Malaysiakini - Not racist but won't vote for MP of a different race
Thursday, March 17, 2016

A survey on racism conducted among 1,056 Malaysians shows that a significant number of these respondents will not vote for an MP of a different race, despite them deeming themselves as not racist.

The survey, commissioned by the Centre For A Better Tomorrow (Cenbet) and carried out by independent consulting firm Anderson Market Analytics, was only conducted in Peninsular Malaysia, with only citizens interviewed.

Respondents of the survey also reflect the national racial demographics, Cenbet said.

Cenbet co-president Gan Ping Sieu said that in the self-assessment survey, the results showed that 60 percent of the 1,056 respondents claimed that they are not racists.

However, 30 percent of those who deemed themselves as not racist, also said that they would not vote for an MP who is not of the same race as them.

"They say they're not racist but the truth is we are not only conscious of racial identity, we actually have racial traits in our outlook and attitude," Gan said at a press conference in Petaling Jaya today.

Meanwhile, 34 percent of the 60 percent said that they think race-based policies are still relevant in Malaysia.

"Based on the findings, we conclude that many Malaysians are openly against racism.

"Despite this, many of them show aspects of selective racism, whether knowingly or otherwise," Gan said.

Nine percent admit they are racist

Another nine percent had admitted that they were racist, with another 28 percent saying they had shades of racism while three percent said they were unsure where they stood.

The results also showed that among those who admitted to being racist, or having shades of racism, the largest group by age, at 41 percent, was those aged between 18 and 25.

Gan (photo) said this was worrying, as Malaysia is a young nation, with the average age of the national population being 27 years old.

Cenbet would like to propose that the government implements a national unity index for its public policies, he said.

Cenbet co-president Lim Chee Wee expanded on this, saying that politicians need to lead by example and formulate policies to forge national unity.

"Unfortunately, in Malaysia, they (political leaders) are the ones stirring racial and religious controversies. It's time for them to change their mindset," Lim said.

The survey also revealed that Malaysians scored as "averagely or selectively racist" at 59 percent in the questionnaire, based upon the Cenbet Racism Index.

The study covered urban and rural areas all over Peninsular Malaysia, with the 1,056 respondents chosen via random sampling.

The interviews were conducted face-to-face using a questionnaire in multiple languages.

Cenbet will be releasing additional findings from the survey in the near future and it also intends to carry out more research into this matter.

Source: Malaysiakini

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