Friday, August 21, 2009

Umno plays race card, and unsettles many

Umno plays race card, and unsettles many

Aug 21, 2009
The Straits Times

by Leslie Lopez, Senior Regional Correspondent

Headline-grabbing street demonstrations, public spats over the sensitive issues of race and religion, the alleged harassment of opposition politicians, the unresolved death of a key opposition political aide, are conjuring up images of a Malaysia ripped apart by political turmoil.

The real picture is less alarming, political analysts say. Still, they caution that the verbal slugfest could sully the country's reputation as an investment destination.

'Malaysia remains very stable. But this debate sends out a message to the outside world that it is an unsafe place and such perceptions have economic ramifications,' says Malaysia-watcher Bridget Welsh, associate professor of political science at the Singapore Management University.

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