After 100 days, Malay support for Anwar’s govt still under debate

Factors include Pakatan Harapan’s move to work with Barisan Nasional, and the methodology of studies on the matter.

(MalaysiaNow) – The question of Malay support for the administration of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim remains a topic of debate, 100 days after the coalition government was sworn in, ending the impasse that followed the results of the 15th general election (GE15).

The issue resurfaced after Anwar rejected the findings of a study by analyst Bridget Welsh, putting Malay support for his Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition at 11%.

Anwar, the PKR president, said research by his party had placed Malay support for PH at 31%.

Most recently, another study by research firm 02 in collaboration with several media organisations found that 71% of Malay respondents were unsatisfied with the performance of the coalition government in meeting the vows in its election manifestos.

Political analyst Mansor Mohd Noor said the government should look to the process of its formation and its policies to understand the unhappiness of the Malay community.

“Anwar’s rallying call since 1998 has been transparency, accountability and integrity,” Mansor, an ethnic relations expert, told MalaysiaNow.

“That battle cry saw the downfall of Barisan Nasional (BN). But the formation of the national unity government is not to the liking of the Malays, who rejected Umno at GE15.”

He added that the practice of nepotism and political appointees to public agencies had not been well received either.

Long-time foes PH and BN joined hands to form the government in the wake of GE15, the inconclusive results of which had led to a hung parliament.

Anwar later courted controversy by appointing his daughter, Nurul Izzah Anwar, as his senior economic and financial adviser. Nurul, who lost her Permatang Pauh seat at GE15, was later transferred to the finance ministry, which is also under Anwar.

Mansor also zeroed in on PH’s multicultural narrative in nation-building which he said did not have the support of the Malays.

“The new slogan of Malaysia Madani, to the Malays, is a watered-down concept devoid of its roots to the indigenous socio-political culture and other heritages,” he said.

“Malaysia Madani as a growth concept failed to mobilise these diverse values in strengthening the nationalistic bond of a shared ‘Bangsa Malaysia’.”

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