Are the majority of Malays in Malaysia inherently racist?

Dr. Wong Chin Huat, speaking at a PAS organised conference, titled “National Race Empowerment Convention”, predicted that the Barisan Nasional (BN) will regain two-thirds of parliament if it maintains its recent by-election gains of Malay votes (i.e. a swing of between 5-7% away from Pakatan Rakyat, in a general election). His analysis is based on recent by-election results won by BN, mainly through Malay support for UMNO. Dr. Wong’s analysis is available at The Malaysian Insider:

PR has seen a decline in Malay support since July 2009, when a by-election in the 99 per cent Malay seat of Manek Urai, Kelantan saw a previous 1,352-vote majority in the PAS stronghold drop to a wafer-thin 65.

Malays continued to swing towards Barisan Nasional (BN) in subsequent polls, from around seven to 10 per cent, allowing the ruling coalition to grab Hulu Selangor and Galas from PR.

The most recent by-election in Tenang, Johor, saw PR fail to make any headway among the mainly Felda Malays as BN swept over 83 per cent of Malay votes to increase its majority by over 1,200 votes.

Of course, this is a win for the Malay supremacists within UMNO. These supremacists (led by Mahathir Mohamed and Ibrahim Ali) have taken very hard stances and taken race-relations to the breaking point. It is the cool-headed response (either driven by cowardice or pragmatism) of the non-Muslims and the Muslims in PAS and PKR that have kept the nation stable.

This win for the Malay supremacists in UMNO has no doubt put pressure on the Malay Muslim majority parties within the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) — namely Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) — hence this conference. How the PR leadership decides will determine if Malaysia continues to be dominated by racist politics and policies.

No doubt, there are many within PR and within an increasingly strong civil society, such as the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM), that are fighting tooth and nail, to stop the destructive course that Malaysia is taking.

Correction: 21/02/2011

Dr. Wong Chin Huat has made the following statement:

For the record, I did not say BN to regain two-thirds with 5pc Malay swing. I said only 5% swing. I warned PAS and PR not to alienate the middle ground voter. I reminded them of the counter-intuitive consequence: the desertion of Chinese will hurt PKR and PAS more than DAP. I concluded that the answer for PAS’ survival and raison detre is to be an Islamic democratic party, a voice for all conservative Malaysians.

A video of Dr. Wong’s presentation at the PAS organised “National Race Empowerment Convention” (in Bahasa Malaysia) is available at the link below. In this presentation he argues that PAS should be the political party that champions the conservative values of all Malaysians.

Watch the video here. A power point presentation titled PAS Future in Bahasa Malaysia is also available here.