You are on page 1of 19

Malaysia (On Wikipedia)

Capital Official Language = Kuala Lumpur [Putrajaya (administrative centre)] = Bahasa Malaysia

Ethnic groups = 50.4% Malay, 23.7% Chinese, 11.0% Indigenous, 7.1% Indian, 7.8% others [Source: CIA. Retrieved 26 October 2010 (] Independence 1957 Area Population = From the United Kingdom (Malaya only) August 31, = 330,803 km2 (66th ) 127,354 mi2 (0.3% Water) = 2010 census
2 th


Population Density = 86/km (114 ) 216.45/mi2 GDP (PPP) = 2011 estimate Total $442.010 billion Per capita $15,384 [Source: International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 30 April 2011] [PPP = Purchasing Power Parity] GDP (nominal) = 2011 estimate Total $247.781 billion Per capita $8,624 [Source: International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 30 April 2011] Currency = Ringgit (RM)

<< -- The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the head of state of Malaysia. The office was established in 1957 when the Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia) gained independence. A literal English translation of the title is "He who is made Lord". However, common alternatives are "King", "Supreme Ruler", "Paramount Ruler", or "Supreme Head of State". Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy with an elected monarch as head of state. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is one of the few elected monarchs in the world. Since 1993, the full title in Malay has been, Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong (His Conqueror Majesty The Supreme Lord of the Federation). Prior to that, the honorific Ke Bawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia (The Dust Under The Feet Of His Majesty) was also used. The consort of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is called the Raja Permaisuri Agong (Queen Lady Consort). The couple are addressed in English as "His Majesty" and "Her Majesty". The 13th and current Yang di-Pertuan Agong is Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, the Sultan of Terengganu. His reign began on 13 December 2006 after his election by the Conference of Rulers. He was formally enthroned on 26 April 2007. [Source: BBC, Thursday, 26 April 2007, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK] Sultan Abdul Halim of Kedah has been elected to succeed him from 13 December 2011. [Source: The Malaysian Insider. 14 October 2011.] -- >>

Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia. It consists of thirteen states and three federal territories and has a total landmass of 329,847 square kilometers (127,350 sq mi) separated by the South China Sea into two regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. Land borders are shared with Thailand, Indonesia, and Brunei, and maritime borders exist with Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The capital

city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. In 2010 the population exceeded 27.5 million. Malaysia has its origins in the Malay Kingdoms present in the area which, from the 18th century, became subject to the British Empire. The first British territories were known as the Straits Settlements, with the other states forming protectorates. The states on Peninsular Malaysia, then known as Malaya, were first unified as the Malayan Union in 1946. Malaya was restructured as the Federation of Malaya in 1948, and achieved independence on 31 August 1957. Malaya united with Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore on 16 September 1963, with 'si' being added to give the new country the name Malaysia. However, less than two years later in 1965, Singapore was expelled from the federation. Since independence, Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with GDP growing an average 6.5% for almost 50 years. The economy has traditionally been fuelled by its natural resources, but is expanding in the sectors of science, tourism, commerce and medical tourism. The head of state is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, an elected monarch chosen from the hereditary rulers of the nine Malay states every five years. The head of government is the Prime Minister. The government system is closely modeled on the Westminster parliamentary system and the legal system is based on English Common Law. The country is multiethnic and multi-cultural, factors that influence its culture and play a large role in politics. Islam is the state religion, although freedom of religion is protected by a secular constitution. Malaysia contains the southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, and is located near the equator and has a tropical climate. It has a biodiversity in the range of flora and fauna, and is considered a mega diverse country. It is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and a member of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Non-Aligned Movement. History of Malaysia Malaysia is a country in South East Asia whose strategic sea-lane position brought trade and foreign influences that fundamentally influenced its history. Hindu and Buddhist cultures imported from India dominated early Malaysian history. Although Muslims had passed through Malaysia as early as the 10th century, it was not until the 14th and 15th centuries that Islam first established itself on the Malayan Peninsular. The adoption of Islam by the 15th century saw the rise of number sultanates, the most prominent of

