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7th Rangers: A divided electorate: Preliminary analysis on ethnic voting in GE15 By Bridget Welsh

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A divided electorate: Preliminary analysis on ethnic voting in GE15 By Bridget Welsh
Friday, November 25, 2022


Malaysiakini : COMMENT | As Malaysia looks toward its new government of former political challengers Pakatan Harapan and BN cooperating, with GPS supporting (in a role that is not yet finalised), it is important to analyse the GE15 election results.

This article presents a preliminary analysis of one dimension of voting – support by ethnicity. It focuses only on Peninsular Malaysia and draws estimates from macro data, rather than more granular polling stations. A richer, more robust (and inclusive of Borneo) analysis will follow.

The preliminary findings show the importance of cooperation across coalitions, as BN and Harapan combined, bring to the table broad representation. Both Harapan and PN had deficits in representing all groups across communities.

Rising salience of ethnic voting

Malaysians vote for many reasons, but the dominant pattern of framing and analysing voting has been ethnicity. This is in part because campaigns are mobilised along these lines. While ethnicity only explained 40 percent of voting patterns in 2018, ethnicity has more strongly correlated with voting since the Malacca 2021 polls.

This is due, in part, to the greater use of identity politics to mobilise voters, which also occurred in GE15. Not only are voters engaged through ethnic frames, but they vote increasingly along ethnic lines.

This is not to discount other analytical lenses – generation, gender, class, urban-rural and region, to name a few. Attention to these patterns will follow, although it will take some time to complete the analytical work. Voting in Malaysia should not be seen mono-dimensionally, despite the explanatory lens of ethnicity.

As with all analyses, there is a need to caveat the findings. These are estimates. The analysis is also at the macro level, so there is less accuracy than using local polling station data. Here are the findings:

Cogito Ergo Sum : Muhyiddin’s last minute vitriolic on the threat of Jews and Christians did a lot of damage to Malay-Muslim support for PH. He spooked the Malays and those on the fence just took the leap.

If anyone else apart from PN employed this hate speech, the authorities would have jumped on the individual. Why has no action taken against this man? He is not suited for multiethnic, multicultural Malaysia.

Even if he is part of a unity government, he will be a destabilising element, undermining the administration from within.

MS : "PN was a coalition only supported by Malays" because it appealed exclusively to the Malays by making race and religion its main attraction while kindling fear and consternation among its target group with its spurious allegations against Christians, Jews and the DAP.

"Harapan’s estimated support of non-Malays reached estimated record highs, an estimated 94 percent of Chinese and an estimated 83 percent of Indians." Which really means "94 percent of Chinese and an estimated 83 percent of Indians" willingly voted for a Malay Prime Minister in the form of Anwar Ibrahim.

Another conclusion we may draw from these results is that the bulk of the Malays continue to be swayed by racial and religious considerations and less so by notions of a united, multi-racial country which embraces and celebrates its diversity.

Read it all here...........

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:45 AM  
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