Lee Kuan Yew’s predictions on politics in Malaysia

Lee said the Chinese and Indian communities will lose their grip on politics due to dwindling numbers through migration and Malay supremacists will dominate

In his book One Man’s View of the World, Lee Kuan Yew wrote that political change is not an easy thing in Malaysia.

It was a prediction that came true to some extent, say netizens, who are posting his quotes in WhatsApp groups.


In essence, Lee said the population structure of Malaysia will make it more difficult to shake Malay supremacy.

He based this comment on the migration of Chinese and Indians from Malaysia.

“Race-based policies is putting Malaysia at a disadvantage. It is voluntarily shrinking the talent pool needed to build the kind of society that makes use of talent from all races,” he further commented.

“They are prepared to lose that talent in order to maintain the dominance of one race,” he argued.

In his opinion, the Chinese and Indians will eventually exert little influence at the polling booths.

“When that day comes, with no votes to bargain with, the Chinese and Indians cannot hope to bring about a fair and equal society for themselves,” he said.

However, the political parties in Malaysia are built on the premises of fairness to all the citizens of the country.

The PKR of Anwar Ibrahim promises fair deals for all races in the country. It has many non-Malay MPs.

The Malays who support both the Barisan Nasional and the new opposition votes on party lines.

They do not vote Malays or Muslims only. Many of the non-Malays are vote in Parliament with Malay votes.

This shows the country’s population is still thinking on the line of nationalism, not religious as partisans.

The Democratic Action Party won 42 seats in the last elections. This reinforces the voice of non-Malays in the August Parliament.

Lee may, however, be right on some aspect of the racial balance in Malaysia.


There is a push for Malay supremacy and this may undermine the minorities. However, the current government headed by Muhyiddin Yassin should not be seen as ‘racial’ government.

He will probably include as many non-Malays as possible to create a balance, though it is a difficult task. There are not enough non-Malay MPs in his coalition in power.

Lee wrote about the PAS and its potential as a veto power in a coalition in power.

The PAS is now in power with Muhyiddin Yassin as PM. They have 18 MPs and they are in the alliance, expecting to make big gains.

The number of Ministerial seats, how powerful the ministers will be through the ministries they are given are all unknowns.

The Prime Minister is yet to announce his cabinet lineup.

In the meantime, this is what Lee said about the PAS in a government.

In his view, if the PAS holds a significant enough share in the government, this will it give a veto power.

If it has, “a significant enough share to give it veto power, would block action in an instant.”

LEE KUAN YEW – One Man’s View of the Worl

Lee was commenting on the PAS as a member of the defunct Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

The PAS held sway in the coalition under Anwar Ibrahim. But it decided to break away from the coalition to fight it alone in the last General Elections.

It made gains in 2018, winning 18 Parliamentary seats and controlling two states, Kelantan and Terengganu.

Will the PAS use this ‘veto’ power in the Muhyiddin cabinet?

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