Dr M says Najib must explain 1 Malaysia

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, The Malaysian Insider

GEORGE TOWN, Aug 2 – Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed has criticised the Najib administration’s 1 Malaysia slogan, claiming that the concept needed further “explanation” to prevent it from being interpreted differently by various races.

Dr Mahathir lamented the fact that the 1 Malaysia slogan, introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak shortly after he took office on August 3 last year, had failed to unite Malaysians as a whole.

“I have spoken to the Chinese, the Malays, each person has different opinions and cannot be united. I feel that an explanation is needed,” Bernama quoted Dr Mahathir as saying here today.

Dr Mahathir said that the onus was on the Najib administration to ensure that Malaysians understood the idea behind the 1 Malaysia slogan, to avoid further misunderstanding or confusion.

“They (the rakyat) do not know which is which, which ones are for the Chinese and which ones are for the Malays. If I were to explain, how should I know, I was not the one who created the slogan,” said the country’s longest-serving Prime Minister.

Dr Mahathir’s remarks today come after a recent public opinion poll by the Merdeka Center found that a majority of non-Bumiputeras in the country considered Najib’s 1 Malaysia slogan a mere political gimmick.

According to the poll, only 39 per cent of non-Bumiputeras accepted the 1 Malaysia concept despite the fact that it had been introduced for over a year.

Forty-six per cent out of 3,141 respondents interviewed  felt  that 1Malaysia was only a “tactic to win over non-Malay support”, while another 16 per cent had either refused to answer the poll questions or claimed to have no understanding of the concept whatsoever.

Respondents were undecided on whether Malaysia had become more united under the Najib administration, with 48 per cent saying yes and 43 per cent claiming that  the country was still disunited.