|National Unity Ultimate Objective Of 1Malaysia, Says Najib
KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak reiterated today that 1Malaysia was not a new concept or formula and that its ultimate objective of national unity was the main vision of past leaders of the country, albeit in various forms.
"In other words, 1Malaysia is a concept to foster unity in Malaysians of all races based on several important values which should become the practice of every Malaysian," he said when replying to Datuk Halimah Mohd Sadique (BN-Tenggara) during question time in the Dewan Rakyat.
Halimah had asked Najib, who is attending parliament for the first time as the prime minister, to clarify the 1Malaysia concept in terms of its implementation and assimilation by the plural society of the country and how it would contribute to the success of Vision 2020.
Najib said 1Malaysia was an approach not isolated from the hitherto policies of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government but complementary to existing approaches to further strengthen unity to ensure stability towards achieving greater progress and development for the people and country.
"1Malaysia is a formula which serves as a prerequisite to ensure realisation of the country's aspiration to achieve developed nation status by 2020 if it is assimilated in the people and practised by society.
"If 'Bangsa Malaysia' (the Malaysian race) outlined in Vision 2020 is the ultimate objective of this journey, then 1Malaysia is the guide pointing the way towards that objective," he said.
Najib said the unity portrayed under the 1Malaysia concept differed greatly from the concept of assimilation practised in other countries where ethnic identities have made way for a common national identity.
He said 1Malaysia also differed greatly from the 'Malaysian Malaysia' concept of the opposition because 1Malaysia did not deviate from the essence of the Federal Constitution, expressed or implied.
The concept, he said, upheld all the fundamental provisions of the Federal Constitution.
"As such, let not anyone feel apprehensive or suspicious and worried that the concept would deviate from what had been agreed to by our forefathers. In fact, 1Malaysia values and respects the ethnic identities of every community in Malaysia and regards them as assets to be proud of," he said.
The prime minister said 1Malaysia emphasised "acceptance" among the people of various races where any one race accepted the uniqueness of the others so that everyone was able to live together in a situation of mutual respect as the people of one nation.
"It is an obvious progress from the attitude of tolerance," he said.
Najib said the basis of 1Malaysia was the principle of justice for all races, and this meant that all the people would be taken care of and no one would be marginalised.
"This justice must take into account the different levels of progress of the races. As such, the government policies and constitutional provisions which safeguard the needy will continue to be implemented," he said.
He said 1Malaysia was a continuation of the agenda of nation-building and, for the country to progress, the people must achieve progress first, and this had to begin with the attitude of inter-racial acceptance which brought about strong unity.
When unity had been achieved, then the process of national development would be smoother, he said.
Najib explained that the 1Malaysia concept was founded on and would be implemented under two main aspects -- firstly, the assimilation of core elements of unity and, secondly, the assimilation of the aspiration values.
"The core elements of unity are, firstly, the attitude of acceptance among the races and the people, secondly, principles of nationhood based on the Federal Constitution and the Rukun Negara (National Ideology), and, thirdly, social justice," he said.
He said these elements of unity were supported by noble values which should be a part of the lifestyle of the people, including values such as mutual respect, piety, moderation in conduct and speech, and prudence in decisions and actions.
The second aspect emphasised elements which should be the practice of any community which wanted to be progressive and successful, he said.
These elements encompassed a culture of excellence in discharging all duties and responsibilities; a culture of punctuality in terms of respecting time and upgrading efficiency; boldness in being innovative and exploring new opportunities; meritocracy in offering a task to the most qualified to implement based on the Federal Constitution and the country's policies.
Undivided loyalty to the country; determination in facing any challenge, and integrity in all undertakings and transactions.
Najib said the acculturisation of these aspiration values would give rise to a respected Malaysian society of integrity in line with a developed and successful nation-state.
He said that in implementing its commitment to the people, the government had coined the slogan "People First, Performance Now" as part of the 1Malaysia concept.
"The theme means that in emphasising the importance of unity among Malaysians, the government will also give preference to issues regarded as important by the people. The government also stresses on performance and achievement by all civil servants in their dealings with the people.
"In other words, the government understands very well how important civil service efficiency and quality are in improving the living standard of the people and, as such, all government agencies will give priority to the people-friendly approach," he said.
The prime minister said that in this connection, the Key Performance Index (KPI) would be applied in government matters, starting with the KPI monitoring for all ministers.
Najib said that since taking over as prime minister on April 3, he had introduced the 1Malaysia concept and it had often been discussed and debated among the people at all levels.
"However, the opposition parties have wasted no time to manipulate and interpret the concept according to their own definitions, solely with the intention to confuse the people," he said.