August 25, 2013
Malaysia under Prime Minister Najib: Only SLOGANS
Happy Birthday Malaysia
August 25, 2013
MY COMMENT: Mr Hussin, I would like to support your idea that we should be positive about this “Endless Possibilities” campaign and regard it as an effort to brand our nation. 1Malaysia was a brand too, although it is not an original idea.
In the 1980s when I was with Sime Darby in Singapore, the Government there had a national day theme song, One People, One Nation, One Singapore and went on to create a united Singapore. Israel too had a similar campaign and now they have this EP concept. Don’t forget Altantuya’s Mongolia. What has become of Najib’s 1Malaysia? It is a sham. We are today very divided along lines of race and religion.
Both Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah had their share of slogans. Slogans are meaningless. Hiding behind slogans, Tun Mahathir, for example, destroyed the civil service, subdued the Judiciary, humiliated our Rulers, and weakened other institutions of governance. He created an all powerful Executive Branch and subjugated our Parliament. So, you cannot blame Malaysians for being cynical.
I for one would like to see this government get down to managing our economy, fighting rampant corruption and crime, and stopping those who use race and religion for political ends. Let us in stead celebrate our rich diversity; let us recognise the contributions and sacrifices of all Malaysians, irrespective of race, religion and creed, and let us galvanise our creativity and talent to build a truly united nation. To achieve this goal, we need an enlightened and responsible leadership. That is what is lacking today. Slogans won’t help.–Din Merican
Malaysia Branded with Endless Possibilities
by Rahman Hussin
Nation branding is becoming increasingly important as countries compete for a share of the world’s consumers, tourists, exports, investors and the ever important talents.
Much ado has been said at the recent unveiling and leaked national campaign undertaken by PM Najib’s Administration, “Endless Possibilities”. Meme, jokes and ridiculed follow suit since then with many taking it to social media to air their grievances that the campaign was another sloganeering effort with no real substance.But is it without substance? Is the act of ridiculing justified?
“Endless Possibilities” or EP for short is a nation branding campaign aimed at not only attracting tourism but also expanding the Malaysian brand into various sectors including business, culture, lifestyle and sports.
In short, nation branding is an effort to infuse the values that we Malaysians take pride in and expanding them into other facets of the country to ultimately create an edge in the global arena.
While not arguing about whether the slogan and tagline used in this campaign is a result of masterful word wizardry, I would like to invite everyone to take a step back.
I believe that more important than finding the answer is to ask the right question. Thus, I pose this to the esteemed readers of this website, instead of arguing and asking about who has first dips on the slogan, shouldn’t we instead focus on finding ways to galvanise Malaysians to partake in this national effort to create a Malaysia brand.
The Future Brand Country Brand Index (CBI) report 2012-2013 puts Malaysia at the 36th place in terms of country brand rankings and the same report also listed Malaysia amongst the future 15 nations that will be tomorrow’s leading country brands.
By my account, I think it’s timely that we embark on this nation branding effort today. No country has done this before you say? In the same report, our neighbour down south is amongst the 25 top country brands in the world, together with the likes of Sweden, Denmark and The United Kingdom. Not only that, it has also won praises in its leaders single minded effort to undertake nation branding effort.
Now that we have established that other nations are doing it too, shouldn’t we instead find ways to contribute to “Endless Possibilities”?
While I am suggesting that we support EP, I am also against supporting in blind faith.Moving forward, as a concern citizen of this country, I am pushing for greater transparency in our nation branding effort.
Details such as cost and benefit analysis must be made available. On top of that, any engagement and discourse to explain EP must be undertaken and it has to be as inclusive as possible. Let us not feel that we have been excluded in the roll out of this nation’s branding campaign.
Let’s go beyond the slogan, rhetoric and the divisive politics that has reared its ugly head post GE 13.EP’s essence is reflected in the drive towards achievement against all odds, backed by belief that we have what it takes to get there.
Looking back, this country has demonstrated time and again, our ability to emerge resilient after financial, political and health crisis. We’ve learnt and matured from our prior challenges and are now well on our way to realise Vision 2020.
I urged the good people of this country to hold back just a little until the official launch of the nation’s branding exercise, “Endless Possibilities” and suspend our judgment. After all, aren’t we all a courteous lot who pride ourselves in our ability and intellect to make sound judgment after deducing all the fact?
Until the facts are out there, any analysis and induction of the campaign remains a hypothesis, a guess at best. Again, until all the facts are out there, the best we all can come up with are “endless” guesses.
* Rahman Hussin reads The Malaysian Insider.