KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — Bernama
Malaysians should discard their ‘ethnic silo’ mentality, said Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
The prime minister said Malaysians must “stand together, think and act as one people under the One Malaysia concept.”
“Let’s break away from operating in the ethnic prism as we have done over so many years. This is also the meaning of the One Malaysia concept.
“We must respect each other, go beyond tolerance and build trust among each other and build trust between various ethnic groups,” he told a press conference here today.
He said Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties for example, should not necessarily be focusing their services in locations based on their own ethnic groups.
Najib also cited the example of him releasing 13 Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees on being sworn in as Malaysia’s sixth prime minister on April 3.
“The MIC should have been thankful to the government for freeing the 13 and not only focus on the two Hindraf members released.
“If we freed two Hindraf members, don’t forget there were 11 others. Don’t think about Hindraf alone,” he said.
The prime minister also said that he had explained the One Malaysia concept to the members of the new Cabinet at its first meeting in Putrajaya this morning and reminded them “don’t be just concerned about your own community” but strive to fulfil the high expectations of all Malaysians.
“I stressed on four things, namely integrity, ability, loyalty and commitment. The Cabinet must also be people-oriented in order to gain the trust of the people,” he said.
Besides this, he said, ministers should also be agents of change and bring about reforms towards meeting the needs of the entire spectrum of society.
“We cannot be thinking the government knows everything. The doors to dialogue must be open to all so that decisions made by the government truly reflect the wishes of the people,” he said.
Najib also reminded the ministers not to give the people the perception that the government only favoured certain groups or corporate entities although it was of utmost importance to carry out policies that were private-sector friendly.
“But the bottom line is that any decision taken must be based on the overall interests of the people,” he said.
He said under the One Malaysia concept, if it concerned poverty eradication, it should encompass all races irrespective of whether they were from urban or rural areas, estates, new villages or aboriginal settlements.
“It (One Malaysia) does not mean the policy to help the bumiputras is sidelined, in fact it will give implementation of the policy greater impetus so as to ensure that eligible bumiputras get their due consideration,” he said.
Besides this, he said, the One Malaysia concept should not be misinterpreted by certain quarters, for example the Opposition, and equate it to the Malaysian Malaysia concept as championed by DAP.