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Friday April 10, 2009

How we can achieve 1Malaysia

THE recent by-election results sent many messages to all Malaysians, with many more suddenly becoming political analysts with a hind-sight of 20/20. Whatever it is, we need to take stock of who we are and where we want to go from here. Perhaps a two-party system is now a reality in Malaysia. That would be a good start on checks and balances.

I have travelled and talked to many people from all walks of life and discovered that Malaysians are actually changing their mindsets on how the country’s political landscape should look like and what they want in life.

While some of my ideas are not new, I wish to emphasize several pressing issues which may affect our objective in achieving 1Malaysia. We are a nation built on many races and religions. Our leaders have professed that this is an Islamic country, and such profession must come with responsibility.

What I am asking of them is to act within the confines of the beautiful religion of Islam where our daily conducts in life are very important. This includes, although not exhaustively, our ethics, trust, charity, and personal responsibility to God which must be upheld all the time.

The Prophet was a living proof that Islamic leadership can provide harmonious living conditions to the non-Muslims under the purview of the Islamic government. There is no necessity to call for unity because the exemplary nature of Islamic leadership would have inculcated such an environment.

This kind of leadership would be “contagious” and would weed out the bad ones naturally. This would be a step closer to 1Malaysia.

During my early childhood, I mingled with children from all races and I was indeed “colour blind” and so were they.

Today, I am seeing that children mainly mix among their own kind. So, they are not “colour blind” any more judging from their remarks made and hurled at one another.

Such a thing never existed in my childhood days. Even when we were involved in physical fights, we often fought as a united front. Now the children are fighting with other races. So, what has gone wrong here? I believe the politicians have the answer to this.

The formative childhood years are so important. Any changes made would be difficult to impose when they reach adulthood. So let’s tackle the issue when they are young. This would be another step closer to 1Malaysia.

Many countries have adopted the “performance system” whereby the leading political party would even consider appointing individuals from the opposing parties in key positions, based on their capabilities in a particular area.

This sort of system would lead us to the next quantum as a competitive nation. I can see many talented locals in my daily walks with people. It would not be wrong to get these talented individuals to support the nation in the area of their strengths.

While the politicians are the elected officials, I urge them to work with these talented individuals in propelling the nation to greater heights like never before. Many successful nations have moved forward through “buying ins” of talented individuals. I believe that we have sufficient talented individuals to fulfil these supportive roles without much “buy ins” from elsewhere. This would be a quantum leap towards 1Malaysia.

While I have not lived long enough to see the entire history of this nation, I know our great nation was ahead of many nations many decades ago. Today we are just trying to keep up.

We have lost our steam along the way. Now, as 1Malaysia, we can achieve our glorious years again. This may well be our last key action plan towards achieving 1Malaysia after all.

MOHD SHAHIR LIEW,
Kuala Lumpur.

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