Najib: Opposition resorted to lies about 1Malaysia concept

(Bernama) – The 1Malaysia concept is an idea mooted following discussions with various groups to create a new instrument to strengthen national solidarity, said Najib Tun Razak.

The prime minister said the allegation that 1Malaysia was purportedly derived from foreign countries, including Israel, was a total lie by the opposition.

Najib said he had discussed with several friends after realising that it was most important for a new initiative aimed at uniting the people.

“I frequently invite various groups for discussion and exchange of ideas and when I outlined the idea, when we had a brainstorming, the idea of the 1Malaysia concept had come up,” he said in a special interview broadcast by Bernama TV today in conjunction with his first anniversary as prime minister.

In the programme “One Year on Level 5: Special Interview with the Prime Minister”, Najib was interviewed for almost an hour by the deputy editor-in-chief of Bernama, Zulkefli Salleh, and economics service editor Mikhail Raj Abdullah at his office in Putrajaya.

Najib said the allegation by the opposition was aimed at destroying or tarnishing the concept after the idea received growing acceptance by the people.

“They (the opposition) dare not attack the 1Malaysia concept, they could not dispute it, so they try to destroy, tarnish the concept by alleging that the idea purportedly came from another country.

“This is slander, completely unfounded,” he said referring to the allegation by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim in Parliament recently.

Strategic advantage

Najib said what was most important in appreciating the 1Malaysia concept was when it brought strategic advantage to the people and country.

“What is most important is that we can capitalise on this racial diversity to turn it into a national asset,” he said.

He said the 1Malaysia concept always placed the interest of the people above everything else and emphasised the effectiveness and results of a particular programme that had been planned.

“The outcome is more important than output,” he said.

Najib said there was a greater understanding of the 1Malaysia concept among the people when many corporate bodies used 1Malaysia as a symbol in their logos.

“The 1Malaysia greeting, for example, is becoming very common now, and there is even the ‘1Malaysia wedding’. So, I see that it has become a mass movement,” said the prime minister.

On obstacles to the realisation of the 1Malaysia concept, Najib said it was more due to the lack of understanding by the people or maybe there were still people who remained in their own cocoon who were of the opinion that only their own group or community was important and there is no effort at uniting the people.

“And as an individual, we may have prejudices, racial sentiments and so on, like the church-burning incidents or the throwing of a pig’s head into a mosque compound, and so on.

“This means that there are still extremists in our society. It is because of this extremism that we must have the 1Malaysia concept,” he said.

Asked about his feelings after serving one year as the prime minister, Najib said the one year passed by very quickly and he felt as though “it was only yesterday that I had taken over the task”.

He said it was probably because he was too busy all the time, and many things and programmes had been introduced, implemented in terms of policy, new approaches and so on within that short time-span.

“But I’m thankful that during the past one year, we could introduce many new initiatives which appear to have produced satisfactory results and probably this had to a certain extent given the people more confidence in the government,” he added.