Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 3rd August 2010:
Najib should explain why after 16 months of his 1Malaysia slogan, Malaysians are even more divided with even the former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir declaring that he is confused and does not know the meaning of 1Malaysia?
I do not agree with the former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad who criticized the Najib administration's 1Malaysia slogan, claiming that the concept needed further "explanation" to prevent it from interpreted differently by various races.
But Mahathir is right that Najib's 1Malaysia slogan which he introduced after he took office in April last year had failed to unite Malaysians as a whole.
This is not because the 1Malaysia slogan is vague or Najib failed to provide an explanation or definition of what his slogan means.
An official definition of 1Malaysia was given by the 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme Roadmap released by the government in January this year, which states:
"The goal of 1Malaysia is to make Malaysia more vibrant, more productive and more competitive - and ultimately a greater nation: a nation where, it is hoped, every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first, and by race, religion, geographical region or socio-economic background second and where the principles of 1Malaysia are woven into the economic, political and social fabric of society."
The question is how many Ministers in Najib's Cabinet endorse this definition and objective of 1Malaysia?
When the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin can publicly declare that he is Malay first and Malaysian second, without any contradiction by any of the other Cabinet Ministers from the Barisan Nasional component parties and with seeming endorsement by Najib, Malaysians are presented with the public spectacle of the Najib administration itself repudiating the very meaning and objective of 1Malaysia.
No wonder, Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah could deliver a speech entitled "We were once 'Malaysians'" at the recent Malaysian Students Leaders' Summit over the weekend - on the diminishing numbers of Malaysians over the decades who regard themselves as Malaysians first and last, transcending their ethnic, religious, geographical or socio-economic affinities!
The ball is in Najib's court. Can he explain why after 16 months of his premiership and 1Malaysia slogan, Malaysians are even more divided with even the former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir declaring that he is confused and does not know the meaning of 1Malaysia?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor