I liked Dato’ Seri Najib’s pronouncement of the “1Malaysia” concept. It is powerful and I think it goes down well with a lot of people especially the younger generation of Malaysians who are actually tired with the politicization of ethnicity and religion.
What most of the Rakyat are waiting for is - how Najib is going to outline his concept – what keys areas does he intend to address and achieve with his pronouncements?
Obviously until Najib outlines his concept, the Rakyat will have their own interpretation, and hopes of the concept.
This is a country of diverse culture, religion, income levels, educational levels, etc. The Rakyat are more discerning today. The power of the new media as an alternative source of information is recognized.
Let me start from the Rakyat’s perspective:
OVER THE PAST FIFTY YEARS
Over the past 50 years, the Rakyat have learnt that at the bottom line, they have to live and work with each other irrespective of the social-construct of ethnicity that they are legally boxed into.
Over the past 50 years, the Rakyat have learnt that at the bottom line, they have had pleasant experiences with others from other ethnic groupings and evil experiences with those from within their own ethnic groupings.
Over the past 50 years, the Rakyat have learnt that at the bottom line, it is not the political leadership that puts rice onto their plate. Each Rakyat has to slog and work day and night just to provide sustenance for their respective families while they see politicians retire into wealth and glory by being in office for a mere few years.
Over the past 50 years, the Rakyat have learnt that at the bottom line, much of the artificial divisions that have divided society into “race and religion” are products of the system that have been set into place by the political masters and supported by their crony “intellectuals’ and religionists.
Over the past 50 years, the Rakyat have learnt that at the bottom line, the Rakyat is thoroughly convinced that unless compelled, the politicians will not embark on any real education for the masses. For this may mean a more informed and kind society and this may not augur well for political power play.
Over the past 50 years, the Rakyat have learnt that at the bottom line, we need to be bound together by common values and principles and this will not happen so long as we have institutionalized and legalized divisive factors. The evolution of common values and principles CANNOT be artificially imposed on society. Courageous leaders must allow for democratic space to discuss and exchange ideas and views towards the evolution of commonality – Islam is no exception. Thinking must be allowed. It cannot be monopolized by a group of elites which the Rakyat did not authorize in the first place.
Over the past 50 years, the Rakyat have learnt that at the bottom line, the Rakyat has been used and abused by politicians. What must legitimately be done by any responsible leader has been turned into a favour to the Rakyat for which the Rakyat is expected to kiss the hand of the politician. Where then is the honour of the Rakyat? YB (Yang Berhormat) becomes the feudal lord of the YM (Yang Mengundi). If hand kissing is so essential, how about the YB kissing the hands of the YM?
Over the past 50 years, the Rakyat have learnt that at the bottom line, the common Rakyat has to deal with the civil service and suffer at the behest of the civil services’ whims and fancies. The common Rakyat has no opportunity of complaining to the higher authorities of the civil service because they too behave like feudal lords. All these wears out the human. Makes him weary, Makes tired and frustrated.
Over the past 50 years, the Rakyat have learnt that at the bottom line, the Nation is saved NOT by politicians, BUT by saviour citizens, the Raperas.
Hence, it is Raperas that we must cultivate and generate.