Understand Malay concerns, analysts tell Malaysia Baru enthusiasts
These include non-traditional appointments to top government posts such as Tommy Thomas, the first non-Malay to be made attorney-general in over five decades.
In September, meanwhile, lawyer Azhar Harun was appointed as Election Commission chairman.
“We need to understand their trepidations and also be mindful of the changes we want to introduce in the New Malaysia,” Faisal Hazis, of Penang-based reform movement Aliran, said in a forum yesterday.
He was responding to questions of whether the Malaysia Baru concept had caused the Malay community to feel threatened.
Faisal, an associate professor at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Institute of Malaysian and International Studies, said such appointments were reflective of change in the country which PH supporters or politicians might use to argue their case.
However, he said the country was still far from being Malaysia Baru.
“We’re still getting there,” he said, adding that it would be impossible to overhaul the entire political landscape in a short span of time.
Meanwhile, Penang Institute’s Wong Chin Huat said proponents of Malaysia Baru should bear in mind that the PH government was elected by only 48% of the electorate.
“The rest backed PAS or Barisan Nasional,” he added.
He agreed that the Malays’ fears about minority groups was something to be addressed.
“Normally, the minority fears the majority, but from what we observe, the Malays fear the minority.”