Max Walden
Mon Jun 17 08:23:10 +0000 2019

Australia’s ambassador to Malaysia Andrew Goledzinowski @AusHCMalaysia opens @LowyInstitute discussion on #MalaysiaBaharu.

Malays are easy going but if you touch their rice bowl - ie livelihoods - then they will react, says @AusHCMalaysia. Chinese and Indians talk about wages, while Malays talk about the cost of living

.@AusHCMalaysia says that Pakatan Harapan Govt’s cabinet is one of the most san impressive and dedicated groups in the world that he’s encountered but majority have no experience in govt and policy backflips illustrate lack of experience

.@chedetofficial met with @AusHCMalaysia as one of the first ambassadors after he won the May 2018 election. Mahathir said that he had not read Buku Harapan - the manifesto of his coalition. Perhaps a factor why very progressive PH policy agenda has not been realised

Vilashini Somiah of KL-based think tank IMAN Research says “many people voted on their pockets” and a “general sense of desperation”, which is why there is relative disappointment

James Chin of UTAS echoes @AusHCMalaysia’s comment re inexperience of PH cabinet which is why there haven’t been many reforms to date in #MalaysiaBaharu. Also PH do not have control of the civil service, struggling to execute their policies

.@jameschin110 says once @chedetofficial steps down and the “new guy” is in the Prime Ministership, the PH government will be able to achieve more

Malaysians spend too much time on social media and think it reflects reality says @jameschin110. But social media reflects the “Bangsar crowd”, not “the real Malaysia” which is Kelantan fishermen and rubber tappers in Sabah

Mahathir is “not so rude in cabinet” as last time says @jameschin110. Tun M a “true nationalist” & wants to develop Msia. Nevertheless the issues of political Islam & Malay rights unaddressed. Even though @chedetofficial has political capital, he hasn’t addressed political Islam

Vilashini Somiah says Mahathir’s comments on Huawei shows he is “pro-Asian” and young people find it appealing. “Is Pakatan Harapan a mess? Absolutely.” But appealing to young people will be decisive for govt’s success at next election

Mahathir is full of contradictions, says @jameschin110. Many of the problems Malaysia faces today are the result of “Mahathir 1.0”. Whether Tun M gives up power is not entirely up to him but others in govt. #MalaysiaBaharu

Vilashini Somiah says ”the way we talk about races in general is so unsavoury that’s it’s hard to change it ... quota systems need to be done away with ... We seem to only know a system that involves race so it bleeds into everything: banking, schooling”

.@jameschin110 says political parties in Malaysia know “there’s a market” for race-based rhetoric. Add religion to the racial issue and it’s a “cocktail for disaster”