Tuesday, July 28, 2009

OneMalaysia

I have waited for a while before I had the mind for my 2 cents on the issue. Reason being is that the concept is such a fuzzy one and seems to stand as yet another policy by another prime minister who seeks to outdo the previous one. As time comes along, we sort of anticipate for the policy to be abandoned or left lurking in the lukewarm while another steams up the scene. It's a pattern long practiced in this beloved land, with the exception of Rukunegara or the rather debatably disastrous NEB (DEB).

So while I took the time to read my head off on the topic, I could not help myself but to identify some issues that might raise a few eyebrows. I have noticed that instead of being a platform for the government to assert their want of uniting people, it has challenged the belief of many of the top tier people in the country as well as your laymen around. They follow, yes.. But ask them a question about One Malaysia, you will have many contrasting opinions on the adequacy of the implementation.

For example, on the issue of vernacular schools. Some are proposing that the different vernacular schools being closed down as it hinders unity while others think that it would be rather unfair and ignite racial unrest. The matter is; it should be a choice made available and the education system can be effective in dealing with the issue. If the Malays get the opportunity of studying in full residential schools that were designed specifically for their success, why deny the other races of privileges that they need to strive for personally?

(I have asked a bunch of 16 year olds in a full residential school about this and the answers were sometimes disconcerting, with hints of righteousness and "hak saya, bukan mereka" perception.. I am sure glad I have brought the issue up to be discussed)

The key here is OneMalaysia needs to be developed with a strong foundation without relying too much on empty rhetorics. Yes, a few plans have been developed like the Yayasan OneMalaysia or the National Scholarship where merit is the way to go. But if some of the top ministers could not lay their fingers down right to the core of OneMalaysia, you would recognise that the policy is one of a populist nature that seeks to tap on the common interest of the younger generation.

At the very end, it seemed like a knock-off version of Malaysian Malaysia, just subtly built with preference for some.