which was the Melaka (Malacca). Islamic culture has had a profound influence on the Malay people, but has also been influenced by them. The Portuguese were the first European colonial powers to establish themselves in Malaysia, capturing Malacca in 1511, followed by the Dutch. However, it was the British, who after initially establishing bases at Jesselton, Kuching, Penang and Singapore, ultimately secured their hegemony across the territory that is now Malaysia. Japanese invasion during World War II ended British domination in Malaysia. The subsequent occupation from 1942 to 1945 unleashed nationalism in Malaya and Borneo. In the Peninsula, the Malayan Communist Party took up arms against the British. A tough military response was needed to end the insurgency and bring about the establishment of an independent, multi-racial Federation of Malaya in 1957. On 31 August 1963, the British territories in North Borneo and Singapore were granted independence and formed Malaysia with the Peninsular states on 16 September 1963. Approximately two years later, Singapore was expelled from the Federation. A confrontation with Indonesia occurred in the early-1960s. Race riots in 1969 led to the imposition of emergency rule, and a curtailment of political life and civil liberties which has never been fully reversed. Since 1970 the "National Front coalition" headed by United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) has governed Malaysia. Economic growth dramatically increased living standards by the 1990s. This growing prosperity helped minimize political discontent. The Depression of the 1930s, followed by the outbreak of the SinoJapanese War, had the effect of ending Chinese emigration to Malaya. This stabilized the demographic situation and ended the prospect of the Malays becoming a minority in their own country. At the time of independence in 1957, the Malays were 55% of the population, the Chinese 35% and the Indians 10%. This balance was altered by the inclusion of the majority Chinese Singapore, upsetting many Malays. [Source: New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation. pp. 11741177, 12161217.] The federation increased the Chinese proportion to close to 40%. Both UMNO and the MCA were nervous about the possible appeal of Lee's People's Action Party (then seen as a radical socialist party) to voters in Malaya, and tried to organize a party in Singapore to challenge Lee's position there. Lee in turn threatened to run PAP candidates in Malaya at the 1964 federal elections, despite an earlier agreement that he would not do so. Racial tensions intensified as PAP created an opposition alliance aiming for equality between races. [Source: Andaya, Barbara Watson; Andaya, Leonard Y. (1982). A History of Malaysia. London: MacMillan Press Ltd.. pp. 2628, 61, 151152, 242243, 254256, 274. ISBN 0-333-27672-8.] This provoked Tunku Abdul Rahman to demand that Singapore withdraw from Malaysia, which it did in August 1965.

The crisis of 1969: The collaboration of the MCA and the MIC in these policies weakened their hold on the Chinese and Indian electorates. At the same time, the effects of the governments affirmative action policies of the 1950s and 60s had been to create a discontented class of educated but underemployed Malays. This was a dangerous combination, and led to the formation of a new party, the Malaysian Peoples Movement (Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia) in 1968. Gerakan was a deliberately non-communal party, bringing in Malay trade unionists and intellectuals as well as Chinese and Indian leaders.[citation needed] At the same time, an Islamist party, the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) and a Chinese socialist party, the Democratic Action Party (DAP), gained increasing support, at the expense of UMNO and the MCA respectively. [Source: Marshall Cavendish Corporation (2008). World and Its Peoples: Malaysia,
Philippines, Singapore, and Brunei. New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation. pp. 11741177, 12161217.]

