1Malaysia a marketing tool of race based parties
The 1Malaysia foundation, an independent NGO, seem to be busy organizing dinners all over Malaysia to gather people to meet BN leaders at a cost between RM 20,000 to RM200,000 per dinner depending on the number of dinner tables. A friend of mine who heads a sports club was given RM 40,000 to organize a dinner gathering with the attendees list of BN leaders provided by PM’s department. I wonder how the NGO gets compensated for sponsoring dinners of this scale all over Malaysia. After all we all know that there is no free dinner. While the household debt exceeds 50% of their disposable income and national debt reaching 55% of GDP, spending on such wasteful 1Malaysia dinners are irresponsible acts of a desperate government.
1Malaysia slogan and campaign is used to entice and allure voters to support race based parties in BN without any attempt to become truly multi racial society. The 1Malaysia slogan a marketing tool of BN is extended and derided to 1Malaysia Pongal, 1Malaysia lunch, 1Malaysia provision shops, 1Malaysia gathering, 1Malaysia clinic, 1Malaysia T-shirts, 1Malaysia book voucher, 1Malaysia toilet etc etc. But unfortunately the prime minister did not walk the talk of transforming into tolerant multi racial and multi religious Malaysia. In fact after all the talk of 1Malaysian for the past 3 years, the embedded and institutionalized racial polarization has become more pronounced and visible. PERKASA, PERKIDA together with the UMNO hardliners are openly making a mockery of 1Malaysia right under the nose of Prime Minister. The prime minister remains indifferent and silent to these racists cry for blood if the nation goes multi racial and multi religious.
The prime minister who makes a big show of 1Malaysia calls UMNO members to make sure that Putrajaya remains with UMNO at all cost and whatever means. His deputy openly says that he is Malay first and Malaysian second. 2 former prime ministers are each the patrons of race extremist PERKASA and PERKIDA. UMNO’s unifying call is race, religion and country. The tone and tenor of UMNO supporters and leaders hue and cry are hatred and intolerance to other races and religions in Malaysia. So is there any hope for 1Malaysia to be the common call and universally accepted within Malaysia?
As Malaysians it is the people who can bring about a truly 1Malaysia. Malaysians must resolve to throw out racist, authoritarian and corrupt political parties. Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Bidayuhs, Orang Asli and others born in this country are equal citizens who can together build a progressive and harmonious society for our children and grandchildren. It is the corrupt and bankrupt politicians who instill fear and suspicion against each other Malaysians. As Malaysians we have lost a lot resources and goodwill listening to racist and self centered narrow thinking politicians. By fearing the unknown we cannot tolerate and accept the suppression and corruption of the known. The poor and weak can be bought over by those in power using 1Malaysia goodies. Many among them do not have the financial stamina and the clarity to think beyond. Therefore those who are educated and young have to spearhead the move and need for change. The others will follow once they realize later. Let’s think multi racial to be able live well in a multi racial society. Racial division and alienation by weak minorities in a multi racial society does not help them. It’s time to change. It’s now or never. The choice is ours.
Senator S. Ramakrishnan