KL rethinks roll-out of reforms to ease Malay fears

Malaysian govt seeks to win over majority group, amid threat from Umno-PAS pact

A voter casts her vote at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kampung Bharu on May 9, 2018.
A voter casts her vote at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kampung Bharu on May 9, 2018.PHOTO: ST FILE

Prolonged unhappiness among Malay Muslims with Pakatan Harapan (PH) is forcing Malaysia's fledgling ruling coalition to ringfence the interests of the majority community before proceeding with promised reforms.

Less than a year after its shock victory in the May 2018 general election, the Mahathir Mohamad administration has already backtracked on various initiatives, including plans to ratify two international human rights conventions, following protests from conservative Malays led by the two biggest Muslim parties, Umno and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS). Other efforts, like abolishing the death penalty, have been watered down.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 02, 2019, with the headline 'KL rethinks roll-out of reforms to ease Malay fears'. Print Edition | Subscribe