At the May 1969 federal elections, the UMNO-MCA-MIC Alliance polled only 48 percent of the vote, although it retained a majority in the legislature. The MCA lost most of the Chinese-majority seats to Gerakan or DAP candidates. The victorious opposition celebrated by holding a motorcade on the main streets of Kuala Lumpur with supporters holding up brooms as a signal of its intention to make sweeping changes. Fear of what the changes might mean for them (as much of the country's businesses were Chinese owned), a Malay backlash resulted, leading rapidly to riots and inter-communal violence in which about 6,000 Chinese homes and businesses were burned and at least 184 people were killed. [45][46] The government declared a state of emergency, and a National Operations Council, headed by the Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak, took power from the government of Tunku Abdul Rahman, who in September 1970 was forced to retire in favour of Abdul Razak. It consisted of 9 members, mostly Malay, and wielded full political and military power. [Source: Marshall Cavendish Corporation (2008). World and Its Peoples: Malaysia, Philippines,
Singapore, and Brunei. New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation. pp. 11741177, 12161217.]

Using the Emergency-era Internal Security Act (ISA), the new government suspended Parliament and political parties, imposed press censorship and placed severe restrictions on political activity. The ISA gave the government power to intern any person indefinitely without trial. These powers were widely used to silence the governments critics, and have never been repealed. The Constitution was changed to make illegal any criticism, even in Parliament, of the Malaysian monarchy, the special position of Malays in the country, or the status of Malay as the national language.

In 1971 Parliament reconvened, and a new government coalition, the National Front (Barisan Nasional), took office. [Source: Marshall Cavendish Corporation (2008).
World and Its Peoples: Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Brunei. New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation. pp. 11741177, 12161217.]

This included UMNO, the MCA, the MIC, the much weakened Gerakan, and regional parties in Sabah and Sarawak. The DAP was left outside as the only significant opposition party. The PAS also joined the Front but was expelled in 1977. Abdul Razak held office until his death in 1976. He was succeeded by Datuk Hussein Onn, the son of UMNOs founder Onn Jaafar, and then by Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad, who had been Education Minister since 1981, and who held power for 22 years. During these years policies were put in place which led to the rapid transformation of Malaysias economy and society, such as the controversial New Economic Policy, which was intended to increase proportionally the share of the economic "pie" of the bumiputras ("indigenous people", which includes the majority Malays, but not always the indigenous population) as compared to other ethnic groupswas launched by Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak. Malaysia has since maintained a delicate ethno-political balance, with a system of government that has attempted to combine overall economic development with political and economic policies that promote equitable participation of all races. [Source: Jomo Kwame Sundaram, UNRISD (2004-09-01). "The New Economic Policy and Interethnic Relations
in Malaysia". UNRISD. Retrieved 2010-10-27.]

People's Action Party United Malays National Organisation relations

Both parties have common roots, being formed during the period of anticolonialism and widespread resentment which grew after the Japanese Occupation. Initially allowing insurgent faction members advocating communism into both their parties as an ally against colonialism, both later developed hostile relations with the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) and Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), expelling the leftists from their ranks. Thus, the PAP and UMNO had co-operated closely for some time to work towards eliminating the MCP insurgency and achieving independence from colonialism. Such co-operation culminated in 1963 with the entry of Singapore into Malaysia. Ideological differences Initially, all appeared well. However, both nations developed different ideological lines on racial issues, especially concerning the Chinese race and the Malay race, mainly marked by UMNO's belief in the bumiputera policy of helping Malays as the original settlers of Malaya who were mostly

poor during post independence and it was thought by PAP as a positive racial discrimination. UMNO saw this as much needed affirmative action for Malays, who had supposedly been put at a disadvantage due to the heavy presence of immigrants, mainly Chinese, who had entered the Malay Archipelago during British colonial rule where many of them had the opportunity to be businessmen living in the city while Malays were left as coolies in rural areas. The PAP staunchly opposed this as unjustified and racist. The PAP, along with several other Malaysian minority parties, epitomised this view with the cry of a "Malaysian Malaysia!", a policy to serve the entire Malaysian nationality, which Singapore at that time was included in, as opposed to just the Malay race. This was driven by the fact that Singaporean Chinese were facing increasing political, legal, and economic discrimination. One of the initial solutions proposed was to have the PAP join UMNO and later on participate in the federal government, but the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) feared that the PAP would replace them, and opposed the PAP, seeing it as a radical socialist movement. The MCA urged the UMNO to prevent the PAP from becoming too influential in the federal government. From this point on, the relationship between the UMNO and the PAP became increasingly cool, falling little short of hostile.

