While former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is facing corruption charges (Benar News, 9 March 2023), the ethnic, religious and political polarization of Malaysia continues.
World Watch Research analyst Thomas Muller comments: “The federal government of Malaysia is to hold six state elections in 2023 and it is widely expected that the opposition PN coalition (with the Islamic PAS as the largest party) will make considerable gains. As one observer put it: ‘If PN had been the government, there is no doubt there would have been Malay-centric government, pushing towards a quasi-Islamic state. This is an acceptable vision of Malaysia to many within the Malay-heartlands (not all). This is in contrast to Anwar’s unity government, which is seeking to cast some form of middle road, something not fully Islamic, but not quite secular’ (Murray Hunter Blog, 16 March 2023).”
Thomas Muller adds: “Such polarization has also become visible in the political arena. Christian minister for Youth and Sports, Hannah Yeoh, has recently been accused on social media (and by a PAS MP) of using her ministry for programs to convert Muslim youths to Christianity (UCA News, 15 March 2023). While these and similar earlier accusations lack any factual basis, they can nevertheless fan the flames of racial and religious hatred and deepen the polarization Malaysia is facing.”