Which is which 1Malaysia?

August 3rd, 2010 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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Interesting words from ex-PM.  This time, its about 1Malaysia (a.k.a. 1 Malay-sia; 1Malaysia, 2System; and few other varieties.).

Malaysian Insider wrote this:

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed has criticised the Najib administration’s 1 Malaysia slogan, claiming that the concept needed further “explanation” to prevent it from being interpreted differently by various races.

Dr Mahathir lamented the fact that the 1 Malaysia slogan, introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak shortly after he took office on August 3 last year, had failed to unite Malaysians as a whole.

I have spoken to the Chinese, the Malays, each person has different opinions and cannot be united. I feel that an explanation is needed,” Bernama quoted Dr Mahathir (pic) as saying here today.

Dr Mahathir said that the onus was on the Najib administration to ensure that Malaysians understood the idea behind the 1 Malaysia slogan, to avoid further misunderstanding or confusion.

They (the rakyat) do not know which is which, which ones are for the Chinese and which ones are for the Malays. If I were to explain, how should I know, I was not the one who created the slogan,” said the country’s longest-serving Prime Minister.

Dr Mahathir’s remarks today come after a recent public opinion poll by the Merdeka Center found that a majority of non-Bumiputeras in the country considered Najib’s 1 Malaysia slogan a mere political gimmick.

According to the poll, only 39 per cent of non-Bumiputeras accepted the 1 Malaysia concept despite the fact that it had been introduced for over a year.

Forty-six per cent out of 3,141 respondents interviewed felt that 1Malaysia was only a “tactic to win over non-Malay support”, while another 16 per cent had either refused to answer the poll questions or claimed to have no understanding of the concept whatsoever.

Respondents were undecided on whether Malaysia had become more united under the Najib administration, with 48 per cent saying yes and 43 per cent claiming that the country was still disunited.

Its quite clear actually. The slogan is based on constitution, so its not 1Malaysia in the literal sense (equality) or what one would expect it to be.  Its based on Article 153 (reproduced below from Wikipedia):

  1. It shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
  2. Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, but subject to the provisions of Article 40 and of this Article, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall exercise his functions under this Constitution and federal law in such manner as may be necessary to safeguard the special provision of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and to ensure the reservation for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak of such proportion as he may deem reasonable of positions in the public service (other than the public service of a State) and of scholarships, exhibitions and other similar educational or training privileges or special facilities given or accorded by the Federal Government and, when any permit or licence for the operation of any trade or business is required by federal law, then, subject to the provisions of that law and this Article, of such permits and licences.
  3. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong may, in order to ensure in accordance with Clause (2) the reservation to Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak of positions in the public service and of scholarships, exhibitions and other educational or training privileges or special facilities, give such general directions as may be required for that purpose to any Commission to which Part X applies or to any authority charged with responsibility for the grant of such scholarships, exhibitions or other educational or training privileges or special facilities; and the Commission or authority shall duly comply with the directions.
  4. In exercising his functions under this Constitution and federal law in accordance with Clauses (1) to (3) the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall not deprive any person of any public office held by him or of the continuance of any scholarship, exhibition or other educational or training privileges or special facilities enjoyed by him.
  5. This Article does not derogate from the provisions of Article 136.
  6. Where by existing federal law a permit or licence is required for the operation of any trade or business the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may exercise his functions under that law in such manner, or give such general directions to any authority charged under that law with the grant of such permits or licences, as may be required to ensure the reservation of such proportion of such permits or licences for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may deem reasonable, and the authority shall duly comply with the directions.
  7. Nothing in this Article shall operate to deprive or authorise the deprivation of any person of any right, privilege, permit or licence accrued to or enjoyed or held by him or to authorised a refusal to renew to any person any such permit or licence or a refusal to grant to the heirs, successors or assigns of a person any permit or licence when the renewal or grant might reasonably be expected in the ordinary course of events.
  8. Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, where by any federal law any permit or licence is required for the operation of any trade or business, that law may provide for the reservation of a proportion of such permits or licences for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak; but no such law shall for the purpose of ensuring such a reservation-
    • (a) deprive or authorise the deprivation of any person of any right, privilege, permit or licence accrued to or enjoyed or held by him;
    • (b) authorise a refusal to renew to any person any such permit or licence or a refusal to grant to the heirs, successors or assigns of any person any permit or licence when the renewal or grant might in accordance with he other provisions of the law reasonably be expected in the ordinary course of events, or prevent any person from transferring together with his business any transferable licence to operate that business; or
    • (c) where no permit or licence was previously required for the operation of the trade or business, authorise a refusal to grant a permit or licence to any person for the operation of any trade or business which immediately before the coming into force of the law he had been bona fide carrying on, or authorise a refusal subsequently to renew to any such person any permit or licence, or a refusal to grant to the heirs, successors or assigns of any such person any such permit or licence when the renewal or grant might in accordance with the other provisions of that law reasonably be expected in the ordinary course of events.
    1. (8A) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, where in any University, College and other educational institution providing education after Malaysian Certificate of Education or its equivalent, the number of places offered by the authority responsible for the management of the University, College or such educational institution to candidates for any course of study is less than the number of candidates qualified for such places, it shall be lawful for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong by virtue of this Article to give such directions to the authority as may be required to ensure the reservation of such proportion of such places for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may deem reasonable, and the authority shall duly comply with the directions.
  9. Nothing in this Article shall empower Parliament to restrict business or trade solely for the purpose of reservations for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak.
    1. (9A) In this Article the expression “natives” in relation to the State of Sabah or Sarawak shall have the meaning assigned to it in Article 161A.
  10. The Constitution of the State of any Ruler may make provision corresponding (with the necessary modifications) to the provisions of this Article.

