Malaysia: Concept and Values

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  • Topic: Malaysia, 1Malaysia, Malaysian Malaysia
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  • Published : March 7, 2011
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1Malaysia - Concept and Values
By Ir. Dr Hasnul Mohamad Salleh Abstracts Upon ascending to Malaysia’s highest public office on April 2009, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak has made waves to all corners of the nation with the introduction of 1Malaysia concept. The concept evolves around culture of excellence, perseverance, acceptance, education, integrity, meritocracy, humility and loyalty. It also encompases NKRAs on six major issues. Since independent, national unity has been made top priority – unity in

education, culture, socio-economy, political, regional, etc. 1Malaysia seeks to improve the relations of all Malaysians, regardless of racial, religious or cultural backgrounds. There are certain major concerns that need to be addressed in order to seriously engage in 1Malaysia concept. Without correcting them, all efforts will be in vain. 1Malaysia concept caters the needs of all sector of the plural society and to ensure equal distribution of wealth between racial groups, between states and federal. Integrity on the part of the government and the public sector is one matter. The introduction of NKRAs and KPIs is a laudable move. The managing of all spectrums of unity (not just racial) is to be given proper thinking. In order to move Malaysia towards a better society, identity and future hence unity and integration should promote co-operation between race, beliefs and region as one Malaysia, not as Sarawakian or Sabahan. The trust and aspiration of the people that 1Malaysia will bring about a greater nation must not be hampered. Therefore, the government will have to deliver on all its promises. The concept unveiled is a guiding principle to build a united and progressive nation, and to inculcate the spirit and values of togetherness and sense of belongings, regardless of race, religion and creed. 1Malaysia is not to abrogate affirmative action and Bumiputera privileges rather to improve its implementation in a fair manner and to keep intact the spirit of 1955-1957 which has been agreed upon by our forefathers.

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1Malaysia has been the ‘it’ buzzword of Malaysia ever since it was launched

and mooted by the Prime Minister, YAB Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak. However, the policy has yet to be fully understood by the public. In a poll1 conducted by the Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research pertaining to the Prime Minister’s 100 days in office, 76% of the public surveyed were aware of the 1 Malaysia concepts. 23% agrees in saying that “it promotes unity between the various races” and some other 18% saying it “is about fairness and equality among the races”. Based on this Research, it shows that Malaysian generally is not very clear about the 1Malaysia concept and it could be liken to proverb “Five blind men and an elephant” as shown on Figure 1.

It is a hill It is a snake

It is a donkey

It is a tree

It is a wall

Figure 1 Five Blind Men and an Elephant

1Malaysia may carry a plethora of meanings to different quarters of the society as shown in Figure 2.


As published in the news release dated July 8th 2009.

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It is a policy? Is it an approach?

Is it a slogan?

Is it a formula? Figure 2: 1Malaysia Elephant

Is it a vision?

To certain quarters, this is probably just an alternate version of the ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ concept. And to some others, 1Malaysia is merely synonymous with national unity or kindred spirit amongst Malaysia’s diverse population, otherwise known as ‘semangat muhibbah’. The latter definition would suffice for a brief understanding of the concept, but definitely not extensive enough to be fathomable in its entirety. The earlier mentioned poll also showed that 39% of respondents still did not understand the concept. So what is 1Malaysia truly all about? involves governance,” (Dr Thock Ker Pong)2 The concepts of 1Malaysia unveiled is a guiding principle to build a united and progressive nation in the...
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