The inevitability of race-based politics — Boo Su-Lyn

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY BOO SU-LYN

A Creative Commons image

A Creative Commons image

SEPTEMBER 30 ― So it has come to this ― we now face the possibility of an utterly polarised country after over half a century of race-based politics.

Both the opposition and Barisan Nasional’s (BN) predominantly Chinese component parties ― MCA, Gerakan and SUPP ― have expressed concern that the electoral redelineation exercise apparently promotes racial segregation.

According to news portal Malaysiakini who analysed the change of racial composition in Selangor state seats, the redelineation exercise will lead to a drop in racially mixed seats as there will be an increase in seats where Malays either form a “large majority” (60 to 79.9 per cent) or a “small minority” (less than 20 per cent). The same goes for the Chinese. But the representation of Indian voters reportedly remains more or less the same.

Although both Malay and Chinese voters will be polarised, Malaysiakini reported that Malay representation would be increased overall as they would mostly now comprise the “large majority” in seats, while the Chinese would now generally comprise the “small minority.”

It’s no wonder then that BN’s component parties are worried about the redelineation exercise ― they fear getting less seats to contest, besides losing the ones with a large Chinese majority based on voting patterns in the 13th general election. It’s unlikely that the Chinese voters’ anti-establishment sentiment will change much in the next elections. Read more