That why we have this confusion. That’s why we have different people singing different tunes. That’s why we have ex-PM saying things like “They (the rakyat) do not know which is which, which ones are for the Chinese and which ones are for the Malays”. For the uninitiated or those plan to “misuse” the term, they consider that everybody is same in this country. However, those who really understand the meaning behind it, will realise that 1Malaysia is a different concept. So, which is you?

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5 comments

  1. honey language says:

    hmm….so this concept nothing but bullshit!

  2. Killer says:

    For me it is simple, that is to have a united country.The first and foremost objective is unity.

    How one goes about achieving it is another matter and more difficult. This is where many people, analysts and politicians are wrong. They tend to think too deeply into this and get confused.

    The issue is not the objective but how to achieve it and this is where people differ. For Chinese obviously it is meritocracy and flat playing field. For Malays it is a fair playing field and support from the govt. For Indians it is somewhere between these 2 opposing viewpoint.

    For Najib, he cannot been seen as supporting one form of view over other. As such, I guess, he left it vague. But from what I see, he’s trying to please both while generally try to remove the subsidy crutches. However, before he does that he has to be in a position of strength otherwise he will be under risk.

    The problem is that not just some people in UMNO are opposed to bumi subsidy removal, PAS and PKR also play the double game. They tell non bumis they are opposed to affirmative actions yet in front of bumis they because ethnic heroes.

    BTW Don’t take too much MInsider’s words as their unattibuted analyses are usually meant to undermine BN than an impartial observation.

    • poobalan says:

      I think unity is a bit hard to achieve as there’s two sets of collective minds with different objectives/vision/interpretation. obviously the newer generation of the minority races, aided by exposure to global issues and unaffected by the historical events, find it difficult to digest the discrimination. simple as that. i said a bit hard because things can be changed gradually. we can start to set “timers” from now. for example, removal of housing discounts within next 3 years, except for those properties meant for low income people. as it is, the subsidies (privileges/rights…whatever you call it) is not enough for all of them. as their population increases, need to give more and more discounts/rights/privileges. how many more uitm campuses can you build? how many more shares can you allocate? how many more tenders can you set aside? there is a limit to the govt’s resources.

      secondly, as i mentioned before, the many foreigners who marry into the Malay community also end up getting privileges sooner or later. so, maybe govt should consider removing such status for mixed-marriages, and then see how many actually marry for “true love”.

      i agree that the PM is trying to balance the boat, so to speak. but for how long he can do that, i’m not sure. nearly everyday there’s a news or to that challenges the status quo or the balancing act. i doubt the position of strength will exist for long period of time (at most maybe next 5 years after election). its not mahathir’s era anymore where things can be swept under car or discussed behind closed doors. things get leaked out pretty fast nowadays.

      i don’t have faith in both sides of course. these are politicians, so we have to treat them as such, which is playing to the gallery. its like the proverb “kudikaran pechi, vendicha pochi” (drunkard’s words are forgotten as the sun rises).

      i think MInsider provides another option, an alternative. you can’t be just reading utusan or star or nst only right?

  3. Killer says:

    I think this issue has been made much more tougher due to the prevailing political situation since every issue now is being politicised and made into a racial issue.

    I am sickened by the attitude of both sides. I m happy Najib recognises the need for unity and making reforms. But the success of his reforms will depend on the support that he gets from all Malaysians.

    I believe if Najib able to win over the Malays and UMNO, he will be able to carry through the reforms as they would trust him to take care of their interests.

    However, for this to happen Pakatan shouldn’t play the racial card by scaring the Malays by saying that such reforms will harm them.

    We need responsible politicians. Pakatan cannot say one thing to non bumis and then another to the bumis. My worry is that currently they are focusing on winning the Malay votes so they might take a hard line stance in the coming months.

    As for Malaysian Insider, well I agree we need a balanced view. But I fail to see any difference between MSM and MKini/MInsider other than they take support different parties. In terms of coverage, there is no attempt to take an objective and nuetral view.

    In fact,a lack of objectivity and nuetrality is the problem with Malaysian media both MSM and alternative one.

    Any way keep up the good work. Yours is certainly one of the more interesting and useful blogs out there and I like and respect your balanced view.

    • poobalan says:

      the problem is getting support of malays, especially those linked to umno economically and ideologically. the rest of the population is just waiting to move forward on equal footing.

      i don’t think its easy to play racial cards nowadays since the truth is exposed fast by media, public and insiders. the public is becoming more aware. yes, there are attempts to twist issues, like CSL’s statement on muslim countries, the komtar bazaar, kg baru, bumi discount, etc. to name a few.

      whoever takes a strong stance on supporting malay issues, will definitely lose the non-malay votes, bearing in mind the few million younger voters coming up. they may attempt to divide and rule according to demographics of seats.

      i think MI is a bit better than the rest. they not really focused on glorifying the opposition. MK seems to slant the news, especially by finishing the article with historical facts supporting the opposition, or rather, opposing the ruling coalition. AND, obviously, news that discredits those in power sells more.

      thanks for the supportive comment. i hope to remain the same, not aligned to anyone or any parties.