ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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MALAYSIA- Electoral Arrangements to Fudge Class Lines

THE National Front, which recently won the general elections in Malaysia, is the outcome of sustained efforts to dilute communal tension by giving to the leaders of such opposition adequate representation in government. This Malaysian method of containing communal rivalry makes interesting study. The communal conflict in Malaysia is among the three national 'minorities' of the Chinese, the Indians (mainly Tamilians), and the Malay Muslims who are in fact the original inhabitants of the Peninsula. The Malays constitute 46.8 per cent, the Chinese 34.1 per cent, and the Indians 9 per cent of the population (1970 census). The rivalry, however, is mainly between the Malays and the Chinese, and stems from the fact that whereas the Chinese hold the economic levers in their hands the Malays dominate the government and politics of the country. The communal calculus thus plays a major role in the electoral process.

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