‘Green wave’ makes little difference to Terengganu’s Chinese

A resident says PAS’s domination of local politics does not change the friendly atmosphere between the Chinese and Malay communities.

(FMT) – Terengganu’s Chinese community is not perturbed by Perikatan Nasional’s clean sweep in the state election last month, despite lingering concern about its impact on their way of life.

On Aug 12, Bersatu and PAS won all the 32 state seats up for grabs, and returned PN to power for another five years.

“If they don’t cross the line and try to change our way of life, then it’s fine,” said a restaurant owner, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He said that PAS’s domination of local politics did not change the friendly atmosphere between the Chinese and Malay communities, despite the state government’s more hard-line Islamic stance.

“Over here, the Chinese and Malays are still friends, we do not mix politics with day-to-day living.

“We will also respect them. For example, if we go to the government departments, we will adhere to the rules.

“The government has already said very clearly that we should not wear shorts, (but some people) still step over the line. That’s not right,” said the 38-year-old.

Meanwhile, a man who wished to be identified only as Yeap, 39, said the total loss suffered by Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional in Terengganu was because of BN’s absence on the ground over the preceding five years.

Yeap told FMT the BN candidates “only appeared during election time” to canvass for votes, unlike their rivals from PAS, who were always on the ground to serve their constituents.

“PAS is different, they are always there when people need help. One of the assemblymen even appointed a Chinese representative to sort out the problems faced by the Chinese community.

“If we have an issue and tell him, he will solve it immediately,” said the shoe shop owner.

Another man, who wished to be known as Lee, attributed PH-BN’s loss to Terengganu’s relatively small Chinese community, which makes up only 2.6% of the overall population.

“The reason PH and BN lost is because our (non-Malay) population is too small. We probably still will not win even if we all come together,” said Lee.

He said the Malay vote had swung from BN to PAS in 2018 when the Malay community turned against former prime minister Najib Razak because of his corruption scandal.

“(In 2018), the Chinese supported DAP while the Malays turned to PAS because they did not want Najib. That has not changed since,” Lee said.