Malaysia

Najib dodges ‘Malaysian first, Malay next’ question

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
July 31, 2011

Najib justified his refusal to answer today by saying that he didn’t want it to appear as if he and his deputy had a difference of opinion. — file pic Najib justified his refusal to answer today by saying that he didn’t want it to appear as if he and his deputy had a difference of opinion. — file pic KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak kept mum today when asked to state whether he was a proponent of his own two-year-old 1 Malaysia policy that espouses being “Malaysian first”.

The country’s sixth prime minister was responding to questions posed by Malaysian students at the Malaysian Student Leaders Summit (MSLS) here.

A student had asked Najib whether he was prepared to state that he was Malaysian first and what he thought of his deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s infamous remark of being “Malay first and Malaysian next.”

Najib did not answer the question directed at him.

“I don’t want to respond in a way that will divide me from my deputy.

“1 Malaysia is our guiding philosophy. It does not matter what you say, just as long as you follow (the 1 Malaysia concept),” he said today.

Najib’s 1 Malaysia concept has been heavily attacked by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers who have labelled it as meaningless after Muhyiddin made the proclamation last year.

To date, only Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz has publicly stated his acceptance of the 1 Malaysia idea.

Najib also added that the 1 Malaysia concept was in tandem with the federal constitution, and that while the government pushed for meritocracy and equality, any developments in that direction would be in line with the country’s laws.