This is classic Malaysia. Once upon a time we started to produce our own local car with the help of Japanese second grade technology. When the car was not able to compete with other better foreign imports, we had to introduce an import control through the issuance of Approved Permits so that Malaysians did not have a choice but to buy the 'cheaper' local cars.
Ironically, some Ali Babas who were privileged enough to be given a bundle of free APs started to get entrepreneurial and used these APs to import other foreign make and try to localize them. Soon, the local car maker's existence and market share was threatened by these 'localized' foreign imports.
Once upon a time, we started to produce our own mobile phones and the manufacturer had wanted the government to impose a similar import restriction against foreign competitors. It was proposed that APs should be required to import foreign made mobile phones. Luckily, the proposal did not get very far.
The 1sekolah proponents are adopting the same mentality. In order to promote the national schools, they have called for the abolishment of the more popular Tamil and Chinese vernacular primary schools. They have accused these schools as a cause and cancer to the society's social harmony.
When the main stream media was troubled by the flourishing alternative media players, the same kind of modus operandi was applied. Close them down, take action against bloggers and the use of other harsh treatments.
When politicians have lost their mandate to rule, they too resort to the same old tested formula of trying to eliminate their opponents through the same means - use force and access to coercive legal instruments to achieve their end goal.
Yes, we rather destroy and point our fingers blaming others than trying to learn how to compete with our competitors.
Why can't our local car makers learn how to become world's beaters if Korean car makers which had faced serious negative quality perception can overcome all odds to occupy two out of ten spots as the biggest car producers in the world?
Why can't our mobile phone maker make a similar technological leap and become a successful regional player when phone companies in China can achieve record breaking results in less than 5 years? Do we realise that a number of Motorola patents and new models were created by Malaysian engineers based in Penang?
It was a fact that the enrolment of English medium schools outstripped both the Tamil and Chinese vernacular schools before these schools were nationalized in 1971? Up till today, most non-Malay parents still prefer to send their children to English speaking nations to pursue their tertiary education.
Hence, what was the main reason most non-Malay parents found the national schools as undesirable? They were not confident that these schools were able to meet the learning aspiration of their children. Simple. Nothing racial.
Similarly, why can't the main stream media learn how to compete with the alternative media which are not as well funded? If the nexus between political parties and the main stream media can be severed, there should not be a problem for it to compete for readership by producing fair and accurate reporting.
Why can't politicians compete for support through their ability to govern fairly, transparently and professionally? Why can't politicians respect the rule of law and the rule of a true democracy where people's mandate hold supreme?
Malaysians need to change our mindset and learn how to compete and compete fairly. I have given some examples here but I am sure you can find out more examples to identify the kind of mindset I was trying to point out.
Can 1Malaysia change this mindset?