Malaysia's Election and the Ethnic Divide

Sharia in three states now? The moderate face of Islam? Malaysia has always prided itself as a country that provides a showcase for living together. It seems that a lot of the minorities are getting pissed off with UMNO’s affirmative action programs, which favor the majority Malays.

The same thing could be said about Singapore. A lot of Malays were lazy and incompetent in the workplace. Friendly as hell, but in a nation state built on competitiveness, you could easily see the differences between the Chinese majority and the Malay minority in terms of work ethics. However, the Malays were almost untouchable. I could see the Chinese bosses getting impatient with them, but they just couldn’t do anything. Every employer has mandated quotos they have to keep, and the government is extra sensitive when it comes to the Malays. It knows that the island is completely surrounded by countries with a Muslim majoirty.

Interesting to see that the Chinese and Indian minorities in Malaysia are getting restless with the government’s majority-targeted affirmative action programs.

I’m curious to see how UMNO deals with Badawi’s poor showing at the next UMNO conference. I wonder if Mathahir (who Badawi has been on poor terms with) will emerge from his retirement to say anything.

UMNO shot itself in the foot with their vocal wish of reinstating NEP. The 2003 removal of university quota systems in favour of Malays also has not changed the reality on the ground. Brain drain continues to happen.

Yeah, I think the affirmative-action educational system in Malaysia (particularly in terms university placement and scholarship allotment) is highly unfair to the Chinese and Indian minorities. For scholarships, Chinese students have to get in the 80s or 90s, while the Malays only need to get marks in the 60s. Furthermore, many of the Malay students, away from their kampung and support network for the first time, often feel very dislocated when they go overseas for some of these scholarships. They often find solice in their religion and sometimes a radical variant of it.



I’m pondering whether Sharia will be extended in the three states now. That is why I put a question mark at the end of the statement. As you know (you stated before that you were once a Malaysian expat), the PAS has had varying degrees of success implementing sharia in certain Malaysian states.


the PAS has publicly stated its intent to instate what it claims to be sharia law, including the full range of criminal laws, such as the death penalty for apostasy (murtad) only applied for Muslims that convert to another religion, but has so far been stymied in a court battle…Moves by PAS to extend the already implemented sharia laws, such as by limiting the sale of alcoholic beverage, forbidden to Muslims, and a ban on gambling. In 1999 the Terengganu Government passed the Hudud and Qisas bill which drew much opposition. [/quote]

Well, the financial markets don’t like the election results. … refer=home

I see. Sofar they haven’t been successful (they had one state before, Kelantan) and I believe as long as they don’t have a majority in parliament they may not be able to do so as it requires a 2/3 majority to change the constitution (UMNO still holds more than 60%).

Well they might be 'slamo-fascists, but at least they almost made the trains run on time! :laughing:


Well they might be 'slamo-fascists, but at least they almost made the trains run on time! :laughing:


Sounds like you are fond of the old recalcitrant. :wink:

Hey, that just translates badly, apparently!


The government has always presented racial harmony as one of its major achievements, but obviously it’s just a thin veneer.

In Malaysia last year, I had an Indian taxi driver complaining about the Chinese controlling the economy, and a Chinese taxi driver ranting for about an hour about government corruption and about Malay criminals getting the soft treatment from the authorities.

As chewy pointed out I lived there for several years and it was always my impression that the different races only tolerated each other, not that they respected or even liked each other.
The privileges for the Malays should have been removed a long time ago, but anyone raising the issue there commits (political) suicide.