… would DAP be willing to grant instant citizenship en masse to Malays – which then within the span of two short years – reduced the Chinese voting strength to 57% while at the same time increasing the Malay electoral power in an inverse and corresponding proportion?
Well, that’s what Umno did.
- In 1955, Malays made up 84.2 percent of registered voters in Malaya.
- Two years later was Merdeka which allowed close to one million non-Malays to become citizens between the period of 1957 and 1960.
- Two years after Independence was the 1959 general election. This time, Malays made up only 57.1 percent of the electorate.
Through its own actions, Umno diluted its Malay voter base advantage by a whopping (84.2% -57.1% =) 27.1 percent in one fell swoop.
Now if the shoe was on the other foot,
Would the PAP-DAP — hypothetically as the ruling party — be willing to absorb and enfranchise Malays residing in the Republic of Singapore North en bloc so that as a result, Chinese voting strength suffered a drastic drop from 84 percent to 57 percent within a single election interval?
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(1) Do not forget the genesis of PAS-PIS-PUS. It was the ulama breakaway faction of Umno. They rejected the decision of Tunku’s Umno to work together with MCA which represented the Chinese.
(2) The votes that PAS (PMIP) got in 1959 represented the voice of those rural Malays who were against the loosening of citizenship by the overly ‘liberal’ Umno. Liberal Umno in PAS eyes then was epitomized by “playboy” Tunku who was not a PAS-type posterboy (I don’t want to list the rest of Tunku’s reputed ‘sinful’ habits).
Same worldview as the party’s Amanat Hadi era calling Umno “kafir” for working with the non-Muslim partners in the Alliance-BN.
(3) Yes, PAS won that number of seats in 1959 but those seats were won in Kelantan and T’ganu – two states with an overwhelming Malay majority (as they still are today).
Agree that PAS was successful in 1959. In fact, it captured both the East Coast states (consistent with PAS’s track record of ruling Kelantan).
Votes cast for PAS were for Malays by Malays. You yourself made this remark above — “At that time, you’d be hard pressed to find a Chinese who would vote PAS.” If in 1959, the opposition Malays chose PAS, and the Chinese refused to vote PAS, doesn’t it reflect a racial cleavage?
What you quoted – “hard pressed to find a Chinese who would vote PAS” – actually supports my reading of a longstanding and deep distrust between the two races rather than the Beyond Race myth that you oppo/SABM people are fond of peddling.
The successful run by PAS in the 1959 election derived from sifat perkauman Melayu yang menebal. [Following sentence added here: In 1959, the majority of Chinese in urban areas voted for the opposition. Similar sifat perkauman.]
(4) The 1959 election results did NOT reflect any sustained trend of multi-cultural parties enjoying success in our political landscape.
e.g. You cite the Socialist Front (SF) getting Chinese, Indian (and some Malay) support.
Well, if the SF’s multi-cultural formula was the one that had the most appeal to the Malaysian public, then SF would have prevailed to go on to become the strongest – or at least a strong – party right up to this day, wouldn’t it? Yet the SF is dead.
Instead it is the mono-racial Umno which has withstood the test of time, and the Alliance communal formula which won election after election.
(5) And if the bulk of the Malays/Chinese had ever been adequately multi-racial in outlook, they would have voted Onn Jaafar’s IMP (which by 1959 had dissolved due to lack of support). The rejection of Onn Jaafar – who led Parti Negara in 1959 – was equivalent to the rejection of his pioneering of
multi-cultural [multi-racial] parties.
Do please remember that Onn Jaafar was the visionary who in the early 1950s had wanted to open Umno’s doors to all, and change the party name to the United “Malayan” National Party.
He was far, far ahead of his time. He walked his talk and walked out of Umno when his
multi-racial [multi-cultural] vision was rejected by Umno members.
(6) Onn Jaafar is arguably our country’s greatest statesman.
He proceeded to establish the MULTI-RACIAL IMP [Independence Party of Malaya], and later Parti Negara after IMP’s dismal flop. Onn Jaafar – this Towering Malayan – was thoroughly rejected by the communal-minded 1950s voters who stuck with the consociationalism format, i.e. the formula of Umno representing Malays, MCA Chinese and MIC Indians.
The very results you cite of PAS’s success in the 1959 election points to the thickness of Malay insularity in the two most Melayu-populated states of Kelantan and T’ganu.
(7) In 1959, it was Umno that was able to forge a working relationship with the other races.
In 1959, the idea of sleeping in the same bed as the Chinese was as alien to PAS as the same idea was in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
The opposition electoral pact of 2008 is something new in that it didn’t break up when previous loose understandings (made during Kuli’s S46 days) couldn’t withstand the communal backlash. Yup, [or] have you already forgotten that the Chinese backlashed against DAP for working with PAS? (albeit not directly but through S46 as the intermediary) after they were spooked by Islamic State.
(8) My analysis is not “deeply flawed” as you allege. My analysis is what the facts say.
SABM-ers/Firsters, on the other hand, never let facts get in the way of their pet prejudice,
for example in demonizing as “racist devils” Umno the very party that facilitated the granting of citizenship to Chinese (and Indians) and thereby diluting Malay voting power from 84.2 percent in 1955 to 57.1 percent in 1959.
Would an inherently “Nazi racist” (as accused by Firsters) party commit harakiri by drastically reducing the strength of its own voter base by 27 percent?
(9) Turn the tables and say that Penang has 84.2 percent Chinese voters. Would DAP permit the mass influx of Malays to the island, which within two short years, reduced the Chinese electorate to 57.1 percent while allowing a corresponding and inverse spike with regard to Malay voters?
My analysis is not “deeply flawed”. Instead, it is your understanding of history which is very shallow. The race dichotomy is exactly what the election results reveal and not something I made up.
(10) Lain kali baca dan fahami lah sejarah dahulu sebelum anda buat hentam keromo yang kononnya Helen “tries to turn the results into a simplistic Chinese vs. Malay thing (as usual with Helen Ang)”.
More usual with Dapsters lah.
Jonnymalaya’s comment (below) had originally appeared in ‘Election 2013: Race contestation at its sharpest / review 1955-69‘.
(the above also discusses the role of the third PAS president Dr Burhanuddin Helmy)