Levels of urbanisation have been politically stereotyped with urban areas seen to be centres for opposition and rural areas captured by Umno/BN.
Given historic patterns of settlement of different communities, urbanisation levels have also traditionally been used as a proxy for race.
Today, urban areas are ethnically diverse, with Malays rather than Chinese comprising the majority in many urban areas. Levels of urbanisation have also increased, with over 70 percent of Malaysia now deemed as ‘urban’.
Importantly, along with societal changes, political alliances and affiliations have radically shifted. As such, there is a need to re-evaluate the relevance of the rural-urban dynamic for understanding voting.
This third article in the ‘Beyond Ethnicity’ series looks at how...