State contestations in constructions of 1Malaysia
Saying it different to different people
This article seeks to contribute to the existing body of knowledge about the relationship between political discourse and national identity. 1Malaysia, introduced in 2009 by Malaysia’s then newly appointed 6th Prime Minister Najib Razak, was greeted with expectation and concern by various segments of the Malaysian population. For some, it signalled a new inclusiveness that was to change the discourse on belonging. For others, it raised concerns about changes to the status quo of ethnic issues. Given the varying responses of society to the concept of 1Malaysia, an examination of different texts through the critical paradigm of CDA provide useful insights into how the public sphere has attempted to construct this notion. Therefore, this paper critically examines the Prime Minister’s early speeches as well as relevant chapters of the socioeconomic agenda, the 10th Malaysia Plan, to identify the referential and predicational strategies employed in characterising 1Malaysia. The findings suggest a notion of unity that appears to address varying issues.
- Ethnic categories in Malaysia
- Society’s contestations of state-led identity formation
- Anticipating 1Malaysia
- Opinion-editorials of a state-owned media
- The new economic model (NEM)
- Data, theory and method
- Discussion on findings
- Prime minister Najib Razak’s speeches
- Emphasising difference or ethnic identity
- Conclusion: 1Malaysia as a signifier of unity and change
This article is currently available as a sample article.