Race-based census ‘fuels racial politics’

Zaim Ibrahim

Malaysians organise their politics according to race because we have inherited a 19th century census system, says an academic. – EPA pic, August 27, 2019.

RACIAL politics is rife in Malaysia because of the segregation and census methodology, said Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin.

The Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia academic said the current census system was inherited from the British in the 19th century.

Race politics would lose its appeal if the national census did not identify Malaysians according to race, he said.

“The race categories have been there since 1871. Where there are no differences according to race, we can say good bye to racial politics. 

“Failing which, we will always organise our politics according to race,” Shamsul said at a forum on new Malaysia in George Town yesterday.

A national census that does not categorise Malaysians according to race will indirectly produce the Malaysian identity that was envisioned in Vision 2020.

The Institute of Ethnic Studies founder said although the different races did not agree when it came to ethnic interests, it does not mean they are enemies.

Penang DAP vice-chairman Zairil Khir Johari said most of the fears are based on emotions.

“Take the ICERD and Jawi issues, for instance. While the non-Muslims were surprised by Muslims’ concerns over ICERD, the same is true when it came to Jawi,” said the Penang executive councillor.

“The fears felt in both issues were irrational but the impacts were very strong,” he added. – August 27, 2019.

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  • In this sense, the direction that Bersatu takes is clearly outdated.

    Posted 4 years ago by Tanahair Ku · Reply

    • The divide and rule politics must stop!!!

      Posted 4 years ago by Tanahair Ku · Reply

  • If you are saying political parties are the new, or, they believe they are the new colonial masters, you are right.

    Posted 4 years ago by A Subscriber · Reply