It seems to me that the more persistently Najib Razak propounds his “1Malaysia. People first. Performance now” slogan, and the more desperately he defends it, the more damage he does to himself and Barisan Nasional. So naturally I’m 1 big supporter of the thing.
For a start, the “1Malaysia” part of it is so blatantly false that all it does is remind the hearer or reader of BN’s long-term strategy of dividing the nation’s races and religions, the better to try and ensure its eternal rule.
And this is not just an allegation, but an absolute fact. As evidenced by the BN government’s stacking of the civil services with employees of one particular race, through the wildly unequal allocation of government scholarships and contracts, to its supporting the concept of ketuanan Melayu through official economic policies, racist pressure-groups like Perkasa and publications like Utusan Malaysia.
Thus the “1Malaysia” phrase itself is such an outright and obvious lie that the long-running controversy over its originality appears virtually irrelevant. Yet Najib persists in claiming authorship as though his political survival depended on it. Which I fondly hope it does, given that the version of the concept with which I’m most familiar, “One Nation”, was the name of the notorious Pauline Hanson’s Australian political party, which long ago self-destructed.
Similarly, as far as I’m aware, other previous 1/One/Satu-style names and slogans proven by no means notably successful in Singapore, Indonesia or anywhere else they’ve been created. And as for “One Israel”, who knows whether it was dreamed-up by Najib’s friends at Apco Worldwide, as Anwar Ibrahim alleges and Apco deny, and who the hell cares?
Besides Najib, of course, who appears to be staking his non-existent credibility on the claim that he originated the thing. Recently, declaring that he felt “slighted” by the “big lie” that the “1Malaysia” concept had been plagiarised from another country, he claimed that “It is my own creation. Other countries may have a one this and a one that but nowhere in this world is there a 1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now.”
As many commentators on this statement have remarked, it would have been very odd indeed if any another country had thought to call itself “1Malaysia”, as Malaysia wouldn’t have been its name, and thus the expression would have been even more false than Najib’s version of it is.
Having read over the previous paragraph several times, I’m not entirely sure it makes sense. But never mind. Nothing about Najib’s slogan makes sense, including his recent remark in its defence to the effect that his government moves forward “on the basis of reality and not any dream.”
“A responsible government needs responsible policies,” he reportedly added, “not promises that are not founded on reality.”
Unfortunately for the case he was attempting to make, “not founded on reality” applies not only, as we’ve seen, to the “1Malaysia” section of his slogan, but even more so, if possible, to its “People First. Performance now.” segments.
Far from convincing anyone that Najib himself or the BN government has the slightest intention of performing on behalf of the people, now or ever, it raises countless challenging questions.
Like what has Najib or BN done, lately or ever, to protect the people of Malaysia from the appalling road toll or the police inaction and corruption that enable vehicular slaughter on such a scale? What have Najib or his government done to stem the slaughter of ‘suspects’ by this same police force? Or to stem the tide of cronyism and corruption that costs the people billions a year in lost and stolen revenue?
What have Najib and his government done, or what do they intend to do to restore the peoples’ rights to transparency, truth and justice that have been so comprehensively eroded over decades of rule by the BN regime?
Absolutely nothing. So that, with the single, solitary exception of the word “Malaysia”, which is undeniably the name of the country, every single additional element of Najib’s slogan is utterly and obviously false.
However, such glaringly obvious falsehood doesn’t prevent BN’s indefatigably sycophantic ‘news’ agency, Bernama and the rest of the so-called ‘mainstream’ media from reporting it as if it was gospel truth.
Just the other day, for example, Bernama quoted Information, Communication and Culture Minister Rais Yatim as claiming that the 1Malaysia concept “is regarded and good” by 84 per cent of respondents to a recent survey.
And in an equally impressive illustration of the well-known expression “lies, damn lies and statistics”, the BN-complicit media recently reported that the ridiculous slogan’s self-procaimed author himself enjoys 69 per cent support.
Citing a clearly highly dubious phone poll by the Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research, The Star announced that “broken down into ethnic groups, the survey found 74% of Malays, 54% of Chinese and 85% of Indian respondents were satisfied with the prime minister’s performance, seen as a major boost for Najib as he mulls an early general election next year.”
The fact that these findings were “broken down into ethnic groups” seems to me further give the lie to the fake unity-promoting purpose of “1Malaysia”. But even more significant is the core message these fanciful findings are intended to convey, which is that well over half of the Malaysian people of all races are such idiots as to imagine that Najib’s performance as prime minister is satisfactory.
When in fact, as every Malaysian with even half a brain knows, his only achievement in almost two years as premier is the creation of the world’s most cynical, self-destructive slogan.
A slogan whose obvious falsehood appears to be working so powerfully in his disfavour that, along with memories of the still unsolved murder of 1Mongolian, it could well prove political suicide for Najib personally, and a fitting epitaph for 50+ years of the BN regime.