with his Work With Me, Not For Me; Najib has since conceptualised his 1 Malaysia model- a yet to be fully-explained slogan backing his governmental administration.
In his website – aptly called www.1malaysia.com.my – Najib indicates that there will be 8 Values of the 1 Malaysia. So far, he has unveiled 4 of the values: – Culture of Excellence, Perseverance, Humility and Acceptance. And thus far, he has riddled us with more convoluting and meandering explanations that are, quite frankly, unfathomable.
First of all – let us understand – the 1 Malaysia is a concept. It is simply a slogan. To put it even more plainly, it is a motto – a meaningless axiomatic dictum of words that carries no weight of law.
Secondly – and as many would want to believe – it is not about One Malaysian, where all Malaysians stands as one in equality. A concept of equality of such a nature would go against the spirit of the Federal Constitution – namely Article 153 – which safeguards the special position of the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak. It would also go against the New Economic Policy.
Hence, if the 1 Malaysia is not about equality of races, then what is it about?
Professor Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Institute of Ethnic Studies, drew an uneasy distinction with the concept of “Malaysian Malaysia”, promulgated by the PAP of Singapore, and later the DAP.
The Malaysian Malaysia – he says – is an ideology that espouses all ethnic group having equal rights with none having special rights. The 1 Malaysia, Prof Shamsul explains – rhetorically in florid scholastic terms – as a national unity process not in the manner of “unity in uniformity” but “unity in diversity“. This in plain simple English means something out of nothing.
Najib himself, so far with his 4 Values, does not breach on the subject of equality. He talks firstly on a Culture of Excellence- it is basically the abstract issue of work and performance. In Part 2, he talks on Perseverance- in which he preaches some sort of self-help maxims on how life is never easy. In Part 3, he pleads on the trait of Humility.
It is finally, in Part 4 which he threads on issues of more substance: – Acceptance. It is here that Najib tries to surreptitiously and perhaps covertly take on the topic of equality, by pointing out the difference between “tolerance” and “acceptance”. On the former, he explains that “… when you say you tolerate, you don’t quite like it, but you accept it because you have no choice.” This is as opposed to “acceptance”, where he argues “… if you talk in terms of acceptance, it indicates a state of mind that you are embracing something positively.”
So Najib is asking us to accept not to tolerate all the farcical nonsense, but to embrace it with a smile?
It is really all too philosophical for me to swallow. What exactly are all these Values? These are all not politics. It is some sort of Swami Beyondananda mantras – “excellence”, “perseverance”, humility” and “acceptance”. Pick up any cheap self-help book from MPH and you can find the same crap. In fact, why not just get a free copy from the Buddhist temple.
I wait, with abated breath, on the next 4 Values.