Politics of Malaysia
The politics of Malaysia takes place in the framework of a federal constitutional monarchy, in which the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is head of state and the Prime Minister of Malaysia is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the federal government and the 13 state governments. Federal legislative power is vested in the federal parliament and the 13 state assemblies. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature, though the executive maintains a certain level of influence in the appointment of judges to the courts. The Constitution of Malaysia is codified and the system of government is based on the Westminster system. The hierarchy of authority in Malaysia, in accordance to the Federal Constitution, has stipulated the three branches (administrative components) of the Malaysian government as consisting of the, Executive, Judiciary and Legislative branch. Whereas, the Parliament consists of the Dewan Negara (Upper House / House of Senate) and Dewan Rakyat (Lower House / House of Representatives).
[Source: Jeong Chun Hai Ibrahim, & Nor Fadzlina Nawi. (2007). Principles of Public Administration: An Introduction. Kuala Lumpur: Karisma Publications. ISBN 978-983-195-2532]

Malaysia has a multi-party system since the first direct election of the Federal Legislative Council of Malaya in 1955 on a first-past-the-post

basis. The ruling party since then has always been the Alliance Party (Malay: Parti Perikatan) coalition and subsequently from 1973 onwards, its successor the Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition. The Barisan Nasional coalition currently consists of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) and 11 other political parties. Although Malaysian politics has been relatively stable, critics allege that "the government, ruling party, and administration...are intertwined with few countervailing forces." [Source: "Conclusion". In John Funston (Ed.), Government and Politics in Southeast Asia, p. 413. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 1-84277-105-1.] However, since 8 March 2008 General Election, media's coverage on country's politics has been noticeably increased, making the politics more transparent to the citizens.

Political conditions
Malaysia's predominant political party, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), has held power in coalition known as the Barisan Nasional (formerly the Alliance) with other parties since Malaya's independence in 1957. In 1973, an alliance of communally based parties was replaced with a broader coalition the Barisan Nasional composed of fourteen parties. Today the Barisan Nasional coalition has three prominent members the UMNO, MCA (Malaysian Chinese Association) and MIC (Malaysian Indian Congress). The Prime Minister of Malaysia has always been from UMNO. In addition to the UMNO and other member parties of the Barisan Nasional, three main opposition parties (and several smaller parties) compete in national and state-level elections in Malaysia. The three most competitive opposition parties are the People's Justice Party (Parti Keadilan Rakyat in Malay, shortened to PKR), the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (Parti Islam se-Malaysia, or PAS), and the Democratic Action Party (DAP). The Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) promotes a more Islamist political agenda, while the Democratic Action Party (DAP) promotes a more democratic socialist economic policy. [Source: Pepinsky, Thomas (2009). Economic Crises
and the Breakdown of Authoritarian Regimes: Indonesia and Malaysia in Comparative Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 61-63. ISBN 978-0-521-74438-6.]

The political process in Malaysia has generally been described as taking the form of "consociationalism" whereby "communal interests are resolved in the framework of a grand coalition" "Malaysia: Developmental State Challenged". In Government and Politics in Southeast Asia' The executive branch has tended to dominate political activity, with the Prime Minister's office being in a position to preside "over an extensive and ever growing

