You are on page 1of 26

Topic 6

Multiracial society

What is multiracial society?

• A multiracial society refers to a society that consists

of various groups of races or ethnicities but under
same leadership.
• “ A process of uniting the members of a society
and the country as a whole through national
ideologies so that the members of the society
can build up an identity, common values and
sense of belonging”.
J.S. Furnival - the plural society is characterized by
ethnic groups who live under one political unit ( a
country) but are not integrated.
The Malay Community

• Original inhabitants of Malaya.

• Influx of Indonesian Malays to Malaya; due to political,
economic and social standards.
• Main economic activity of the coastal Malays was trade, fishing
and farming.
• Not encouraged to participate in the modern economic
The Chinese Community

• Concentrated at early mining sites, gambier and pepper

• Came through the Kangchu system or Surat Sungai.
• Malaya’s banking and insurance industries were run by the
Chinese from the start, and Chinese businessmen usually in
partnership with London firms, soon had a stranglehold on the
• Since the Malay Sultans tended to spend well beyond their
incomes, they were soon in debt to the Chinese bankers, and
this gave the Chinese political as well as economic power.
The Indian Community

• Started off as workers in coffee and sugarcane plantations in

Seberang Perai.
• Also served in government department, in the police force and
railway services as well as security guards.
• Came through Kangani system and Contract system.
• They were also a less united community, since they were
divided between Hindus and Muslims and along lines of
language and caste.
• Majority of Indians remained poor and uneducated in rural
ghettos in the rubber-growing areas.
The Pribumi inhabitants of Sarawak &
• Sarawak population, approximately 70% consists of
• In Sabah, the main groups are the Kadazan-Dusun,
Murut and Bajau ethnicities.

• Different Religions and Cultures

• Divide and Rule Policy
• Separate Systems of Education
• Different Economic Roles and Activities.
• Ethnic Associations
• Communal Newspapers
Divide and Rule Policy

• They were mixed but not united

• They lived side by side yet divided in the
same political system
• Each held steadfastly to their own culture,
religion and language
• There were clear divisions of jobs based on
their racial background.
What is Unity?

in physical, A process of
social, forming a
economics national
and identity
Concept of integration.

Segregation Accommodation




• The relation that has the characteristic of a split

among the ethnic groups in a country.
• Occurs whether consciously by law or not based on

• Also known as cultural assimilation; when people

from a minority group accept the norms, values and
patterns of behavior (culture) of the majority group.

• The concept of assimilation is about the entry into a

dominant society through friendship and close

• A process where the ethnic groups are aware of

each other norms and values but they continue to
safeguard their own living culture.

• Is a process that happens when culture or race mixes

to form types of new culture and race; through
Obstacles to National Integration


• The attitude towards other groups on

common generalizations, on evidence that is
not concrete.
• Takes form of “bad expectations”.
• Eg: racism, prejudices towards those with
disabilities, against people from other
countries, regions and occupations as well as
expressing by jokes or statements.
• The attitude of favoring one’s ethnic community.
• Shows favoritism within the group.
• Is a modern term that describes a broad range of
social movements and social theories, which are in
some way centered upon the community.
• Communalism can take the form of communal living
or communal property, among others. Eg: Hippie
movement, Black Metal, Punk
• The belief that one’s own culture is superior
compared to others (a.k.a. Racism)
• Any cultural elements or manifestation of another
culture that is different is considered wrong, bad or
even dangerous.
• Will lead to racial riots eg: Native America, slavery
systems etc
Factors lead to Racial Riots 1969
• The excitement of celebrating the success of the
election was not immediately contained until it
reached beyond the limits of democracy
• The imbalances in the distribution of benefits from
economic development
• Past animosities sewed the seed of prejudice
• Exploitation of sensitive situations by irresponsible
Lessons learned ….
• The value of democracy
• Physical and social distance
• Post-world war animosity
• Experiences during colonial administration
• Poverty amidst plenty

Sensitive issues NOT to be

discussed in public.

 The constitutional position of the

Malay Rulers.
 The special rights of the Malays
and other indigenous.
 The status of the Malay as the
official language.
• Segregation of living areas of settlements
• Different focus of economic sectors
• Segregation in education system
• Differing political ideologies and influences
• Use of ethnic based newspapers
• Encouraging people to move from one area
to another
• Standardization of the education system
• Role of the mass media
• More comprehensive economic integration