Malaysia: Race-based power sharing coalition is here to stay?


July 6, 2018

Malaysia: Race-based power sharing  coalition is here to stay?

By Darshan Singh@www.freemalaysiatoday.com

“Whether we like it or not, Malaysia’s political fundamentals are anchored in a race-based power sharing ideology, thus race politics will stay and BN is an established structure to effectively serve that purpose. All that BN needs is to adopt a moderate and inclusive approach moving forward.”–Darshan Singh

Image result for umno barisan nasional and pakatan harapan

A lot has happened since May 9, when Malaysians decided to alter the political landscape of the country, electing a loosely formed coalition called Pakatan Harapan (PH) into government. A devastating blow landed on the once mighty UMNO-led Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition when, for the first time in over 60 years, it lost the mandate to rule.

Never had I thought that this would be possible in my lifetime. I expected BN to lose a couple more seats but to win the election as usual.

While the majority of non-Malays were expected to vote for the PH coalition, what surprised me was the fact that a sizeable percentage of the Malay electorate decided to ditch BN as well. Traditionally, the majority of the Malay population had voted for BN, fearing a loss of political power if they did otherwise. This trend was expected to continue but unfortunately this time, it didn’t. Dr Mahathir Mohamad had successfully provided the necessary comfort in assuring that Malay rights and privileges would continue to be protected even if BN was no longer in power. After all, it was Mahathir who had indoctrinated the concept of supremacy during his previous 22 years as prime minister.

It will be interesting to see if the Malay electorate continues to vote for PH post-Mahathir in GE-15.

Image result for UMNO Baru under Zahid Hamidi

UMNO Baru: More of the same racist politics under Dr. Achmed Zahid Hamidi from Pornorogo–Hidup Melayu

Personally, I think it was the inability of the former Prime Minister to offer any reasonable explanation for his alleged involvement in financial scandals which influenced the end result. It is a little far-fetched that BN did not expect to lose power, and even more amazing that the former Prime Minister was detached from ground realities.

Warning signs were all over that the people were disappointed and angry with the BN brand of politics, which was plagued by alleged corrupt practices and abuse of power and complete disregard for the principles of transparency, accountability and good governance. The only democratic value left was probably holding general elections on time.

True enough, with the seizure of hundreds of millions in cash and belongings from premises linked to the former Prime Minister, public perception on embezzlement is slowly becoming reality.

Since losing power, BN has been in disarray, desperately trying to recover from the shock election defeat. In such a situation, it does not help when one-time allies decide to jump ship and walk away with those who have newly acquired power. Effectively, there are only three parties left in the BN coalition, and at this point in time, it is not even certain if it will stay this way. There are obvious cracks visible even among its surviving members.

In reality, this election defeat should be viewed positively as an opportunity for BN to review its structure and ideology, correcting the mistakes of the past and emerging stronger. Being in the opposition can be useful to test the newly laid foundation which can be continuously improved until the next general election is called. People will surely appreciate an opposition which roars responsibly in Parliament.

Image result for  Zahid Hamidi

UMNO Baru’s Malay First President

Whether we like it or not, Malaysia’s political fundamentals are anchored in a race-based power sharing ideology, thus race politics will stay and BN is an established structure to effectively serve that purpose. All that BN needs is to adopt a moderate and inclusive approach moving forward.

The majority will continue to claim rights and privileges while the minority will scream racism. This will not change even if the odds are tilted in any other way as we are a selfish and racist society.

Darshan Singh is a FMT reader.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

 

2 thoughts on “Malaysia: Race-based power sharing coalition is here to stay?

  1. It is one thing a coalition is a race based power sharing construct. It is another thing when the nation’s conscience is forever tainted for her refusal to look into what was written in the Reid and Cobbald Commission. Such refusal will only lead the nation to always roll downhill. A pious Islamic party, for eg Amanah, could suggest that an Islamic nation should provide equality beyond race, except that Islam suggests nonMuslim pay a tax. But, it is entirely dishonest to hide the content of Reid and Cobbald Commission from the public. Constitution is a living document. If half of the Bumiputeras decide that a fair society makes a better society thru Constitutional Equality, let it be. If not, that is OK also. But, don’t make all Malays to be at fault for being dishonest about the content of Reid and Cobbald commission. A discontent 30% nonBumi Malaysians, because of a dream to create a Bangsa Malaysia with caste system is simply not a good rational model. That is so much to be thankful for so many Malays who has the goodness of the nation in mind in this past GE. But, it is another thing for a few in power to rob the Malay to decide the fate for a bangsa because one calculates that it is not individually beneficial to be honest. For many Amanah political leaders, and a few Christian MPs, like Hannah Yeoh, that dishonest calculation is just self defeating before one’s Tuhan.
    May the wisdom be with those has fairness in mind.

  2. These corrupt and self serving political parties and career politicians had been screwing the decent hardworking ordinary people for decades.

    Why is there a need to create a political party or any organisation solely to defend a ‘ race ‘ or religion? There are various law to protect an individual rights under the law.

    Unless one want to abuse and rort the system for self benefit and unfair advantage, forming a political grouping is one way.

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