Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia concept was loudly splashed all over when he took over the reins of power. But it has remained an empty slogan. This is so because nothing positive has been put in place to make that a reality. It has now become very stale and has stayed rusted in the background.
Now, Umno Baru’s partner which remains empty of ideas jumped back into the old cliché in the hope of getting some support, especially in the wake of the Kajang by- election.
Its defeated candidate Chew Mei Fun desperately begged during the campaign that MCA needed at least 30% Chinese votes in the by-election to prove that the community wanted the party to be in the cabinet. She claimed that without that level of support, it would be difficult for the MCA to fight for Chinese interests.
After 57 years of independence, this was the only line that the MCA could come out with to beg for votes. What a real pity! The fight today is no more ethnic in nature. It has to be all embracing.
This is the type of thinking that still persists with the leadership of the component parties that came together with Umno to form the BN alliance. They still have narrow and outdated concept of what the situation is.
They are unable to discard the blinkers that have shackled their minds and outlook.
They therefore could not see that there is need to make a united Malaysian nation a reality. They still hang on to their primitive concepts that they need to safeguard the interests of their own community. The pea brain syndrome has obliterated their thinking.
Thus Umno Baru-BN has not moved out from its shell to see the brighter side of the future of Malaysia and its people. In its concept, Chinese leaders look after Chinese affairs; the Malay leaders after the interests of the Malays; the Indian leaders soliciting to take care of the Indians and so with all the other ethnic leaders in that coalition.
This is definitely a formula for disaster.
But possibly, this is also the result of the concept uttered by the number two in that coalition who also happened to be the number two in the country’s administration. This man with his primitive thinking always comes out with the dictum that Umno Baru-BN will always look after the interests of the bumiputeras. His thinking can only focus on ethnicity. He cannot see beyond his nose.
Political leaders will have to innovate their views and concepts. They must look at the larger picture and must abandon all their archaic perception of what the people need. Ethnicity is very much outdated in this modern time.
Any enhancing of ethnic emphasis in the everyday life of the people must be rid of. There should not be any more questions asked concerning a person’s communal status or his religious convictions. These are anti-national and anti- unity elements that will retard efforts to forge a united Malaysian nation.
It is time that leaders of each community convinced their flock that ethnicity is a matter of the past. It is hard to do but it must be done if they believe in creating a Malaysian nation.
Forms that each individual has to fill in, be they in the private domain or that of public, should do away with the need to state one’s racial origin or the religion one follows. Asking for such information can only lead to the breakup of the effort to bring about a one united country.
This should be done immediately. There should be no polemics on the matter. The government should be emphatic in implementing this move. This can be the beginning of a serious effort to create a nation based on equality and fraternity.
There will have to be real honesty in the effort to create a country that will command respect from the rest of the world. Malaysia can become the model of how tolerance, understanding and genuine desire to form a nation is carried out. It will therefore be a good example to all other countries experiencing ethnic conflicts, religious intolerance and uncertain future.
If the party that had been entrusted by the people in the last general election is unable to carry out this pertinent need to ensure that a Malaysian nation is born, then it is high time that they be replaced with a party that is genuinely Malaysian and has the aim of creating a united Malaysian nation.
Ahmad Mustapha Hassan is a former press secretary to second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and the writer of the book, "The Unmaking of Malaysia".
Source: The Ant Daily