Social, economic issues more important for M’sia’s Malay Muslims, says thinktank

THE Malay Muslim community in Malaysia prioritised social and economic issues such as poverty and living cost over matters like institutional reform, said a survey by Ilham Centre.

Respondents of the thinktank’s ‘Institutional Reform in Malaysia: Malay Muslim Views and Sentiment’ report viewed issues such as parliamentary reform, good administration, judiciary reform, press freedom and fair elections as too distant to have immediate effects on their daily lives.

The issue of ‘bread and butter’, said the thinktank, precedes everything. The main consideration of the Malay community is their life choices; they will prioritise aspects of their survival.

“That is, if referring to agendas such as institutional reforms of Parliament, government administration, judiciary, media, election and others, the theme is too far from their lives,” it said in a statement on Friday (Sept 10).

The report further revealed that 32% of Malay Muslim respondents said that the economy should get focus for improvement; this is followed by government administration (27%), Parliament (13%), judiciary (7%) and others (12%).

According to Ilham Centre Research Fellow Dr Hamidin Abdul Hamid, the institutional reform agenda lacked traction among the Malay Muslim community due to the fact that they are unable to see its direct effects in their lives.

“I think most of the reasons why institutional reform failed to get its place within the Malay community is because the ones who gave the information failed to correlate the reform agenda with their daily livelihood,” he said during the report’s press conference.

“I think that the misinformation issue must be fixed immediately because the Malay community wants to see how the reform agenda is able to put food on their table, improve their source of income, ease the process of their children’s education, and increase their employment opportunities.” – Sept 10, 2021

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