Questions to determine direction to unity and harmony

By Lee Yuk Peng and P. Aruna, TheStar

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak has offered a patriotic litmus test to determine the political attitude of those aspiring to positions of authority.

The Prime Minister’s “1Malaysia test” questions a person on his or her priorities in achieving greater unity and harmony among Malaysians.

“One has to ask whether his actions would affect people of other races and religions.

“Would you be promoting harmony and unity or inciting hatred towards your race?

“Could your actions lead to better understanding among people of different races, or the contrary?” he asked.

“Take the 1Malaysia test whenever you encounter a racial issue,” he said when addressing the Yayasan 1Malaysia seminar, themed Living In a Multi-Ethnic Society, here yesterday.

Najib said certain individuals and groups in the country adopt a selfish outlook regarding their rights.

“When people are insensitive to the needs and aspirations of others, the disparity between races becomes even wider,” he said.

Najib said the 1Malaysia concept is a journey in progress.

“We need the support of people from all walks of life to achieve national unity,” he said.

The prime minister reiterated that every Malaysian should be given the chance to realise his or her fullest potential.

“We must recognise and promote excellence among all Malaysians but, at the same time, we also have to be fair,” he said.

For the first time, he said, all students with 9A+ grades in the SPM exam would be given Public Service Department scholarships to promote excellence.

He added, however, the Government would also look after those who are lagging behind.

“We will have to give them a chance by awarding them scholarships.

“You can’t compare a student in Sarawak with one from Damansara (an affluent suburb of KL),” he said.

At a press conference later, Najib, who is Umno president, said the party does not want to be in conflict with any non-governmental organisation.

Asked about his view on the Malay rights group, Perkasa, he added: “Perkasa is like any other NGO. There are times we agree with them, there are times we do not.”