Govt dominated by non-Malays won’t survive, warns umbrella group of Malay business interests

Children cycle to school in Kampung Baru, the Malay enclave in the heart of the Kuala Lumpur city centre. A Malay economic group says the future government should take into account economic disparity and the Malays who make up the bulk of the poor.

PETALING JAYA: The country’s largest umbrella group of Malay economic bodies has warned that any government formed without support from Malay-based parties will be short-lived, as political blocs seek allies to boost support to fill a week-old power vacuum in Putrajaya.

The Malay Economic Action Council (MTEM), which brings together half-a-million Malay businesses and over 50 groups concerned with Bumiputera economic empowerment, said there was clearly a decline of Malay support for the recently collapsed Pakatan Harapan government.

He said there had been actions and statements that shaped a perception that Bumiputera issues were sidelined.

“For example, the statements by some government leaders calling for an end to race-based policies without taking into account economic data,” said MTEM CEO Ahmad Yazid Othman.

“Such statements are not grounded in reality.”

Yazid said as the group making up the bulk of the poor Malaysians, there is a need for a government that looks into solving the country’s economic disparity.

“So any government whether formed through an election or the existing parliamentary processes, if it ignores the problems of the people and the economic disparity including the Bumiputera economy, it surely will not survive,” said Yazid.

The comments come as at least three political blocs seek to convince the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that they have enough MPs with them to form the next government.

The PH government collapsed this week following the resignation of Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister, after several leaders broke ranks to seek different allies.

The Agong has since met MPs to seek their individual views on who should lead the next government.

The remaining three PH parties – PKR, DAP and Amanah – have nominated Anwar Ibrahim.

But a quick look at the coalition show that some two-thirds of its MPs are non-Malays.

Out of the 92 MPs from DAP, PKR and Amanah, 59 are non-Muslims, while only 33 are Malays/Muslims.

The Muslim MPs also include DAP’s sole Malay MP, Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji.

Mahathir has proposed a unity government as a solution to the political stalemate, sidelining the non-Malay majority PH and the overwhelmingly Malay Umno-PAS bloc.

MTEM said it supported the unity government idea, saying it would mean a more stable political climate where the government could use experts in the Cabinet.

“Power is not everything. A unity government should be considered so that political and economic stability can be created with support from all MPs as we head towards the 15th general election,” said Yazid.