Once again, MIHI UMY was organized a public lecture held on Friday (21/4). This month, the lecture entitled “Politics and Democracy in Malaysia” that was delivered by Ali Maksum, Ph.D. the program secretary of MIHI UMY. He was comprehensively explained the dynamics and landscape of the Malaysia’s politics. According to him, the emergence of Federation of Malaysia is extremely political consequence of the British colonialism.
Malaysia is geographically strategic in the Malacca Straits that gave so many economic advantages to Malaysia. Malaysia is strongly influenced by Malay culture and Islam. Malay ethnic was dominated the country in all public and political sectors since the early of creation of Federation of Malaysia compared to the two other major technics, China and India. Consequently, the political contestation among elites in Malaysia was led to the emergence of political and social polarizations in the society.
There are two main political coalitions in Malaysia namely, National Front (Barisan Nasional, BN) as ruling government and the opposition parties. BN consist of ethnic-based political parties in Malaysia, namely 1) UMNO (United Malays National Organization), 2) Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), 3) Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC). Nevertheless, UMNO is the only “super power” in Malaysian politics.
Due to racial politics under UMNO domination, discrimination in various sectors was commonly implemented in Malaysia. “Malay privilege” or Ketuanan Melayu became main discourse that put Malay ethnic as the owner of the Malay land along with so many privileges in terms of politics, economy, social, educations etc. The lecture was ended by the story telling from him during his research in Malaysia.