Survey finds Malayisa's Gen Y mostly not race conscious

PETALING JAYA - Young Malaysians are mostly "colour-blind", according to a national survey.

The survey, commissioned by the Centre for A Better Tomorrow and conducted by Anderson Market Analytics, showed that Generation Y was less race-conscious compared to the older generation.

The survey, which polled 1,056 peninsular Malaysians from diverse backgrounds, found that 63 per cent of those in the 18-25 age bracket would consider voting for a candidate from a different race, compared with 54 per cent among those aged over 56.

The survey also showed that the younger group believed that merits trumped race when it came to matters such as awarding a project, hiring new staff, or even choosing service providers or sales assistants.

Another indication pointing towards this was the finding that those between the ages of 18 and 25 were comfortable if a close relative were to bring home a partner from a different race.

Along with this, younger Malays, especially Generation Y, were open to the idea of having a non-Malay prime minister.

An overall 20 per cent of Malays accepted the idea of a non-Malay prime minister, while 26 per cent of respondents from Generation Y were more open to having a prime minister who is not Malay.

Nearly half (48 per cent) of the participants believed that race-based policies were irrelevant although proportionately, more Malays supported the policy.

However, despite this, some 40 per cent of those in the 18-25 years age group admitted to either being "racist" or "have shades of racism".

The fieldwork on the survey started late last year. The first part of the survey findings was announced on March 17.