Dr Wan Azizah: Race still a factor, but new govt aims to move beyond it

Wan Azizah says she is aware that moving away from race will be a long haul effort. — Picture by Razak Ghazali
Wan Azizah says she is aware that moving away from race will be a long haul effort. — Picture by Razak Ghazali

SINGAPORE, May 29 — Appointing an ethnic Chinese as Finance Minister — “one of the most senior, most important” ministries — shows just how serious the new Malaysian government is about turning the page on race-based politics, newly-minted Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail told TODAY.

She is, however, realistic about the tough task ahead. “We do want to change, (but) because the majority are Malays, that probably has to be addressed,” said the 65-year-old, who is also the Women and Family Development Minister.

“I admit it would be hard because bumiputeras are the majority, and the majority of the poor are bumiputeras, or the Malays especially, so there must be that political will to address that fact.”

Race-based politics and policies are an entrenched part of the Malaysian landscape, but the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, which took power after the May 9 general election, says it aims to move towards meritocracy.

Related Articles