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Umno and the average Malay

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In her 27 years as an academic in USM, Aliran’s Maznah Mohamad studied Malays in general and Umno in particular. She argues that today, Umno is more like a job than a party at the end of the day.


It used to be that whenever it came to election time in Malaysia, the country’s ruling party Umno would gets its community development workers to fan out to all the hamlets on bicycles and on foot to take the political temperature and assure villagers that Umno was the best doctor for them, taking care of their births, deaths and everything in between. But then village youth began migrating en masse to towns from the 1980s and Umno lost these rural forts.

Malaysian sociologist Maznah Mohamad recalls Umno’s women telling her how urban folk would shoo them away and even hurl insults at them if they tried to woo them. Dr Maznah, 54, notes wryly: ‘You can’t go knocking on doors in, say, Subang Jaya. People will just chase you away. There’s no community spirit in such neighbourhoods. Anyway, they’re urbanised, so why would they need you to help them?’ Full article here.

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