Why Najib’s 1Malaysia will fail – Part 2

The People's Parliament

In an illuminating piece that appeared in NSTOnline on 29th May, 2009, Dr Salim Argoes wasted no time getting to the points that needed to be made.

In his opening sentence, this is what he said :

“I think we are farther apart now than we were in 1969. But you have to remember that I grew up going to an English school, to a university where there were people of all races. At that time, although we did think in terms of race, it wasn’t in the way people do now. We felt that we were Malayans. We socialised much better than we do now”.

Dr Salim then addressed the contention by certain quarters that Bahasa Malaysia can be a unifying factor, first noting that language can also be divisive, and then made the following all-important observation :

“You don’t have to have a common language, if you have the same jiwa (heart, spirit, passion, devotion). This is what we don’t have right now”.

If Dr Salim’s right, and I think he is, where did Mahathir go wrong with his Vision 2020 such that he failed to put in place all that was necessary to establish “a united Malaysian nation with a sense of common and shared destiny” ?