1Malaysia initiatives finally drowned in debts

1Malaysia initiatives finally drowned in debts – S. Ramakrishnan

The 1Malaysia slogan was supposed to be the game changer for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak when he took office in 2009.

He came out with 1Malaysia slogan to win back the non-Malays who have deserted Umno/Barisan Nasional (BN) after the 2008 general election when for the first time BN lost their 2/3 majority and five states fell to Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

The slogan was launched with much pomp and pride to turn around the electoral fortunes of BN.

1Malaysia campaigns and slogans launched emphasising the ethnic harmony, unity and improve delivery to the government agencies and civil servants and Umno politicians.

Huge funds were injected into the 1Malaysia campaign and transformation initiatives.

Public debt which stood at 38% of GDP in 2009 jumped to almost 55% around 2014. But the national unity, public delivery and corruption levels never improved for the better.

From the beginning Umno hardline leaders nurtured and groomed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad rejected and did not support Najib’s 1Malaysian theme.

The 1Malaysia intiatives, the transformation programs and people first and performance now initiatives, did not receive the needed support from civil servants and Umno hardliners.

Dr Mahathir himself reported saying that he “still doesn’t understand (masih tidak faham)” the concept.

Perkasa went to town against PM for introducing the 1Malaysia campaign to unite the country.

Najib was helplessly watching the opposition with Umno, Dr Mahathir, Perkasa and Isma and remained silent without confronting them.

1Malaysia slogan was spoken about and mentioned in all government sponsored programmes but its objectives were never achieved. National unity, improvement in deliver system and corruption level never improved and the whole initiative was a failure.

Najib armed with the 1Malaysia slogan and transformation initiatives programmes behind him went into the 13th general election in 2013 hoping to wind more non-Malay votes and retain the Malay votes.

The non-Malay support did not come back to BN and for the first time BN lost the popular votes. Even though PR secured 52% popular votes but could only win 89 parliament seats out of 222 (40%).

It’s obvious that BN won due to gerrymandering and unfair delineation of electoral boundaries. After 2013 elections Najib dumped 1Malaysia and made moves to win back Malay votes and strengthen his position in Umno.

All his efforts failed and to top it Malaysians witness the MH370 disappearance, drop in oil prices and now the 1MDB.

Even though 1Malaysia initiatives did not bring the much needed national unity and harmony, but 1MDB sovereign fund turned out to be swelling pool that might drag down even the BN government.

The complex money trails round the globe and the complex wheeling and dealing is simply complicated for even professionals.

It is amazing that a Finance Ministry (MOF)-linked company will billions of dollars being handled by personals not in the management using dubious companies and the MOF, Prime Minister’s Office, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and Security Commission as just watching it happen.

Within five years since its inception the sovereign fund accumulated 42 billion in debts and still counting.

1Malaysia initiatives finally drowned in debts – S. Ramakrishnan
19 March 2015 – TMI


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