The racial tipping point

It’s April Fool’s Day today and after three cheeky posts, it’s time for some serious discussion. This afternoon, I came across this article by Neville Spykerman called Putrajaya says third vote will cause racial imbalance. As such, I thought I’d write about the racial tipping point this evening.

Excerpt from the article:

The Najib administration rejects the proposal to hold local government elections as it will cause a racial imbalance, Deputy Minister Of Housing and Local Government Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin said today.

He reiterated that the government had considered all social and economic factors before rejecting appeals from the Pakatan Rakyat governments of Penang and Selangor to restore the third vote.

“Most non-Muslims live in the cities while the Bumiputras are in the outskirts. There will be an imbalance in racial representation in local governments, if elections are held,” Lajim told reporters in Parliament today, adding there was also financial and manpower considerations to reject such elections.

He added the current system was adequate and did not hinder democracy because the public could vote every five years for their MPs and state lawmakers.

Earlier last months the Penang, followed by the Selangor government had asked the Election Commission (EC) to restore local elections, which had been suspended in 1965.

Restoring the third vote, was a Pakatan Rakyat (PR) election promise prior to the last general elections but the idea had been shot down by the EC, which said laws to hold such elections had already been abolished.

Lajim added state governments had the authority to select councillors and could appoint those who they feel can represent the public in local governments.

“The Penang, Selangor and Kedah PR state governments can appoint who they wish.” Click HERE to read more.

The argument advocated in the report above does not seem to hold water because regardless of whether it is local elections or general elections, it is still the same people who are voting. If they can vote in a general election, why can’t they vote in a local election? We have lived with differences in racial representation at federal and state levels so it is nothing new and my guess is that few ever raised this issue. There are regional differences in the racial distribution of our country and that is something we cannot change. Now what we can change is the way we look at one another.