Promoting the realisation and greater understanding of the 1Malaysia concept among Malaysian students in foreign institutions of higher learning shall be a key programme towards fostering patriotism and love for the country.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim said this was necessary as it was found that many Malaysian students abroad were still not clear about the concept, which was initiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and conceived on Aug 16, 2008.
Dr Mashitah, who recently led an official delegation to Jordan, described her one-week trip in late December 2010 as a “big success” going by the reception the delegation received from the students and the intensity of discussions it had with them.
“It is important to provide them with the correct facts. They were very eager, enthusiastic and inquisitive. The briefings were well attended and the question and answer sessions went very well. I see a real need to engage Malaysian students in other Middle East countries, especially Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria,” she added.
The discussions were held in universities in Amman and Irbid, where the majority of the 6,000-odd Malaysians students were located. Among members of the delegation were senior government officials, university professors and corporate leaders, who shared their knowledge and experiences with the students. In attendance was Malaysia’s ambassador to Jordan.
The trip to the Middle East came a month after Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin led a delegation to Indonesia to engage Malaysian students in the republic and explained to them the concept of 1Malaysia as a platform to build upon the unique strength of the diversity of multiracial Malaysia.
The eight core values of the 1Malaysia concept – perseverance, acceptance, education, integrity, meritocracy, humility, loyalty and culture of excellence – all serve to bring out the best in Malaysians in moulding the country towards a common desire for a better tomorrow.
“As leaders, we have to take responsibility and play a leading role in promoting 1Malaysia,” said Dr Mashitah, who is also a serving senator.
A recent official survey, involving more than 12,000 respondents, showed that 82% were aware of the 1Malaysia concept. Of the number, 69% said they understood the concept. The Government’s target is to have at least 50% of the total population of 27.5 million accepting the 1Malaysia concept this year.
“Continuous dissemination of key messages on the 1Malaysia concept will be a pivotal factor towards inculcating better understanding and acceptance of the concept by Malaysians in time to come,” Dr Mashitah said.