M’sian Minorities say “YES”, Malay voters say “NO”,

In Malaysia on 03/10/2016 at 4:14 pm
New M’sian Muslim Oppo party spurned by Malay voters. This is what an ISEAS report says
“Will Malaysia’s New Islamist Party Reshape the Political Landscape?” by Hew Wai Weng is now out and downloadable at this link.

• On 16 September 2015, a group of dissatisfied leaders of Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) left the party to form Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah). This comes in the wake of the demise of the opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

• This new party, along with the recently formed UMNO-splinter party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), can potentially reshape the Malay Muslim political landscape.

• Making common cause with the other parties that had constituted PR, namely the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti KeAdilan Rakyat (KeAdilan), Amanah helped found Pakatan Harapan, effectively replacing PAS in the opposition coalition.

• Quickly put to the test in two simultaneous by-elections in the semi-rural constituencies of Sungai Besar in Selangor and Kuala Kangsar in Perak, Amanah managed to win about two-thirds of Chinese votes but secured less than 10 per cent of the Malay Muslim vote.

• Amanah promotes an inclusive and democratic Islamism and upholds Maqasid Sharia, which focuses on issues such as social justice and good governance. It faces difficult challenges though. The party lacks resources to gain grassroots support and improve its electoral machinery and needs to enhance its Islamic credibility in order to compete with PAS.

• The first-past-the-post electoral system practised in Malaysia also leaves little room for new parties to grow. 

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