THURSDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER 2010
That picture of Malaysia, thought to have been crafted by the giant US public relations firm APCO Worldwide for delivery in New York, is badly frayed, however,
his country are facing deep problems, many of them caused by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad,
Mahathir has been fanning the flames of unrest by his continuing demand for the continuation of special treatment for Malays, a cause he has espoused
that affirmative action to help the Malays has been a crutch that has cushioned their lives and kept them from healthy competition.
Najib hired the US public relations firm APCO to come up with a US$40 million program to seek to pull the races together as well as to seek to burnish his own image overseas, tarnished as it has been by a long series of scandals. The program, called 1Malaysia, is considered by most people to have failed.
the special rights have become a millstone around their neck instead of moving them into a higher income bracket. Especially, critics say, it has created a rentier class of so-called "Umnoputras"
Despite the prime minister's speech to the UN, his country is facing serious racial tension
Malaysia's Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak, made an eloquent speech to the United Nations earlier this week, telling the assembled body that, among other things, Malaysia "is a multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural and democratic society that has benefited from the positive interaction and synergy between the various communities. Mosques, temples, churches and other places of worship co-exist in harmony.
"Although Islam is the official religion, we honor other religions – Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism – by making their religious and cultural celebrations as national holidays and celebrate them as national events. It is this equilibrium that leads to moderation or wasatiyyah in the Islamic tradition of mutual justice."