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Yes Change Must Come From The Malays But The Chinese Must Stay United And Exert The Right Influence

 The following is adapted from an interview with Prof James Chin by The Malaysianist.



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Malaysian politics noisier than usual but going nowhere fast

pandemic-induced recession with thousands unemployed in its wake

James Chin, director of the Asia Institute, University of Tasmania.

JAMES: For 1st two years PH did try to create a new political norm

from 2000 onward BN becoming more Malay-centric (ketuanan Melayu)

ketuanan Melayu Islam because of PAS

Many forget Bersatu’s DNA is essentially Umno – it is a breakaway 

Dr Mahathir suddenly resigned as prime minister 

March 1, Muhyiddin replaced him.

Muhyiddin reverted to the old order, Malay and Islam-centric 

we’re back to BN in 2018, basically ketuanan Melayu Islam

we have gone a complete circle

Malay community sending strong signal, “We want the old political order” 

In other words Malays in charge.

What happened to PH was by design, not accident

NEP tells Malays they are the chosen ones

Malay-first policy

never been such a thing as Malay unity

Malays have always been split among themselves

no such thing as a common Malay political culture.

there’s no such thing as Malay unity

I have always argued that it is a myth

Bersatu, Umno, PAS – who gets what.

how to divide the seats? 

120 seats in rural Malay areas 

Bersatu does not stand chance in urban areas

they stand to gain very little in mixed seats

their rice bowl will be core Malay areas

Umno also after same demographics

for every seat that goes to Bersatu, Umno will lose out

northern Malay states, Umno and PAS both chasing same seats 

if you are outside parliament, no one takes you seriously.

if you want change in Malaysia, must be the Dewan Rakyat 

more importantly, change will have to come from the Malays

It cannot come from the non-Malays

non-Malay NGOs are not going anywhere

Malays must be very clear whether they like it or not, Malaysia is multiracial 

Malaysia becoming more Malay because demography changing 

rapid pace of urbanisation

Malay population increasingly urban

Malays have to resolve what sort of country do they want Malaysia to be.

Do they want old Umno ketuanan Melayu

or current model of ketuanan Melayu Islam

or kepimpinan Melayu or Malay leadership

successful countries have clear identity, clear idea of what they want to be

In Malaysia, we never had this

since 1970s terminal tension between Malays and non-Malays

conflict has taken life of its own and covered every other issue

racial card will come up, and we can’t move forward 

number one thinking is not defining Malaysia’s identity

number one thinking is how to win next election 

and, for Umno, how to get rid of Bersatu

non-Malays increasingly being marginalised 

in cabinet, only one Chinese minister

Bersatu-Umno-PAS project themselves as Malay-centric 

Budget 2021 for the Malays

DAP will still do well.

DAP will keep all 42 seats and maybe gain additional mixed seats

Amanah will do very badly

PKR will lose half their seats

Malay ground has shifted so much to the right 

PKR’s moderate Malaysia or moderate Malay leadership not selling 

moderation, is dead at the present 

for now it’s all about ketuanan Melayu and ketuanan Melayu Islam.

Muhyiddin will cut a deal with Umno to make sure he stays in power.

senior Umno members don’t like Anwar. They don’t trust him.

non-Malay — mostly Chinese and Indian — votes will still go to DAP 

Chinese will continue to support DAP 

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