By John Grafilo, dpa

Ethnic politics at heart of GE13 campaign

In multiracial Malaysia, ethnic Malays get priority in admission to schools, preference in government jobs, and a discount when buying a house.

These privileges were originally intended to be temporary, until Malays attained economic parity with other races. Affirmative action is popular with Malays - a lot of political effort goes into defending and extending them - but they are not vote winners with other races.