‘Ketuanan Melayu’ politics no longer works, says Rafizi

(MMO) – PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli today claimed that Bersatu’s strategy to stereotype Malays as weak and in need of a protector — similar to Umno — would only backfire on them.

In an interview with Malaysiakini, Rafizi claimed that Bersatu was only parroting Umno in assuming that Malays are “neo-feudal, tribal and possess a protector-complex mentality”.

“It is to Bersatu’s detriment if they assume that Malays are neo-feudal and tribal,” he was quoted as saying by the news portal.

His comments came after Bersatu Senator Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal said in an interview published yesterday that Malays would shun a “full-blown” liberal Pakatan Harapan (PH), as they need a “protector” who syncs with their neo-feudal and tribal mentality.

Rafizi disagreed with Wan Ahmad Fayshal’s assessment, countering that the recent Johor state election indicated Malay voters did not conform to this stereotype.

“Those voters who voted for Perikatan Nasional (PN) in Johor didn’t do so because Bersatu is seen as a better protector. It is more of a protest vote against Harapan because they used to vote for Harapan but were unhappy with its performance or narratives.

“The fact that they didn’t swing back to Umno confirms that they are not feudal or tribal (if the logic that Malays require a feudal lord, well Umno is the most feudal of it all),” Rafizi added.

However, he also cautioned PH to get its narrative straight, or risk Bersatu and Umno reaping all the benefits.

“As those voters who reject Umno’s track record of corruption don’t mind giving Bersatu and PN a protest vote.

“It is precisely because Malay voters are a lot more sophisticated that Harapan must work its narratives to convince voters it has solutions and competence to resolve the key economic issues the people are facing.

“Just as Malay voters can switch to Bersatu and PN (after voting for Harapan in 2018), they can easily swing back to Harapan when they are convinced that Harapan can become a better government,” he added.

He however welcomed Bersatu to stay its course and to continue believing that Malays are neo-feudal as the majority of fence-sitting Malay voters do not like to be talked down to.

“Carry on with this and Bersatu will see its votes shrinking,” he said.