array of powers to take action against individuals or organizations," and "facilitate business opportunities". Critics generally agree that although authoritarianism in Malaysia preceded the administration of Mahathir bin Mohamad, it was he who "carried the process forward substantially" Legal scholars have suggested that the political "equation for religious and racial harmony" is rather fragile, and that this "fragility stems largely from the identification of religion with race coupled with the political primacy of the Malay people colliding with the aspiration of other races for complete equality." During the terms of Dr. Mahathir Mohamad as the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia, many constitutional amendments were made. Henceforth, the Senate can only delay a bill from taking effect and the Monarch no longer has veto powers on proposed bills. Also, the 26 state senators are no longer the majority as another 44 senators are appointed by the King at the advice of the Prime Minister. The amendments also limited the powers of the judiciary to what parliament grants them. Like the desire of a segment of the Muslim community for an Islamic State, the non-Malay demand for complete equality is something that the present Constitution will not be able to accommodate. For it is a demand which pierces the very heart of the political system a system based upon Malay political pre-eminence. It is a demand that challenges the very source of Malay ruling elites' power and authority. In early September 1998, Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad dismissed Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and accused Anwar of immoral and corrupt conduct. Anwar said his ouster actually owed to political differences and led a series of demonstrations advocating political reforms. Later in September, Anwar was arrested, beaten while in prison (by among others, the chief of police at the time), and charged with corrupt practices, in both legal and moral contexts, charges including obstruction of justice and sodomy. In April 1999, he was convicted of four counts of corruption and sentenced to six years in prison. In August 2000, Anwar was convicted of one count of sodomy and sentenced to nine years to run consecutively after his earlier six-year sentence. Both trials were viewed by domestic and international observers as unfair. Anwar's conviction on sodomy has since been overturned, and having completed his six-year sentence for corruption, he has since been released from prison. In the November 1999 general election, the Barisan Nasional was returned to power with three-fourths of the parliamentary seats, but UMNO's seats dropped from 94 to 72. The opposition Barisan Alternatif coalition, led by the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS), increased its seats to 42. PAS retained control of the state of Kelantan and won the additional state of Terengganu.

The current Prime Minister is Dato' Seri Mohd. Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak. He took office following the retirement of Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (colloquially known as "Pak Lah") on April, 2009. In the March 2004 general election, Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi led Barisan Nasional to a landslide victory, in which Barisan Nasional recaptured the state of Terengganu. The coalition now controls 92% of the seats in Parliament. In 2005, Mahathir stated that "I believe that the country should have a strong government but not too strong. A two-thirds majority like I enjoyed when I was prime minister is sufficient but a 90% majority is too strong. ... We need an opposition to remind us if we are making mistakes. When you are not opposed you think everything you do is right." The national media are largely controlled by the government and by political parties in the Barisan Nasional/National Front ruling coalition and the opposition has little access to the media. The print media are controlled by the Government through the requirement of obtaining annual publication licences under the Printing and Presses Act. In 2007, a government agency the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission issued a directive to all private television and radio stations to refrain from broadcasting speeches made by opposition leaders. The official state ideology is the Rukunegara, which has been described as encouraging "respect for a pluralistic, multireligious and multicultural society". However, political scientists have argued that the slogan of Bangsa, Agama, Negara (race, religion, nation) used by UMNO constitutes an unofficial ideology as well. Both ideologies have "generally been used to reinforce a conservative political ideology, one that is Malaycentred" Executive power is vested in the cabinet led by the prime minister; the Malaysian constitution stipulates that the prime minister must be a member of the lower house of parliament who, in the opinion of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, commands a majority in parliament. The cabinet is chosen from among members of both houses of Parliament and is responsible to that body. In recent years the opposition have been campaigning for free and fairer elections within Malaysia. On 10 November 2007, a mass rally, called the 2007 Bersih Rally, took place in the Dataran Merdeka Kuala Lumpur at 3pm to demand for clean and fair elections. The gathering was organised by BERSIH, a coalition comprising political parties and civil society groups(NGOs), and drew supporters from all over the country. On 11 November, the Malaysian government briefly detained de facto opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on Tuesday and arrested a human rights

lawyer and about a dozen opposition leaders, amid growing complaints the government is cracking down on dissent. Dozens of policemen blocked the main entrance to the parliament building in Kuala Lumpur to foil an opposition-led rally demanding free and fair elections. The rally carried out hand with the attempt to submit a protest note to Parliament over a government-backed plan to amend a law that would extend the tenure of the Election Commission chief, whom the opposition claims is biased. Malaysia's government has intensified efforts on March 6, 2008 to portray opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim as a political turncoat, days ahead of Malaysian general election, 2008 on March 8, 2008 that will determine whether he poses a legitimate threat to the ruling coalition. [Source: Jeong Chun Hai
@Ibrahim, & Nor Fadzlina Nawi. (2007). Principles of Public Administration: An Introduction. Kuala Lumpur: Karisma Publications.

