20
Oct
09

a08018inclusiveness

 

INCLUSIVENESS

“inclusiveness” is a much-used word these days. Lest the word becomes just another cliche or slogan, we should try to understand its meaning and implications more clearly.

Put simply it means “the act of including or embracing all sections of society or a party”. It implies among other things “the generosity of spirit, compassion and understanding” one shows in dealing with people who are not part of one’s immediate group.   

In his inaugural address, the UMNO President specifically calls for a new inclusiveness in the party spirit. He urges the Malay political party to embrace the other ethnic groups in its plans and strategies. While remaining true to its original cause of championing Malay interests, UMNO can afford to be more generous true to the spirit of 1 Malaysia. In handling the Malay cause itself, UMNO can be less exclusive and consider the aspirations of the other Malays in the country. 

For too long the UMNO members have considered Malay interests to be their sole prerogative. Throughout its history UMNO has given itself the monopoly over the Malay cause, often putting aside the efforts of the other Malay groups. It was as though UMNO alone cared if the Malays languished or prospered!

While this is an effective political strategy to maintain UMNO’s standing, more and more it is proving to be ineffective in rallying support from the electorate who see the UMNO club as being too exclusive, its members as being too arrogant and self-serving.

To translate the President’s call for greater inclusiveness, UMNO members must extend their hand to the greater community – to the other Malays and the other ethnic groups – for greater collaborative efforts. The interests of the Malays or any of the other ethnic groups are nobody’s monopoly but their own. We decide what we want for ourselves and we strive to make it work. This is the strength and the conviction that must be imbibed in and by all Malaysians.

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