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FACULTY OF EDUCATION AND LANGUAGES

OUMH1303
ENGLISH FOR ORAL COMMUNICATION

MALAYSIAN’S UNDERSTANDING OF THE ONEMALAYSIA CONCEPT

Semester September 2009


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

1.0 Introduction 2

2.0 Findings 4

3.0 Conclusion 10

Appendix (1 & 2) 12

References 14

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“Malaysians’ Understanding of the OneMalaysia Concept”.

1.0 Introduction

Malaysians, for years have accepted our differences and recognized the
differences as our strength. However, along these times, these differences
have evolute into divisive forces. It has been raised to such extent that we
negotiate for everything, based on race, language and creeds. Instead of
accepting our differences, we have become narrow-minded.

Due to these diminishing tolerances among Malaysians, OneMalaysia


Concept with its slogan, “People First, Performance Now” was introduced
by Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak, the 6th Prime Minister of
Malaysia on 2nd April 2009. The essence of this concept was of the idea of
one nation irrespective of ethnic diversity, sub-ethnic and culture.

Notably, OneMalaysia Concept is not a new idea but a concept to


complement the existing approaches and a continuation of what have
been uphold by the previous prime ministers (see Appendix 1). It was
introduced with the

“objective of maintaining and improving national unity which has


been the strength of the Nation and its people, revitalizing the spirit
of national unity amongst Malaysian which has played a vital role in
developing our country since independence, and developing the
Nation through human development which can only be achieved
through racial tolerance”1.

The concept was based on 8 values which are:

1. Perseverance

2. Acceptance

1
1 Malaysia. Bahagian Penerbitan Dasar Negara. (2009). Matlamat
1Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: Jabatan Penerangan Malaysia.

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3. Education

4. Integrity

5. Meritocracy

6. Humility

7. Loyalty

8. Culture of Excellence

The objective of this assignment is to study the understanding of


Malaysians of this “OneMalaysia Concept”.

Series of interviews using standard open-ended questions have been


used as a study method. Questions were:

1. What do you know about OneMalaysia?

2. What does it mean to you?

3. What are the examples of OneMalaysia that you can see


around you?

4. What will it take to build OneMalaysia?

5. How can we improve national unity according to the


OneMalaysia spirit?

6. What are the obstacles to the success of OneMalaysia?

7. Do you think OneMalaysia concept will be successful or just


another fancy slogan? and

8. Do you know the slogan of OneMalaysia?

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Ten (10) respondents between the ages of 24 to 54 years old from three
(3) main races in Malaysia have been interviewed, based on the standard
questions listed above (see Appendix 2).

2.0 Findings

From the interviews carried out with the ten (10) respondents, we have
noted the following findings:

Question 1. What do you know about OneMalaysia?

With the exception of one (1) respondent, nine respondents


knew that it was a concept introduced by the Dato’ Seri
Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak - Prime Minister of
Malaysia. Those who knew what OneMalaysia is, also
understood that the concept is to promote unity or
togetherness among Malaysians, with two (2) respondents
stressing out that it is a continuation of old “Muhibbah”
concept (see Chart 1 below).

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Question 2. What does it mean to you?

Only five (5) respondents felt that it is a good concept. The


other four (4) respondents felt that it does not mean anything
to them, while 1 respondent was unaware of the concept
itself.

Respondents who felt that it is a good concept have also


noted that it is good for the benefit of all Malaysians and the
country. They also believed that it wouldl promote caring
and unity or togetherness. However, one (1) respondent felt
that it should always come from the person himself and not
because of being directed to do so (see Chart 2 below).

Question 3. What are the examples of OneMalaysia that you can see
around you?

Two (2) respondents were unaware of any examples around


them that could be related to the concept while the one who
was unaware of the concept itself, surprisingly noted that
festivals were examples of OneMalaysia concept.

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The other seven (7) respondents related the OneMalaysia
concept to their surroundings such as workplace,
neighbourhoods, places where they frequent and even food
and festivals.

Question 4. What will it take to build OneMalaysia?

Most respondents believed that it should start from oneself.


They felt that it would take commitments, cooperation and
compromising among races and to some extent, sacrificing
one’s rights for the benefits of others. Interestingly, one (1)
respondent strongly believed that to build OneMalaysia, the
existing racial based parties should be scrapped and the
Government of Malaysia should be composed of people with
capabilities and not simply based on race.

On the other hand, one (1) respondent who was unaware of


the concept, assumed that, to build OneMalaysia will require
support from all.

Question 5. How can we improve national unity according to the


OneMalaysia spirit?

Two (2) of the respondents believed that national unity


should be emphasized from early childhood. Of these two
(2), one (1) respondent felt that there is a need to revamp
the existing education system while the other one (1) felt
that unity concept can be instilled through children’s
activities, where every race will be involved.

