Wednesday, February 18, 2009

No more race-based parties: Poll respondents

KUCHING: Respondents to an online opinion poll have voted overwhelmingly for the abolition of race-based political parties in the country.

Some 90% of about 500 respondents believe that the abolition would result in greater social harmony and understanding among the various communities.

Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar launched the poll on “Racial harmony in a balanced society” conducted by Kuching-based malaysiapollster recently.

Respondents were asked to answer seven related questions.

Poll analyst Goh Leng Chua said 7% of the respondents disagreed that doing away with race-based political parties could help enhance social harmony and racial understanding, while the remaining 3% were unsure.

He said about 44% felt that racial harmony could best be achieved by getting rid of politicians who play the race card.

Another 30% believe that education and inter-racial social activities, such as festivals, sports and inter-marriages, were the best way to promote racial harmony.

The remaining 27% favoured equal opportunity to all those in need, particularly the poor.

Goh said half of the respondents also felt that there was no need for a Race Relations Act in Malaysia.

About 92% of the respondents agreed that “Malaysians are a colourful example of racial, cultural and religious tolerance, living peacefully in a social mosaic rich in diversity, and we should proactively preserve and treasure our common destiny.”

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