“The political system of Malay dominance was born out of a social contract of 1957 which preceeded independence. As part of the bargain, non-Malays were given rights of citizenship, and United Malay National Organization (UMNO) the position of leadership to keep the country racially divided, nationalist and secular in character,” – Datuk Abdullah Ahmad, MP, a close friend of former prime minister Tun Abdul Razak – UMNO convention, September 17-20, 1986.
Since its divorce from British colonists in 1957 – Malaysia’s political system has been run on communal basis – majority of Malays voting for UMNO, Chinese voting for Democratic Action Party (DAP), and East Indians voting for Malaysian Indian Congress. This racial polarization is one of the major reasons for the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party’s (PAS) failure to capture power in the centre. The otherbeing Mahathir’s successful projection of his party’s (UMNO) pseudo-Islamic credentials, such as, the Islamic Bank and International Islamic University – which in fact are secular institutions. Mahathir also followed his western masters’ policy of depicting genuine Islamic leaders as “religious fanatics”, “power-hungry”, “irresponsible”, “undemocratic” and “the haters of western world for its progress and democracy”! Last year the former prominent member of PAS and former deputy prime minster under Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s rule, Anwar Ibrahim, has started his own People’s Justic Party (PJP), which is liable to take away Muslim votes from UMNO and PAS.
Interestingly, Palestinian issue has always been exploited by Malay-dominated parties – but this time even non-Muslim politician hitherto disinterested in the Palestinian issue tried to capitalize on Zionazi massacre in Gazzah. Anwar Ibrahim raised this issue in the parliament – urging the government to summon the US ambassador instead of waiting for Barack Obama to move into the White House because his sympathies for the Zionist regime in occupied Palestine.
Ethnic Malays make 61% of population; Chinese 26% and the rest East Indians and the natives in Malaysia – However, more Malays live in neighbouring Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.
Malay peninsula was ruled by powerful outside powers until the 15th century. Islam was introduced to the region by Arab traders during the early 14th century. It spread radidly once the state of Malacca came under Muslim rule in the 15th century, which influence the spread of the new faith in many parts South Asia. In 1511, Malacca was occupied by Portuguese, who were replaced by the Dutch (in 1641) and they too were replaced by the British (in 1795) as the European colonists. British combined their settlements in Malacca, Penang, Singapore, and four British protectorates (Muslim Sultanate) into Federation of Malay States in 1895, which came under Japanese occupation from 1942 to 1945.
On September 16, 1963 – The British colonies of Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah (North Borneo) joined the Federation of Malay to form Malaysia. Later on August 9, 1965 – Singapore got a divorce from Malaysia.
Malaysia is governed by the combination of constitutional monarchy and the elected government, based on its former colonial master, the British model of government. The post of the supreme head of state (Yang di-Pertuan Agong) is rotated among the Nine States Rulers every five year. The current Yang di-Pertuan Agong is Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu and the prime minister is Badawi (UMNO) who is expected to step-down in favour of Najib Razak in March.