Why are the Chinese so unhappy with Putrajaya?


(MMO) – Malaysia’s Chinese and other minority ethnic groups have grown more disillusioned with Putrajaya over recent years, analysts said, owing to a general belief that the country’s leaders have alienated them in their quest to stay ahead in the political game.

This was reflected in the public opinion survey by independent pollster Merdeka Center released last week, which showed a dip in happiness felt by the Chinese towards the government in January this year.

But according to observers, the results from the polls were far from surprising as Chinese support, they pointed out, has been on a steady decline for at least the past decade.

“Minorities, including those in Sabah, are very concerned at how the Malay ruling elite has been behaving,” Merdeka Center’s director Ibrahim Suffian said.

Ibrahim said the growing influence of the federal opposition in recent years has created greater competitive fervour in the political game, forcing leaders in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) to resort to “all sorts of things” to shore up support, including embarking on measures that have driven a wedge between the races.

“But bringing up race and religion is a foil to distract people from economic problems. Most Malays abhor such statements but don’t really speak out against them because they don’t feel directly targeted by them,” he added.

“One should ask: why should the Chinese be satisfied with the government? Chinese generally reward the government with electoral support for two matters: economic growth, and fairer treatment as citizens,” political analyst Dr Wong Chin Huat told Malay Mail Online.

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