Minister moots more mixed seats as salve for racial politics woes

04-Sep-2019 Intellasia | Malay Mail | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Over half of Malaysia’s federal constituencies would be mixed seats if the Election Commission drew up boundaries impartially, Foreign minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah claimed.

The minister made this assertion when saying that an increase in seats without clear racial majorities would lead to a reduction in communal politics in the country.

“In actual fact, if you look at the geography of the constituencies, we should have had about 140 mixed seats. But I think the last EC was corrupt,” he was quoted as saying by the Malaysiakini news portal

“Once we have more mixed seats, the dynamics of the campaign will be different. Politicians will be encouraged to campaign across ethnic lines.”

Saifuddin said mixed constituencies would neutralise the appeal of communal politics and limit the success of politicians who use racism and extremism as their platforms.

The minister expressed hopes for the EC to address the racial imbalance in the country’s electoral constituencies, but the commission previously noted that it was restricted by the previous redelineation undertaken in 2017.

While communal politics has been a perpetual feature in Malaysia, Pakatan Harapan’s surprise victory in the 14th general election has pushed the defeated Barisan Nasional further towards this.

The former ruling coalition’s lynchpin, Umno, has formed an alliance with Islamist party PAS that appeals to the Malay-Muslim electorate in their attempt to take on PH that won the general election without majority support from the country’s largest community.


Category: Malaysia

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