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From Our Member Pusat KOMAS, Malaysia – Statement: Ethnic-Based Political Parties are not Relevant in Malaysia

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January 8, 2018

Ethnic-Based Political Parties are not Relevant in Malaysia

Pusat KOMAS is appalled by the views by certain quarters which stressed that ethnic-based political parties are still relevant in this country. We would like to reiterate that ethnic-based political parties are not and will not be relevant in the past, present or in the future.

It is essential to note that the establishment of ethnic-based political parties is a manifestation of the divide and rule policy which was used by colonial administrators in the past to maintain power. It is therefore imperative for any post-independent countries to reject and eliminate any forms of dangerous manifestations like racial politics to be practiced in our country.

This could be seen in nations which was established based on ethnic-based political parties’ ideologies, where weak state policies were developed just to favour a particular ethnic group. The development of such policies have inhibited the country from developing optimally in several angles be it, socially, politically and economically.

The statement made by Gerakan’s Party President, Mah Siew Keong, on 6th January 2018 as reported by Free Malaysia Today, stating that, “it is not time to dispose of race-based political outfits” was indeed alarming and disappointing. As a party which was established based on a multi-ethnic composition, Gerakan as a political party should have understood and embraced the importance of diversity and strongly championed for all political parties to be free from the narrow ethnic-centric thinking.

Unfortunately, the statement by Mah Siew Keong had provided a glimpse of the weak political situation and the lack of political will of political parties to find solutions for the needs of the people. Instead, they had resulted on the usage of racial politics in order to garner support from the people.

Pusat KOMAS would like to urge all parties, including the people and the political leaders to be aware and to understand that there is no place for any forms of racial politics in a multi-ethnic and religious country. It is now time for all parties to stop being apologetic for the past systematic errors; but, to instead be firm in championing inclusive politics in Malaysia.

Furthermore, as the 14th General Elections will be announced soon, Pusat KOMAS would like to remind all parties especially political leaders to stop the usage of racial politics as a means to garner support from the people.

As Malaysia aspires to be a developed nation, as it was highlighted in Vision 2020 and Transformasi Nasional 2050, it is now timely for all parties to work together in ensuring that our beloved nation is free and independent from any forms of racial colonization which is devastating for the nation.