1Malaysia – in perspective

by Eyes Wide Open

As Najib goes on and on about his 1Malaysia vision (no doubt with the million-ringgit help of APCO), there seems to be a disconnect between what is said and portrayed and what is actually happening on the ground.

This is where it should become clear as day that PR (meaning Public Relations, and possibly also Pakatan Rakyat) alone is not going to save this country. But somehow the powers-that-be keep missing the signs, or they somehow expect the rakyat to miss the signs.

Look at the list of news items below. These were all reported on the same day.

First the “good” news.

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PM: Sabah, Sarawak living 1Malaysia concept

(NST – 17/9/2009)

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has described the spirit of unity and harmony among the people of Sabah and Sarawak as a vibrant example of 1Malaysia.

He said that there were many examples in both states of how Malaysians of different racial, religious and ethnic roots “can come together around the many things that unite us, instead of allowing the few things that divide us to drive us apart”.

“The story of Sabah and Sarawak is the story of 1Malaysia, and has informed and inspired my commitment to this concept.

“They are a testament to the fact that our differences unite this country,” Najib said in his personal statement in conjunction with Malaysia Day yesterday to commemorate the formation of Malaysia in 1963 by Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya.”

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Ahhh…after so many years being treated like poor Cinderella, East Malaysia FINALLY seems to be getting some Fairy Godmother from Najib!

But then, the clock seems to have struck midnight even before the East Malaysians have had a chance to visit the royal ball.

Amidst the newly popular Malaysia Day celebrations and the platitudes of Malaysian unity and the praises heaped onto the newly-remembered East Malaysians, reality hits us with news like this:

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Lulu remembered the plight of many orang asals in Peninsular and Sabah & Sarawak who were born in the interior and their birth was not registered. Also the poor who were born in born at home and their parents were too poor and too uneducated to understand the importance of registering their children. There are also some unwed mothers who were shamed into not registering their newborn.

A combination of reasons have caused Malaysian-born Malaysians to not have their birth registered, resulting in no birth certificate, followed by no MyKad/IC which means, no citizenship.

So, Lulu took a glance at the name list, which can be viewed here.
http://www.ikdn.gov.my/docs/Senarai_Nama.pdf

Lulu was kinda disappointed. The names looked kinda like those from our neighbour.
It didnt look right.

(You can read the rest of what Lulu thinks here.)

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Indons can get citizenships (and also Bumiputra status?) after a few years settling here, but our Malaysian-born people have to wait decades before being recognised? And what of our East Malaysian brethren?

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Penans erect more blockades, stage protests

By Stephen Then, The Star

More protests and blockades have flared up all over Sarawak following escalating land disputes between natives with the state government and timber and oil palm companies.

On Wednesday, a series of simultaneous anti-logging and anti-oil palm plantation blockades happened in five different locations in northern Sarawak: Simpang Empat, Long Bangan, Long Belok and Long Nen in ulu Baram district and in interior Suai in the Niah district south of Miri.

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After all the praises, all the promises – why do the East Malaysians still feel the need to protest? Simply because the everyday people are not on the receiving end of the warm feelings from the Federal government. It’s only the East Malaysian politicians who are getting fat off the land, getting the cushy ministerial and diplomatic positions.

What the East Malaysians are really getting are just more empty promises, empty rhetoric and empty stomachs. After 46 years of disappointment and frustration and exploitation, is it any wonder that they have to resort to demonstrations to get their point heard?

But that’s not the worst of it.The powers that be in East Malaysia continue to dismiss, ignore and oppress the citizens. A peaceful march to deliver a memorandum to Taib Mahmud, MB of Sarawak, turned into another example of official suppression:

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Indigenous activists rounded up in M-Day swoop

Andrew Ong
Malaysiakini
Sept 16, 2009
There was no Malaysia Day cheer for a group of 15 individuals who were arrested in Kuching while attempting to hand a petition to Chief Minister Taib Mahmud over the displacement of indigenous people.

They were picked up in front of the Wisma Bapa Malaysia building by a group of police personnel and whisked away to the Gita police station.
Sarawak Conservation Action Network (Scane) spokesperson Phillip Jaw, who was among those arrested, expressed disappointment with the police actions.

He said among those arrested were indigenous people residing in the remote areas of Murum and Baram – where hydroelectric dams will be constructed and thus displacing tens of thousands of people.

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How does presenting a memorandum pose a security threat? But the threats of bloodshed shouted by bigots in Shah Alam is a-ok? Is this what 1Malaysia’s “People First” slogan is about?

And it’s made all the more poignant that all these things happened on Malaysia Day – the day that Sabah and Sarawak officially joined Malaya to form Malaysia.

But Najib is correct to say that Sabah and Sarawak are a perfect example of 1Malaysia: at the grassroots  level people are united and want change, the rich, powerful and corrupt at the top refuse to listen to the people, they use the govt agencies to suppress the people, and the media lies about it.

Yes, that’s the true 1Malaysia for you.

One of the most disappointing things about this whole sad issue must be the MSM’s response. Instead of doing their job to inform the public of such bullying by the politically powerful, there is a media blackout not a single MSM reported the facts that indigenous activists were thrown in jail for standing up for their rights.

So, please help to spread the word about this injustice.

For the sake of your fellow Malaysians.

**Read more about the arrests here and here.

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