Hari Raya Message by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 19th September 2009:
How to make 1Malaysia motto a meaningful slogan instead of being the butt of ridicule, derision and contempt
Happy Hari Raya Adilfiltri to all Muslims in Malaysia.
As the first Hari Raya under new Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, it should be an occasion for Malaysians regardless of faith, race or political beliefs to give real meaning to his 1Malaysia slogan so that it will not be short-lived and the butt of ridicule, derision and contempt like the slogans of previous premiers.
However, Najib’s praise for Utusan Malaysia for being “the voice of the people, especially the Malay community” could not have come at a worse time with a more disastrous consequence, when Utusan Malaysia had been most guilty in fanning racial and religious ill-will and misunderstanding in recent months.
Malaysia’s international competitiveness recently came under a cloud with two adverse global rankings – falling three places from 21st to 24th ranking in the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) 2009-2010 and a drop of two places in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2010: Reforming Through Difficult Times from 21st to 23rd placing.
With institutional efficiency, independence and professionalism a major factor in Malaysia’s fall in international competitiveness rankings, and no signs of meaningful institutional reforms as evident from the prolonged crisis of confidence in key institutions like the judiciary, the police, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency, the Elections Commission and the public service, Malaysia’s future in the global arena is grim.
A meaningful slogan, programme and policy of 1Malaysia is one response – but not when 1Malaysia is mere rhetoric contradicted at every turn of reality that it stands for the very opposite of an united, harmonious and competitive Malaysia.
Some food for thought.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor