Malaysia: Hopes for reform and unity after elections

As the opposition levels allegations of fraud following Malaysia's general elections, the director of a Catholic weekly in Malaysia is urging the government not to use religious issues "for political advantage".

The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN, National Front) coalition continues its unbroken reign of more than half a century after winning 133 of the 222 parliamentary seats in Sunday's elections.

After being sworn in as prime minister by Malaysia's king on Monday, Prime Minister Najib Razak announced a programme of "national reconciliation" to address discontent among Malaysia's Chinese, who are angry over government policies favouring ethnic Malays.

Reform of these policies was one of the campaign platforms of the opposition, which attracted large numbers of Chinese voters.

Najib said: "The results show a trend of polarisation which worries the government. If it is not addressed, it can create tension or division in the country."

Fr Lawrence Andrew, director of the Catholic weekly "Herald", told Fides news agency he hoped "the government does not use religious issues for political advantage".

He called for the country to embark on a process that would prioritise reform, transparency, anti-corruption measures, and justice.

He said he wanted to see the government "restore the unity and hope to the country".

More News in World