Three (3) respondents believed that national unity can be


improved through participation of every walk of life, while
two (2) respondents felt that leaders (irrespective of races)

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must show an example and be willing to come down to the
masses to explain the benefits of unity.

One (1) respondent had emphasized that national unity


could be improved by continuously adhere to the existing
culture, norms and values without forgetting that we are
Malaysians, while the other one (1) respondent believed on
the hands-on approach such as workshops for the public, to
build their sense of belonging to the nation.

One (1) politically motivated respondent however felt that to


improve the national unity according the OneMalaysia spirit,
the system itself should be less racial (see Chart 3 below).

Question 6. What are the obstacles to the success of OneMalaysia?

Four (4) respondents believed that the obstacles to the


success of the OneMalaysia started from oneself, such as,
too protective of one’s race, lack of respect of another
person’s race, mere rhetoric and emphasizing much on self-
interest.

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One (1) respondent blamed it on the existing system which
he believed was too rooted, that hindered the Prime Minister
from moving forward, while four (4) respondents blamed it to
the negative-thinkers and radicals.

One (1) respondent, when being questioned on the


obstacles to the success of OneMalaysia however, could not
provide the answer to it as he himself was unaware of
OneMalaysia concept (see Chart 4 below).

Question 7. Do you think OneMalaysia concept will be successful or


will it just be another fancy slogan?

Eight (8) out of the ten (10) respondents believed that


1Malaysia concept will be successful. Out of this eight (8),
two (2) respondents felt that it is on the right track while the
other six (6) felt that it will be a long and hard journey, which
needed commitments from all races and sectors of life.

Two (2) respondents were sceptic of the success of


OneMalaysia concept and thought that it will be just another
fancy slogan (see Chart 5 below).

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Question 8. Do you know the slogan of OneMalaysia?

Nine (9) respondents knew the slogan including the sceptics


although they could not recall it.

One (1) respondent who was unaware of the concept itself


however, confirmed that he did not even know the slogan
(see Chart 6 below).

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3.0 Conclusion

It was noted that although the respondents’ understandings of the


OneMalaysia concept was vague, it is still in line with the main aspect of
the said concept, which is “to respect and accept one another, irrespective
of one’s race”.

Regardless of the ages, races and geographical locations of the


respondents, the acceptance of the OneMalaysia concept is high, even
though with some reservation of its success. The respondents understood
the need of full commitment from all races and had identified those
negative thinkers or radicals as the main obstacle to the success of this
OneMalaysia concept.

Unfortunately, after all the efforts that are taken by the Government to
promote the OneMalaysia concept, there are still Malaysians who are
unaware or ignorant of it. This study had successfully identified that, from
a sample of ten (10) respondents selected, one respondent was found to
be unaware of the said concept.

From the study, the following OneMalaysia concept can be better


understood by Malaysians if:

• The leaders are approachable and willing to go down, even to the


rural areas to explain the benefits of OneMalaysia Concept.

• More awareness campaigns being carried out. These campaigns


should focus more on the benefits of One Malaysia Concept.

• Efforts are increased in approaching people, who are illiterate and


located in areas that are out of mass media coverage.

• Medias used such as commercials, must portray “feel good”


feelings which, for OneMalaysia Concept, will be “People 1st”.

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• More activities that require the participation of all races and walks
of life being organised. Examples are, “Sukan Rakyat”, “Gotong
Royong”, “Rumah Terbuka” tradition and etcetera.

• The existing education system is revamped and a single school


system be introduced instead.

• Malaysians think, speak and act as one. These will create the
feelings of belonging to one country, equally and without
discrimination.

As a closure, a phrase extracted from the website is hereby attached for


us to ponder,

“the premise is that, to have a real unity – people must unite – and
people will only unite under 2 circumstances: the first is, people
unite in a cause that they believe in and the second is, people unite
because of a common enemy / threat”2.

Appendix 1 – “Ungkapan Perdana”

2
Minda Cergas. (2009). What will it take to build 1Malaysia. [Online].
Available: http://mindacergas.wordpress.com/. [2009, October 20].

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Page 13
Appendix 2 – Questionnaires (attached)

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References

Malaysia. Bahagian Penerbitan Dasar Negara. (2009). 1Malaysia, Rakyat didahulukan,


Pencapaian diutamakan. Kuala Lumpur: Jabatan Penerangan Malaysia.

Minda Cergas. (2009). What will it take to build 1Malaysia. [Online]. Available:
http://mindacergas.wordpress.com/. [2009, October 20].

Malaysia. Jabatan Penerangan Malaysia. (2009). Info Penggerak Minda


rakyat:UngkapanPerdana (3rd ed.).Kuala Lumpur: Jabatan Penerangan
Malaysia.

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