When I read my cousin’s blog Eastern Prism recently asking what the heck 1Malaysia concept is exactly, and I must say that I am baffled too. I told him it’s basically old shoe, patched and polished and worn again. But I have to think deeper than the current cobbler-esque level.
Aside: Before visiting my cousin’s blog, don’t go with one mind set. The feller’s subject varies from criticising the government to the recipe of making mutton varuval. They do share something though – it involves frying. End of aside.
When the new prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (to non Malaysian readers the first two are his title, like “Sir”, “lord” “His Excellency” or “lunkhead”) took over the office from snoozemesiter Abdullah Badawi, he expounded on us the 1Malaysia. I said expounded because it sounds violent and the whole concept seemed heavy like the e.e.cuming’s poetry except 1Malaysia is even vaguer.
My cousin included an explanation from the PM’s website explaining it. Let me quote my cousin quoting the site: “1Malaysia’s goal is to preserve and enhance this unity in diversity which has always been our strength and remains our best hope for the future. … I encourage each of you to join me in defining our
There. Can you understand anything? It looked like something that I would cut away when processing press releases during my journo days. Here’s what my brother has to say about it in his blog. “…1Malaysia is certainly not new, but an old wine in a new bottle”.
That’s right. We need something new. And what do you know? There are some others stuff that Malaysians are united about that Najib and the government has to harp on. There are lots of stuff that Malaysians share which makes us uniquely united & uniformly uncompromising when it comes to some of the things that I shall list below. And these are only few, you will get more idea later and please feel free to add in.
The drive here does not denote “determination” or “willpower to do something”. No, I am talking about plain driving. Like driving a car. Once Malaysians are behind the wheel, there is nothing to stop their sheer determination or “drive” to break every traffic rules. Whether its about not wearing safety belt, or on phone or text messaging, speeding, being non-compliant to the needs of the traffic light, Malaysians aspires to have “been there, done it all” credential in their mental resume, and they are willing to brag about it.
But wait, you say. Wouldn’t they be punished? As in, like getting summons. Well, let me put it this way, when Malaysians are not getting injured or dying on the road behind the wheels, one of their favourite past time is bribing the cop. Some of the rates are downright pathetic, as I have personally witnessed my friend managed to bargain and part with only RM10. For Malaysians, it can be “settled”. Right after “settling” with the cop, they’d go back to the comfort of their office and blog about how corrupt the government is.
Actually this should be grouped together with 1Drive, but it’s so unique that it deserves its own category. It’s amazing how much we Malaysians are so united when it comes to bad parking, double parking and are also enjoying the latest craze, triple parking.
I believe quadruple parking may have enjoyed brief fame, but since I don’t see it around I suspect these drivers were killed by the triple parkers.
But the amazing thing is, no matter how small the space is, and the possibility of blocking the road altogether, these parkers would be there, squeezing their SUVs in, and come out triumphant in managing to avoid paying few Ringgits if they had parked in actual parking and can quickly walk over to spend thousands on lottery or to indulge in all sort of seafood dishes in their favourite restaurant…which too can come to thousands of Ringgits.
A punctual Malaysian is a rare Malaysian…someone should put these people in museum. Well, I am one such guilty party. Not being punctual is a mission statement held on to dearly by most Malaysians, even during the era of Tun. Dr. Mahathir, our former prime minister who was fiercely punctual. This was quickly corrected by his successor, the dozy Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who, while perfected the art of snoozing during parliamentary sessions, has successfully latched on the lack of punctuality culture. I recall being with other journalists waiting for his press conference for almost 2 hours! No wonder Dr. M hated his guts.
Malaysians who are punctual usually can be found being alone…waiting. Time and time again, my brother and I have made mistake of attending wedding receptions at the said time. When they say, “thence to a reception at 7.30pm”, you have to add minimum an hour. Like an idiot I recently appeared at the 7.30pm as mentioned in the invitation card to a colleague’s dinner reception. The event only started at around 9.45pm! And guess what, few guests even appeared 10.45pm. I felt like poking my eyes with the chopstick.
So, these are only few samples where Malaysians are united. Najib should be looking at these and promote them instead of talking about “friendship” “diversity” and all that politically correct stuff. Of course, there are Malaysians who are punctual, who drive safely and following the traffic rules and park their cars with consideration for others convenience and safety. Traitors!