Malaysian survey blames politicians for racial disharmony

February 18th, 2009 - 12:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuching (Malaysia), Feb 18 (IANS) Malaysia’s politicians have been blamed for racial polarisation in an online poll, with about 92 percent of the respondents agreeing that many politicians were playing up narrow racial issues.
The poll conducted by Malaysiapollster, titled “Racial Harmony in a Balanced Society”, was launched by Dewan Rakyat (parliament) Deputy Speaker Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar Nov 30 last year. It closed Feb 15, a media report said Wednesday.

The poll said six percent of respondents disagreed that politicians were the cause of racial polarisation and another two percent said they were not sure.

Malaysia’s is a multi-racial society with Muslim Malays forming a thin majority of the 28 million population which comprises an estimated 33 percent ethnic Chinese and less than eight percent Indians.

Polls analyst Goh Leng Chua said Tuesday that 44 percent of the respondents agreed that one factor to preserve racial harmony was to get rid of politicians who played the race card.

“Undoubtedly, racist remarks exploit and incite the emotions of those who feel threatened in their communal and peaceful coexistence with other races.

“The other (30 percent) of the respondents felt that education and inter-racial social activities such as festivals, sports and inter-marriages play an important role in harnessing peace and harmony,” New Straits Times quoted him as saying Thursday.

He said about 90 percent of the poll’s respondents opined that abolishing race-based political parties would result in greater social harmony and understanding among the various communities.

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