First note these facts.
Only 50.4% of Malaysia’s population is Malay.
One Malaysian is born every minute while one Malaysian dies every three minutes, and Malaysia’s population increases by 60 people every hour. Hence, in time, the old people (WWII, Merdeka, May 13, NEP-DEB, Reformasi, etc., generation) are going to die off and will be replaced by the younger (post-2020) generation.
Most important of all is that there are 105.69 males for every 100 females, or 51% to 49% male versus female ratio. But then, 53% females come out to vote versus only 47% males.
The population is increasing faster than politicians realise
The sentiments of Malaysian voters is changing rapidly, and unless politicians and political parties change their political culture and style, they are going to be left behind.
What changed was the mindset of the voters. The 12 million voters in May 2018 were different from, say, the six million voters in November 1999 when the Reformasi movement was first born.
It may have taken 20 years from 1998 to 2018 for “Reformasi” to finally come to fruition. But then the voters doubled from six million to 12 million over those 20 years from 1998 to 2018. And this resulted in voters with an entirely new mindset making the choice for change.
The old politics of Umno, DAP, PAS, PKR, Barisan Nasional, Muafakat Nasional, Perikatan Nasional and so on are ketinggalan zaman. They need to change or get buried.
Mahathir’s Puteri Umno is 20-years-old and is Umno’s best idea ever, but it needs a mix of ‘modern’ Malays to attract the younger generation
Political parties will need the involvement of the young, the women and the non-Malays if they want to win general elections. Political parties will need to field more women candidates, maybe 40% or so. And we may need to even consider a female prime minister.
Malaysia has seen its first female deputy prime minister, so the glass ceiling has been shattered. Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail could have taken over as prime minister when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigned in February 2020.
Muslimat PAS is the party’s greatest asset, but it needs to leave the 600s and join the 2020s
But she declined the offer because she thought she could make way for her husband to take over as PM8. However, the fact remains Malaysia almost had a woman prime minister — and it did not happen not because she is a woman but for other reasons.
Wan Azizah was the PKR president for a long time. Hence Malaysia is ready for a woman leader. Women prime ministers have proven themselves in countries such as the UK, Germany, Israel, Pakistan, India, etc.
So change is coming. And unless politicians and political parties also change and keep up with the new sentiments, they are doomed. The future belongs to the young, the women and multiculturalism. Now let’s see who is going to be the first to realise that change is inevitable and mandatory.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin