BN under Najib takes exploitation of ethnic differences to new heights, says analyst

Melati A. Jalil

Bridget Welsh, a visiting professor of political science at John Cabot University in Rome, says the Barisan Nasional government is using the tactic of exploiting ethnic differences to ensure it remains in power. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin, December 18, 2017.

BARISAN Nasional under Prime Minister Najib Razak has taken the tactic of exploiting ethnic differences to new heights, said a political analyst.

Bridget Welsh, a visiting professor of political science at John Cabot University in Rome, said the resulting perception that emerged was that democracy was about displacement, and that allowing democracy gave power to the Chinese.

The tactic is to exploit ethnic differences, particularly to pit Chinese against Malays, to use Malay nationalism in a way that’s not necessarily benefiting the Malay community. But of course, it is being employed as part of a trend that uses identity or emotional politics.

“This is about weakness. It’s not about bringing Malaysia together. It’s about using ethnic relations to their own advantage, in a way that is about division.

“The tactic has always been there, but it has been taken to new heights under the Najib administration,” she told reporters after a forum in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the newly launched book Regime Resilience in Malaysia and Singapore.

She said the BN government was using the tactic to ensure it remained in power, and that it wanted the country to be polarised.

“They want ethnic relations to be polarised and they want to perpetuate that this is zero-sum politics, you versus me, and that also has its own costs.

“There is so much resentment being fuelled very ruthlessly and calculatingly, in a way that is destroying part of the fabric of society.”

Welsh added that the book, which features 18 authors and 17 essays, focused on the strategies that Umno and Singapore’s People’s Action Party used to remain in power.

“What we get is the fact that there is a set of tools that the government uses to stay in power.

“It’s not just about how the party adapts, or economic policies, but also the manipulation of political culture, the use of education, the lack of education. That helps us understand the underlying reasons why these parties have successfully remained in power.” – December 18, 2017.

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  • And yet, LTLiow is confident of winning 50% of their candidates. Has he really thought Cina will vote for MCA for what DUMNO has been doing and MCA being an accomplice! MCA is so delusional.

    Posted 6 years ago by Vibnwis wis · Reply

  • It was not as if the races in Malaysia had a great relationship all along , and then najib came into the picture, and it all came tumbling after .

    Relationship between the races were never all that great in Malaysia . When the economy was doing well, everybody had their eye on the money, and racial relationship became better, simply because no one was paying attention to it.

    Najib’s biggest mistake in terms of race relationship is that he didn’t manage the economy well. When the economy was down , people reverted back their attention to racial matters, and racial relationship is worsened.

    Najib to me is guilty of worsening racial relationship in Malaysia as much as obama was guilty of worsening racial relationship in America - in other words , I don’t they they are personally guilty at all. Personally, I wont be surprised to find out that neither najib or obama are racist at all. If they are guilty of racism at all, I think it is in that they used racial discord that was already existing to their own advantage - that’s all.

    Malaysia itself has always been a racially divided place since the beginning.

    Posted 6 years ago by Nehru Sathiamoorthy · Reply