KUALA LUMPUR: The 1Malaysia concept introduced for almost two years has become a symbol and term that has boosted unity and patriotism, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The prime minister said since he launched the concept when taking over office on April 3, 2009, its acceptance by the people had been very encouraging.
“Now whether in rural or urban areas, in fact abroad, shouts of 1Malaysia can be heard from Malaysians at functions and community activities,” he said when replying to a question from Zulkifli Noordin (Ind-Kulim/Bandar Baru) at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
Zulkifli had wanted to know if the government had any plans to repackage the concept so that it is not twisted around by irresponsible quarters to cause confusion among the people because of varied interpretations.
Najib said there were certain quarters who only thought about their own political interests and were always looking for ways to twist around the facts concerning the 1Malaysia concept for political mileage.
He said even if explained a thousand times and despite the concept getting the support of the majority of Malaysians, there had been unending attempts by some quarters to create confusion about it in trying to mislead the people.
“This people should just be ignored. What is clear is that the majority of Malaysians are attracted to and accept the 1Malaysia concept as a concept that brings Malaysians of all races closer to each other, besides boosting the spirit of patriotism, which are its main obejectives,” said Najib.
He said at the initial stage, some quarters had attempted to manipulate the concept to give rise to polemics for their own political interests.
“However, with detailed explanation to all strata of society, it can be seen the concept has gained wide acceptance among the people,” he said.
To a supplementary question from Zulkifli whether the concept’s slogan should be changed from “People First, Performance Now” to “Country First, People the Priority”, Najib said the matter needed to be explained in more detail.
“Although we have given much explanation and there is wide acceptance, more needs to be done so that we can reach a level where the 1Malaysia concept is fully understood,” he added.
Replying to another supplementary question from Datuk Ismail Kassim (BN-Arau), Najib said the understanding of the concept was not only on the meaning of 1Malaysia but also its accompanying slogan which was a foundation principle to bring Malaysia to greater heights.
He said it also negated allegations that the 1Malaysia concept was a copy of the 1Israel concept and this had been attested to by the parties responsible for the 1Israel concept.
To a another supplementary question from Dr Tan Seng Giaw (DAP-Kepong), Najib said racial problems in the country could be reduced with a concept like 1Malaysia. — Bernama