Sin Chew: Anwar not deserting Chinese but need to placate Malays for political stability
To thrash Anwar’s unity government in the upcoming six state elections, the PN coalition anchored by Bersatu and PAS is expected to continue cooking up racial and religious issues in the Malay society in order to create an illusion of the government of the day being dictated by the Chinese or DAP.
(Focus Malaysia) – THE weather in recent weeks has been downright disgusting with dark clouds hovering above most of the time and heavy downpours soaking up much of the country, in particular Johor and east coast states.
On the contrary, the Malaysian political climate has enjoyed a period of relative calm devoid of any unwelcome “storms.” Some have interpreted such a phenomenon as the “calm before the storm”.
Indeed, an unannounced gust swept across Malaysian politics this afternoon, heralding a much bigger storm to come! There were talks that former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would be arrested tomorrow (Thursday) although the MACC had yet to respond to such rumours as if this very moment.
PMX Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s “Malaysia Madani” government has just crossed the 100-day threshold. The political stability over the last 100 days has been reciprocated with a steady influx of foreign investments.
Malaysians, in particular the local Chinese community, generally believe that the country is now forging ahead on the right track! All of a sudden, PAS president Tan Sri Hadi Awang predicted that the unity government would not last long and would fall very soon.
Immersed in the euphoria over the stable government of their choice, few Malaysians would actually take heed of Hadi’s sinister remark. Many feel he’s just muttering to himself. Even the PM thinks he is day-dreaming!
Generally speaking, the local Chinese and Indian communities are brimming with confidence in the government of the day. In the recent survey jointly conducted by Sin Chew Daily, The Star, Sinar Harian, Malaysia Nanban and Astro Awani in collaboration with O2 Research on the performance of Anwar’s first 100 days in office, 64% of Indian and 58% of Chinese respondents believed the unity government could fulfill its election pledges within the next five years.
On the contrary, as many as 71% of Malay respondents from the peninsula were sceptical. They were unhappy with the unity government’s effort to fulfill its election promises.
Because of that, communications and digital minister Fahmi Fadzil lost his cool over the findings, doubting the survey’s credibility while arguing that it was “insincere and dishonest” and was “doing some promotion or deceiving the people.”
Just when the outcome of the survey run by the five aforementioned media outlets was being questioned for its authority, another survey was rushed out to the market. The Malay Mail reported – quoting a statement by Vase.ai research firm – that the latter’s survey showed only 23% of Malays on the peninsula disapproved of the Anwar administration’s performance in its first 100 days.
“While we do find that Anwar has a 48% approval among peninsular Malays (59% among total ethnicities), it’s not accurate to say he is then disapproved by the remaining 52% (of peninsular Malays) as emphasised across several news outlets,” Vase.ai said in the statement.
Vase.ai also highlighted that Anwar enjoyed 79% of approval among peninsular Chinese, marginally higher than 77% for the Malays. We hope Vase.ai’s survey can more accurately reflect the actual condition of the country because a government with higher Malay support will naturally be more stable.
Winning hearts of the Malay
Many economists have predicted a global recession in 2023 and Malaysia will not be spared. As such, we do need a stable government to take us through the many economic challenges ahead.
Next, we will see how the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led “Malaysia Madani” government will choose to believe. If it believes that everything is well and fine, then it will have to believe in Vase.ai’s report.
But, if it takes a more cautious stand on the survey run by the five media outlets, then it must suitably prepare itself for any eventuality in order to go further from where it is now instead of taking things too lightly.
Anwar’s enemies – be they in Perikatan Nasional (PN) or Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s camp are not going to let him have an easy life completing his five-year tenure, for sure.
Up till this very moment, many people, including some leaders in PH, still naively believe that PN managed to win the support of many Malay voters because the coalition – Bersatu in particular – spent a lot of money during GE15 campaigning.
That’s not the case, to be very honest. If money could buy the hearts of voters, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak would not have lost the election and had himself eventually sent to jail!
There are three reasons why many Malays turned to PN in GE15: they lacked the sense of security, thinking that Anwar’s PKR was not a true Malay party; they had a phobia for a Chinese-dominated and powerful DAP; and lastly, they were unhappy with the existing UMNO leadership.
I am quite sure Anwar is well aware that he needs the support of more Malay voters, otherwise he would not have walked into different mosques every Friday to pray with more Muslims.