DPM agrees with Dr M that people don’t understand 1 Malaysia

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani, The Malaysian Insider


PUTRAJAYA, Aug 3 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin agreed today with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that 1 Malaysia had failed to unite Malaysians as a whole.

Yesterday the former prime minister 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.

However, Muhyiddin defended the slogan and explained that public needed more time to fully understand 1 Malaysia.

“I agree with his (Dr Mahathir) opinion. We did not say that in a period of one year that everybody would understand the 1Malaysia slogan launched by the prime minister but I am confident that many have understood. I believe that many have yet to fully understand the meaning of 1 Malaysia,” he told reporters after chairing a committee meeting on youth development at Perdana Putra here.

The deputy prime minister added that certain groups are purposely sabotaging the 1 Malaysia concept.

“There is however a tendency that the understanding is influenced by certain groups. Even though it has been explained by the prime minister that 1 Malaysia is based on the country’s constitution. Whatever the interpretation, it should not run far from the spirit of the constitution such as Bumiputera rights, Bahasa Malaysia, culture, religion and royalty.

“Since 1 Malaysia is dynamic and not static then certainly there will be certain groups that will try to interpret it according to their own interest. So steps must be taken by the government is to give explanation and programs to allow the public to better understand what is 1 Malaysia,” he said.

Dr Mahathir’s remarks came 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.


Editor’s Note: When this post first came out in The Malaysian Insider, the headline was  DPM agrees 1Malaysia has failed. Subsequently, it was changed to the current title: DPM agrees 1 Malaysia has failed, needs more time.

Editor’s Note: At 3.35p.m., I noticed that The Malaysian Insider changed the headline to DPM agrees with Dr M that people don’t understand 1 Malaysia.