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YOURSAY| New PM’s penultimate task is to rebuild trust and goodwill

YOURSAY | ‘Counter race and religious propaganda with proper MCMC.’

COMMENT | A divided electorate: Preliminary analysis on ethnic voting

VP Biden: Votes have been counted, statistics have been presented here, next question on everyone’s mind will be ‘why’. The answer is out there. Go and watch the countless videos out there on YouTube and other social media prior to the general election.

The standard message from Perikatan Nasional (PN) to the electorate was the same. The 22 months rule of Pakatan Harapan, DAP insulted Malays, Islam, and the Malay royalty, nothing else.

That narrative was carried by influencers and star PN personalities. Here, Harapan lost the social media war (lesson learnt hopefully). A lot of propaganda spewed by PN could have been countered by facts but was not.

Harapan kept to their standard template, not agile enough to respond to the DAP bashing. This narrative is going to continue, unfortunately. The electorate didn't question how PN especially Bersatu, with not much grassroots support (which rides on the coattails of PAS) was awash with so much money for the election.

The most important position in the new government is the Multimedia and Communications Ministry (MCMC). A strong, formidable, no-nonsense minister is needed to counter the race and religious narrative that is going to come.

Forget about solely concentrating on 5G like the previous minister (DAP’s Gobind Singh). Use the ministry's infrastructure to disseminate correct information and kill off the race and religious narrative with legislation as well.

Think long-term. Start today, not three months before the elections. We are not a mature democracy yet, unfortunately.

Silau: Only 11 percent of the Malays voted for Harapan, 94 percent Chinese and 83 percent Indians did so. Yes, most of us voted along racial lines. Therein lies this clarion call for national unity. Yes, so much can be done, but there's no guarantee we'll not be back to square one in the near future.

Like many others realise, the key factor in fact is equitability. Thus, efforts must be made by the current government to put in place an equitable framework in all aspects of the everyday life of all Malaysians. Not only in the composition of race in government offices but especially in private sectors, like sports, for example.

The government should introduce policies that will inculcate the successful virtues of enterprising spirit, creativity and frugality (so they do not remain the domain of the Chinese only) and the Chinese must be sincere enough in helping others acquire these virtues too.

Notwithstanding this, the other key solution is education. Malaysians must go to the same school. Full stop. Schools provide the most ideal environment for the young and impressionable to socialise, hence teaching them the virtues of respect, empathy, sharing and caring regardless of race, creed, and colour.

Thus, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim must appoint a credible minister competent enough to revamp our education system to make it inclusive and robust for the success of our future generations.

Orange Jaguar 9341: It is no surprise that PN's voter base was almost exclusively Malay. Their campaign, like their governance, intentionally indulged and inflamed the Malays, having discarded the non-Malays as unimportant.

While Harapan lost Malay votes to PN, they had the lion's share of the non-Malay vote. Here is one trend that is heartening. Non-Malays enthusiastically voted for Malay Harapan candidates.

In that sense, I'm not sure if it's true to say that Malaysians vote increasingly along ethnic lines. Perhaps it is a certain demographic that votes ethnically.

Anecdotally, my Chinese-speaking neighbourhood friends were eagerly and boisterously bragging about the Malay candidates in our constituency and elsewhere. Many shed tears of joy when our PM10 was confirmed. I find hope in this.

Db56f03b: I appreciate that these are just preliminary findings. One important point is the reason behind the shift in the Malay vote from BN to PN.

I would gather it was because of the Malay disillusion with the level of corruption and the major scandals prominent Umno politicians have been involved in. So the Malays chose a cleaner alternative, hence the rise in votes for PN, whilst remaining suspicious of the DAP component in Harapan.

Coward: The shift away from corruption is what I thought, particularly with the very bad performance on certain seats.

However, academic Bridget Welsh's analysis shows that only 10 percent moved away from voting Umno. This meant it is other factors. That's not reassuring.

AnotherKomentar: Malaysians continue to see each other through the prism of race and religion. Elections reveal the fractured society and divided nation.

A Malaysia tearing each other apart and moving in the opposite direction is unsustainable and leads only to future turmoil and bigger troubles.

Anwar’s penultimate contribution as the PM is to rebuild trust and goodwill between Malay-Muslims with non-Malays in Peninsular Malaysia.

Regrettably, Anwar should not expect much goodwill and reciprocity from the very politicians who want a divided nation to achieve their political objectives.

Melvin: The demographic reality is that Malays will grow as a percentage of the country's population. No party can hold a strong voter base without broad enough appeal to Malay voters, especially in rural areas. Even electoral reforms to make constituency sizes more equal will not change this reality.

On the bright side, when Malays are 70 percent or 80 percent of the country, there's a chance that racialism in politics can be reduced as the size of minorities would be now much smaller and fears of splitting the Malay vote can be reduced.

Perhaps then, we'll see more policy-based competition. One can but hope.

GreenCheetah0027: Thank you, academic Bridget Welsh. Your macro dissection of this general election regarding ethnicity looks to me consistent with the situation on the ground.

It is a loud alarm bell to Malaysians that the country is breaking apart and breaking down along ethnic lines and by extension, religious lines. We have numerous examples from other countries about how things will end up. Malaysia needs to reverse the trend.

Of course, we can look at Anwar and company and say this is their job, and we are yet to see if they realise the gravity of this problem and know how to deal with it.

But ordinary Malaysians have a much bigger role to play. There needs to be a change of mindset; one that preserves one’s own ethnicity but with the courage to actively accept other's ethnicity (and religion). I'm not going to go into detail about this today.

At the political level, DAP needs to do some soul-searching. How does it stop others from making it a political bogeyman? It is easy for DAP and supporters, as usual, to blame others, but the problem will not go away.

In fact, the problem will get much worse from here on. A change of mindset and the courage to change course is needed. We have, at most, five years to pull Malaysia back from the brink.


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