At the close of the 2011 UMNO General Assembly UMNO President Najib Razak reminded members, and probably Malays in general , that UMNO needed the support of the other races to remain in power.
However it was his deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin who had just a day before declared: "We could have built a government on our own, but we decided to share".
Then, it was not three weeks before that his defacto law minister,Nazri Aziz who said:
"...even if a certain act is within the rights of the constitution, but if that act is against Islam, then the act is inconsistent as far as Islam is concerned.
"Even though a certain act is consistent with the constitution, but is not consistent with Islam, the act is not applicable in Malaysia".
Therefore,Najib's words while soothing to non-Malays, appear not to reflect the sentiment of the leadership team and indeed the following facts belie a reality that non-Malays living in a democracy (even a flawed one) cannot but accept:
First, the population is now predominantly Malay, ie the ethnic breakdown is:
Malay 53.3%, Chinese 26.0%, indigenous (orang asli) 11.8%, Indian 7.7%, others 1.2%
Then the breakdown by religion is even more telling:
Islam (60.4%), Buddhism (19.2%), Christianity (9.1%), Hinduism (6.3%), other/none (5.0%).
Given that Article 160 of the Constitution of Malaysia defines "Malay" as "a person who professes the religion of Islam, habitually speaks the Malay language, conforms to Malay custom", the effective population of Malay voters is probably closer to 60.4% ie the population of Muslims.
Added to that the opinion (albeit untested in court of law) that in Malaysia Islam is in effect the law of the land, it is difficult to see how minorities matter.