Pejuang: Malays trapped between corrupt leaders and multiracial opposition

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The Malays are split and trapped in a dilemma of choosing between the corrupt Malay leaders and a multiracial leadership, said Pejuang deputy president Marzuki Yahya.

They are still unable to accept the politics and ideology brought by DAP and this can be seen in a decline in Malay support for PKR during the Johor state election in March, he said.

“Malays, in general, remain unable to accept the DAP, their politics and ideology.

“Their rejection was more evident in the Johor polls when Malay support for PKR dropped to 9 percent from 27 percent.

Norman Goh/Malaysiakini

“This data shows that Malays are split. The Malays today seem to be trapped in a dilemma of choosing between the corrupt Malay leaders and multiracial leadership, which is seen as against or setting aside the agenda of the Malays,” he said.

He drew the conclusion while presenting a working paper at a roundtable conference on rebranding the narrative on Malay politics in Seri Kembangan yesterday.

According to Marzuki, the Malays were appalled by BN’s victory in the Malacca and Johor state polls, which seemed to signal that the community had swung back to the coalition.

However, he said, the reality was that BN only received 23 percent of the votes in the Johor polls, which is a less than 1 percent increase in the number of ballots the coalition received in the 14th state election in 2018.

Despite the similar vote share, Marzuki said, Umno managed to win two-thirds of the Johor state assembly in the state election earlier in March this year as opposed to only getting 17 seats in the 2018 polls.

“Obviously, this does not actually reflect the support of the entire Malay community for a party,” he said.

“But no matter what, 45 percent of the voters who did not go to the polls also indicated that even though the opposition is either multi-racial or is trying to highlight an alternative for the Malays; their narrative or offer is still unacceptable,” he said.

“It can’t be denied that 45 percent of the voters did not show up to cast their ballots and this may indicate that the opposition parties, be it advocating for a multiracial option or attempting to offer an alternative to the Malays, their (opposition) narrative or offer remains unaccepted (by the Malays).”

He added that some people, including Malays, have a trust deficit in politics.

Meanwhile, Marzuki said, 13 percent of Malay voters had voted for Perikatan Nasional (PN) as an alternate Malay-based coalition.

At the same time, Pejuang, which made its electoral debut in the Johor polls, obtained only 18,692 ballots or 1.34 percent of the total votes. All 42 Pejuang candidates in the Johor polls lost their deposits.

BN won 40 seats in the 56-seat assembly during the state election in March. Umno won 33 seats in total, followed by MCA (4), and MIC (3).

The largest opposition bloc Pakatan Harapan won 11 seats, followed by PN (3), Muda (1), and PKR (1) which contested under its own logo. – Malaysiakini