Ibrahim Ali: Racial Politics Future of Malaysian Politics

By Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, 1 AUGUST, 2010: Race-based politics will remain the bedrockof Malaysian politics as long as Malaysia is known as a state-nation not a nation-state, said Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) president Datuk Ibrahim Ali.

He said Malaysia being a country with plural ethnicity unlike Japan, Korea or Germany, still needed its politics to be structured according to racial grouping.

“For example, Umno still has the role to represent the majority of Malays, MCA the majority of Chinese and MIC the same for Indians,” he said at the 4th Annual Malaysian Student Leaders Summit 2010 forum entitled “The Malaysian Political Mindset: Will Politics of Ideology Trump That of Race?”, here today.

“For as long as Malaysia is still a state-nation with transformation and evolution requiring decades to come, the politics of ideology may find it difficult to trump this arrangement,” he said at the forum, which included two other panellists, Umno Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin and PAS Member of Parliament for Shah Alam, Khalid Samad.

Khairy said that although the politics of ideology should replace racial politics, the reality was far different from what Malaysians wished it to be.

“While many of us here want to have politics of ideology, the majority of Malaysians do not think so. The mind-share is there but it is not enough,” he said.

The two-day summit which opened yesterday and carrying the theme “Our Malaysia, Charting the Way Forward”, was organised by the United Kingdom and Eire Council for Malaysian Students (UKEC).

Some 350 Malaysian tertiary students and graduates from local and foreign universities participated in the summit.