In pursuit of 1 Sri Lanka: Lessons from a Malaysian counterpart

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Yusuf, Salma (2013)
  • Publisher: UNISCI
  • Subject: L200 | M100

The quest for national unity has become a leadership challenge for successive leaders of both Malaysia and Sri Lanka. While the two countries record significant differences in contexts and background, the similarities are equally striking. The following is an article that is based on a two-country study undertaken by the author to unpackage and explore the "1Malaysia" Programme that was launched in 2009 following the election of Malaysian Prime Minister's, Tun Najib Razak into his first term in office. The author spent a two week resident attachment at the 1Malayisa Foundation in Malaysia in the summer of 2012 to study further the facets of the governance programme that had been formulated with the intention of resolving the ethnic tensions that have plagued Malaysia since it gained independence, or Merdeka. The purpose of the endeavour was three-fold: First, to identify and extract aspects of the 1Malaysia Programme as relevant to the Sri Lankan context so as to formulate a potential 1Sri Lanka programme that is cognizant of the variables at stake. Secondly, the article seeks to critique the already existent framework of the 1Malaysia Programme by providing recommendations for improvement where necessary. Third, to begin dialogue and deliberations on the rich learning and exchange that can be cultivated between the two countries by providing a framework for bilateral cooperation between the Governments of Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
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