Salient Factor of Voting Behaviour and its Relationship with Ethnic and Political Tolerance in Malaysia


  • Mohd Azmir Mohd NIZAH Centre for Core Studies & Faculty of Leadership and Management, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia
  • Afi Roshezry Abu BAKAR Department of Journalism, Faculty of Arts and Social Science, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia


The study of tolerance become extremely important 60 years ago when Allport discusses the nature of prejudice due to the increasing multi-diversity society. Tolerance then has been observed as a critical key element in the multi-diversity society politically, ethnically, religiously and culturally ever since. The previous study demonstrated that tolerance has a constructive effect on social solidity and coherence. Nonetheless, it is found an insufficient amount of information on rational voting behavior when ethnic and political tolerance factors are involved. This study has been conducted to explore factors of rational voting behavior in Malaysia in regards to ethnic and political tolerance. A quantitative study uses a survey method with a questionnaire as a data collection technique involving three parliamentary areas is observed. Data then analyzed using Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) with 600 respondents were engaged in the study using multistage cluster and random sampling techniques. The result revealed that while political tolerance is not statistically significant with voting behaviour, but ethnic tolerance evidenced a substantial negative relationship. Ethnic tolerance and political tolerance both had a significant positive relationship. It also revealed that voting behaviour positively influenced by the level of education, a party supported and ethnic identity. Hence, it is clear that ethnic political tolerance has a considerable consequence on the rationale of voting behavior. However, the effects are diverse, in which identical and dissimilar ethnicities act as mediation elements. This study gratifies the aperture to the current body of knowledge and allows great connotation at a situation where ethnic politics are observed as the most important material and tolerance becomes a salient factor in managing Malaysia’s society.

KEYWORDS: rational choice, democratic learning, election, ethnic relations, urbanism, and moderation