26 September 2015
On Sept 16, Malaysia celebrated its 52nd Malaysia Day, which marks the birth of the Malaysian federation consisting of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and, briefly Singapore.
Malaysia Day is often a low-key affair, coming just two weeks after the splashier Merdeka Day celebrations. Yet this year, the day was marked by two important events.
The first was the Red Shirts rally by a Malay rights groups to show solidarity with Malay leaders whom these groups claimed are under attack by the Chinese community. The second event was the launch of the Parti Amanah Negara (PAN) or Amanah, a breakaway party of the Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS). PAN is a moderate Islamic party which calls for the strengthening of Malaysia’s multi-ethnic and multi-religious social fabric. But for PAS leaders, PAN is just a front for the Democratic Action Party (DAP) — the opposition’s ethnic Chinese party.
There is concern within both PAS and the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) that PAN could further split the Malay vote and help propel DAP to an electoral victory over UMNO at the next general election.
… Analysts have pointed out that beneath this rhetoric is PAS’ worry that PAN will further dilute the Malay vote. “PAS sees PAN as a competitor which erodes its hard-won urban Malay and, for that matter, Chinese and Indian supporters. PAS will see itself losing urban votes to PAN,” Dr Oh Ei Sun, a former political secretary of Mr Najib, told TODAY.
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 16/11/2015