One Love, let’s get together and feel alright
This article previously appeared in The Malaysian Insider.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been the prime minister for three weeks and his 1Malaysia policy has attracted a wide range of responses from Malaysians of all walks of life. It shows a thirst for something new, even if its just to criticise — constructively or destructively.
Yes, there seems to be less consensus from the people on the details of the policy. Almost everyone from the Wan’s in Kelantan to the Lim’s in Johor have a different interpretation of 1Malaysia.
Many people seem to be stuck in the old racial divisions that seem to continue plaguing the country The central disagreement with a successful 1Malaysia policy is still the age old question whether the New Economic Policy favouring the Bumiputras is still relevant today.
The Malays still feel threatened about losing their last asset which is political power to the non Malays. If that is gone, then what is left for us, they argue.
I am surprised to hear this coming from a large number of highly educated Malays who don’t think they owe Umno anything for their success in life.
Maybe that explains why some Malays, in and outside of Umno have decided to elevate their Malay chauvinistic rethoric publicly and creating unease with the non-Malays.
The non-Malays have been smarter and keeping silent preferring to show their discontent at the ballot box at the next general election. As they and some Malays have shown in the last general election in March 2008.
This secretive behaviour by the non-Malays breeds distrust among the Malays. And this attitude widens the gap between the races further.
To them this tactic is much more effective and results in real change. We have seen how devastating the silent vote can be in Election 2008.
Meanwhile the large group of Malays in the civil service, police and local government continue to dictate the delivery and implement the Barisan Nasional’s government policies at their own pace. They continue to administer the country without preference to which political party holds power.
Maybe its because they hold the real power to make or break governments. The various Pakatan Rakyat state governments are already feeling this, more than a year after they have taken power in some of the states.
They are finding out that some promises are difficult to keep, and like Barisan Nasional, might just keep up to make the country a policy state, not a police state.
Leaving that aside, I think it’s time for everyone in the country to think about the most important ingredient of a successful country which is people’s love for the country.
It was the feeling of love for the country that prompted our forefathers to forget their differences and sacrifice their rights in pursuing independence.
It allowed the union of races and religion which was doomed to fail from the start by the British colonial masters at independence. After all they predicted that Malaya would fail and they would be back ruling the country in 10 years after independence.
I think we should be fair and give the prime minister a chance to prove himself. Since taking office on April 3, he has been implementing his promises on making 1Malaysia about sharing the wealth of the nation more equitably among the races.
He has announced the liberalisation of some sectors of the economy to level the playing field of opportunities. And he is set to make a few announcements in the weeks to come, with the finance sector liberalisation to be disclosed on Monday.
I believe he will do more. We, the people should play our part in a positive way and accept his challenge.
We should focus on prospering the economy and commit less politicking , if we love the country and love each other. His hard work and Barisan Nasional efforts will be judged by the people come the next general election. As will Pakatan Rakyat.
So let’s give the Najib Administration time and space to do their job. As for us, let’s get on with making us Malaysians strong as one people without letting any policies divide us.
Let us heal the divisions from mistakes of the past and move on.
I can’t think of any better advice than the one given by the reggae giant and pot lover, Bob Marley, in his song: ‘One Love, One Heart , Let’s get together and feel alright’.