Building on the foundation of our nation, a set of common values is needed to make 1Malaysia a reality. All 8 values of 1Malaysia are paramount in our collective efforts to add values to Malaysia as a developing nation. No one single value can be imbued without the other in order for 1Malaysia to truly take shape. These are values that have been inculcated among Malaysians for many years, and cut across race, language and religion.

In order to transform and take Malaysia to greater heights of success and achievement, there is one overarching value which will ensure that Malaysia is on the right trajectory - Culture of Excellence.

Meritocracy, precision and performance-based leadership are some of the subsets related to Culture of Excellence. All of these are essential in transforming ourselves into a nation that emphasises on quality and excellence in everything that we do; transforming and taking Malaysia to greater heights.  

The second key value of 1Malaysia is a mainstay for all nations that have survived challenging periods in their history. Hence, the significance of perseverance as a value that all Malaysians must develop and nurture is tremendous, particularly in present times.

Perseverance is in overcoming the challenges that we face both as an individual and as a nation. It is the fighting spirit that does not allow us to give up in the face of adversity. As a nation, we have faced many crises before in our history. Whether it’s the financial crisis, whether it’s against the communists or in light of tragedies that caught us off-guard as a nation. Each time we have persevered through the crises and emerge stronger as a nation. All that has been achieved because we’ve been able to put our minds to it. We’ve worked hard and we’ve always been able to persevere against the odds and eventually prove the sceptics wrong.  

Humility is an important trait to have. It is a trait that is much appreciated by our community, especially our traditional society. To be humble is not merely the act of being modest and we must not think of ourselves as better than others simply due to our differences.

Being humble is also about having the understanding that we, as Malaysians, need to accept each other’s differences. Our diversity has always been the bond that binds us together and we should use it to our advantage. Humility is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.  

Loyalty is important as it is a cornerstone of trust and it is important that we, as a nation, stay loyal to each other, to help us move forward together as a nation. As Malaysians, we should be loyal to our country, ready to give back to the nation when needed.

However, loyalty is not a standalone value. It should be coupled with ability. Loyalty without performance and ability will not be adequate. 

There’s a big difference between tolerance and acceptance. Acceptance indicates a state of mind that accepts something positively. It is important for us to migrate from the concept of mere tolerance to acceptance.

We must not be weighed down by any negative pre-conceived notions and must be willing to look at the best the person can offer for Malaysia to flourish as a nation. We have to get the best of the Malays, the best of the Chinese, the best of the Indians, the best of the others and mould them together so that collectively we’ll be much bigger than the sum of the individuals. The limits are not set because of your ethnic background. The limits are set because of your own personal abilities and belief in yourself. 

Meritocracy is not only a noble principle, but also a necessary principle for us to propel Malaysia forward towards greater heights.

If you reward people on the basis that they are the best, whether it’s the best man for the job or the best company to get a contract, then people realise that they have to be at that level. Meritocracy is a necessary ingredient to maximise the potential of Malaysia.  

Integrity completes this set of eight values and is a key tool in ensuring promises are kept and principles are upheld. Once we are able to deliver what is promised and be more transparent and open with others, we will have built a solid foundation for trust as a nation.

The vision of 1Malaysia is to have a Malaysia to be a nation whose people have enriched their lives through the pursuit and positive application of knowledge. A life-long education process that takes place in and outside of the classroom will produce Malaysians who are able to think and act less selfishly – and more for the community in which they live.

Education and knowledge are important prerequisites for any nation to succeed and throughout history, we have realised that the only empires that have survived are the empires of the mind, particularly in the present context.  

An empire built on military strength alone has never survived and cannot survive. So when we talk about education and knowledge, it must be seen in a holistic context. It must be integrated with values as well. We must have a society that places education and knowledge at the apex of everything.  

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