The Economist: Malaysia ‘playing with fire’ with red-shirt rallies

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 – Malaysia risks facing more serious clashes with an upcoming red-shirt rally amid pro-Malay sentiments that will distract Putrajaya from implementing difficult but necessary reforms, The Economist said.

The London-based publication said in an analysis that Malay communalism grew quickly last July after US paper the Wall Street Journal reported that almost US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) was deposited in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s private accounts shortly before Election 2013, leading to a sudden Cabinet reshuffle where critics from within Umno were dropped and “pro-Malay hardliners” elevated.

“Most ordinary Malaysians reject racial rhetoric. But with more red-shirt gatherings in the offing, the risk of more serious altercations is rising,” said The Economist in the article titled “Playing with fire” published today.

“The spats are distracting the government from tricky and badly needed social and economic reforms. They are also worrying ethnically pluralist neighbours, such as Singapore, which frets about infection.

“As this year’s chair of ASEAN, a group of Southeast Asian states eyeing closer integration, Malaysia had pledged to promote a more modern and prosperous region. It is sinking deeper into its past,” The Economist added.

Sungai Besar Umno chief Datuk Jamal Md Yunos, who was one of the key personalities in the September 16 #Merah169 rally that saw racist insults hurled at ethnic the Chinese, said Wednesday that “red-shirt” protesters may return to Petaling Street this weekend and “riot” if the authorities do not crackdown on alleged sales of counterfeit products in Chinatown.

The police were forced to use water cannons to prevent protesters from entering Petaling Street during the pro-government September 16 rally that was attended by tens of thousands of Malays garbed in red shirts.

Traders in Chinatown are reportedly considering closing tomorrow for fear of the possible riot, despite police assurances of security.

The Economist noted that Malaysian politics have long been race-based and pointed out that Malay incomes have increased rapidly following pro-Bumiputera policies implemented after the 1969 race riots that saw killings and Chinese shops burned.

The Economist: Malaysia ‘playing with fire’ with red-shirt rallies
September 25, 2015 – MMO


0 Responses to “The Economist: Malaysia ‘playing with fire’ with red-shirt rallies”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

What happened to 1MDB’s money? – CNBC Video
Nuclear lessons for Malaysia (Part 1) (Part 2)
BN govt is directing attention to distant past and distant future, in order to distract people from present misdeeds and poor governance
Felda - A picture is worth a thousand words
How the 1MDB Scandal Spread Across the World (WSJ)
We cannot afford ridiculously expensive RM55 Billion ECRL!
All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?



%d bloggers like this: