Sunday, 1 February 2009

Stop Racial Politics in Malaysia!

At Independence, the “Alliance formula” was a racial formula in the first place. The elite in the respective racial parties operated as champions of their race while paying lip service to national unity. I believe in having mono-ethnic parties it can’t be serious about wanting national unity. I strongly believe we need a Race Relations Act and a Race Relations Commission and its first recommendation should be to ban mono-ethnic political parties.

Months ago, in the 12th General Election, Malaysians defied common stereotypes in casting their votes. Malays voted for the Democratic Action Party(DAP); non-Malays, voted for PAS. Parti Keadilan Rakyat, long upheld as yet another in a long-line of Malay-inclusive multiracial parties that were sure to fail, became the second-largest party in Parliament. Many commentators trumpeted the beginning of the end for racial politics in Malaysia. It was clear from the results of the last general election that voters did not like racial politics.

Just compare with our poorer neighbor, Indonesia, with its 80 percent Muslim population, which is committed to a secular, plural polity embracing its Christian, Hindu and Buddhist minorities. If then can India be a “Hindu Nation”? 80.5% (800 million) of Hindus are currently in India. But they won’t carry out such policies to destroy the unity among it's citizen. Some local politicians are calling Malaysia as “Islamic Nation” with only almost 60% of Muslim around.

Some politicians are misusing the religion and race issues and sentiments into politics to gain support. The racial politics should have been abolished and multiracial party politics allowed to be proactive in local politics arena. It’s important to stay on track in order to compete with other developing nations.

It’s better late than never!

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