YAB Datuk Sri PM: 1 Country means total acceptance of diversity

YAB Datuk Sri PM: 1 Country means total acceptance of diversity

PETALING JAYA, Feb 28 – Datuk Seri Najib Razak today attempted to revive his battered 1 Malaysia concept by urging Malaysians to adopt its paradigm of “total acceptance” of the country’s diversity instead of mere “tolerance”.

The Prime Minister launched his 1 Malaysia idea when he took office last April but a recent spate of racial and derogatory remarks from his Umno party has further divided rather than united Malaysian behind his Barisan Nasional government.

“We started off with one basic paradigm and that is tolerance. The next paradigm is a shift from tolerance to total acceptance. This is when we accept the differences of our people, when we accept diversity as something that is unique,” Najib said at the Sin Chew Daily’s Chinese New Year open house here.

He added that the third and final paradigm of 1 Malaysia was to celebrate diversity.

“To celebrate diversity – that is our final destination. Then we can achieve ‘Bangsa Malaysia’ and 1 Malaysia,” the Umno president said.

Najib added that certain groups may embark on separate pathways but what was important was that all Malaysians converged and reached the same final destination.

“I am sure we all share this same dream – to achieve unity, harmony and prosperity – but we may take different paths to get there. Sin Chew may take a different path, Utusan Malaysia may take a different path but what is important is that we must converge and reach that final destination.

“Of course we much allow discourse and room for dissent and differences of opinion but we must ensure that it is not at the expense of harmony,” he said.

Najib’s remarks came after nearly 80 Malay groups formed the Majlis Perundingan Melayu or Malay Consultative Council (MPM), ostensibly to protect and defend Malay rights, Islam and the Malay Rulers which they claim is being questioned and sidelined in recent months.

A Malay group leader said the MPM will focus on the economic rights and privileges of the Malays and Bumiputeras to ensure they are not neglected in the New Economic Model (NEM) that the Najib Administration will introduce next month to stimulate the economy.

Najib had said innovation and creativity is needed to push Malaysia into a high-income nation, adding protection and subsidies will have to give way to greater competition in a global world. Malay groups warn that such a move will shrink their share of the economic pie which they claim is dominated by minority groups.

Malaysia recorded 4.5 per cent growth in the fourth quarter of 2009 which helped it out of the recession although the 2009 GDP contracted 1.7 per cent, less than than the 3 per cent contraction forecast earlier.

Najib’s 1 Malaysia means total acceptance of diversity By Clara Chooi in M Insider

Read also_ Responses from M Kini

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