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Repost :: 1-Malaysia gov’t losing Chinese support, putting reforms at risk

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* Chinese support falls in May

* Affirmative action, cronyism, among chief complaints

* Ebbing Chinese support could make next gov’t more Malay, slow reforms

* Malaysia losing talent, capital over pro-Malay policies

By Stuart Grudgings and Siva Sithraputhran

KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 (Reuters) – Ethnic Chinese voters, upset over policies that favour majority Malays, have become increasingly alienated from Malaysia’s ruling coalition, raising the risk of racial polarisation and a slowdown in the pace of reforms.

Support for Prime Minister Najib Razak among Chinese voters plunged to 37 percent in May from 56 percent in February, a survey by the independent Merdeka Center showed on Friday. It found 56 percent of Chinese were dissatisfied with the government, compared to 30 percent of Indians and 23 percent of Malays.

Recent state and by-elections underline the trend. The main Chinese party allied with the ruling National Front coalition in eastern Sarawak state lost 13 of 19 seats it contested in local elections last year and the opposition won a by-election in the same state in 2010 largely thanks to Chinese backing.