Fuhh.. at present Malaysia has various kinds of fever:
1) H1N1 fever (please observe the way you cough and sneeze ya.. before someone gets a shout on the face for coughing or sneezing in front of people's face)
2) Bazaar Ramadhan fever (sila control selera anda. Perut anda bukan tong)
3) Shopping raya fever (baju kurung chiffon kat SACC RM1k! Are you crazy?)
4) Matta Fair fever (oklah, ni KL je)
and finally, the best fever ever - 1Malaysia fever (iyolah kau)
(actually I felt a little jealous of Faizal Tahir & co. for getting that RM25k fortune out of that 1Malaysia promo.. if only I write songs too.. haha. Tapi nasib baik Siti tak menang. Kuikuikui..)
Speaking about the spirit of 1Malaysia, I personally have been practicing it (without being pushed to do so!) since I was 5, that was when I moved to Alam Megah, and began to have friends of different races.
My first friend in the neighborhood was a Chinese boy. His name was Hock Seng. I can still recall, how I really enjoyed Chinese New Year, because we would fill our evening, together with my siblings, with playing firecrackers a few days before CNY. His family was equally friendly too. Then, when I stepped into kindergarten, my circle of Chinese and Indian friends grew. Some of them, I met them again when I stepped into secondary school. It was really fun back then. Every CNY, Raya or Deepavali would mean "it's time for beraya for us schoolmates!" Mandarin oranges, marukus and capatis and nasi impit.. everyone loved it.
Even language was not the barrier. In fact, we tried to learn a bit of Tamil and Cantonese. Those who excelled in English always made the effort to lend a hand to other classmates who wished to learn. Of course, when the exam seasons were around the corner, we became competitive, trying to outshine one another. We gauged each other's competency, and by knowing that, we doubled our efforts to do better. But we shared the mistakes we did in the exams, because in the end, it was the 'A' percentage of the class that mattered to us. We wanted to do better than our seniors. And yes, we did it.
Speaking of religion, we talked about everything. Why Muslims have to fast; the differences between Catholics and Protestants; the significance of cow in Hinduism, popular gods and goddesses of Buddhism (remember the series 'Journey to the West'?). Yet, we managed to observe the way we approach things between different races and religions. I totally felt the 'muhibah' atmosphere.
What I am trying to say is, even though the advertisements and promotions of 1Malaysia are heavily conducted, the possibility for 1Malaysia to be institutionalized inside everyone's mind and heart is slim if it is never felt nor experienced. I am not sure if the hearsay that says rifts among races are agonizing spreads purely on political purpose (disregarding what happened in Shah Alam). Politicians must remember, that one of their roles is to facilitate improvements, not scaring the public with free, baseless comments. I suppose, if more news on interracial well-being is publicized, perhaps it could motivate the readers to take it as a good societal example.
Another challenge for 1Malaysia to be implemented is that each race must understand the other races and their sensitivities. For example, caning of the Muslim model who consumed alcohol. Though for other races, it may be looked at as a severe prosecution for a woman, but it is a prosecution based on the religion. Therefore, other races must understand that the issue should totally be contained within the religious parameters only; not to be a polemic. Another good example is of course, the cow-head thingy. I suppose objections can be made in a more civilized and sensitive way. The action of putting the cow head to be displayed as such evidently showed that too little sensitivity is taken into consideration when the mind is in resentment.
But of course, intra racial harmony should be observed too~ (Malay neighbor vs Malay neighbor? A common eyesight I suppose. Sg Buloh Country Resort is the best example, haha. Siap nak berparang lagi.. gile.)
P/s: Tapi rasa pelik la bila dengar orang cakap "Salam 1Malaysia!". Ala-ala poyo pun ada jugak. Haha.