Campaigning wrapped up March 7, 2008 for general elections that could see gains for Malaysia's opposition amid anger over race and religion among minority Chinese and Indians. [Source: CNN.] Malaysians voted March 8, [Source: CNN. 2008 in parliamentary elections.] Election results showed that the ruling government suffered a setback when it failed to obtain twothirds majority in parliament, and five out of 12 state legislatures were won by the opposition parties. [Source: "Election setback for Malaysia PM". BBC News. 2008-03-08.] Reasons for the setback of the ruling party, which has retained power since the nation declared independence in 1957, are the rising inflation, [Source: crime and ethnic tensions.]



System of government Malaysia is a federation of 13 states and 3 federal territories. The system of government in Malaysia is closely modeled on that of Westminster parliamentary system, a legacy of British colonial rule. [Source: Malaysia Informatio". Retrieved 2010-10-27.] In practice however, more power is vested in the executive branch of government than in the legislative, and the judiciary has been weakened by sustained attacks by the government during the Mahathir era. [Source: Milne, Robert Stephen; Diane K Mauzy (1999). Malaysian Politics Under Mahathir. New York:
Routledge. pp. 2950. ISBN 9780415171434.] [Source: Salles Abas, Mohamed; K. Das (1989). May Day for Justice. Kuala Lumpur: Magnus Books. ISBN 9839631004.] [Source: Robertson, G (1991). "Malaysia: Justice Hangs In The Balance". UBC Law Review (Vancouver: University of British Columbia) 25 (1).]

Parliamentary elections are held at least once every five years, usually concurrent with state elections for state assemblies except for Sabah (until 2004) and Sarawak. [Source: "Malaysia
country brief". 2010-10. Retrieved 2011-02-19.]

What is Nation-building

Nation-building refers to the process of constructing or structuring a national identity using the power of the state. This process aims at the unification of the people within the state so that it remains politically stable and viable in the long run. Nation-building can involve the use of propaganda or major infrastructure development to foster social harmony and economic growth. Originally, nation-building referred to the efforts of newly-independent nations, notably the nations of Africa, to reshape colonial territories that had been carved out by colonial powers without regard to ethnic or other [Source:] [Source: boundaries.] These reformed states would then become viable and coherent national entities. Nation-building included the creation of national paraphernalia such as flags, anthems, national days, national stadiums, national airlines, national languages, and national myths. At a deeper level, national identity needed to be deliberately constructed by molding different groups into a nation, especially since colonialism had used divide and rule tactics to maintain its domination. Traditionally there has been some confusion between the use of the term nation-building and that of state-building (the terms are sometimes used interchangeably in North America). Both have fairly narrow and different definitions in political science, the former referring to national identity, the latter to the institutions of the state. The debate has been clouded further by the existence of two very difference schools of thinking on statebuilding. The first (prevalent in the media) portrays state-building as an interventionist action by foreign countries. The second (more academic in origin and increasingly accepted by international institutions) sees statebuilding as an indigenous process. For a discussion of the definitional issues, see state-building and the papers by Whaites, CPC/IPA or ODI cited below. The confusion over terminology has meant that more recently, nationbuilding has come to be used in a completely different context, with reference to what has been succinctly described by its proponents as "the use of armed force in the aftermath of a conflict to underpin an enduring transition to democracy." In this sense nation-building, better referred to as state building, describes deliberate efforts by a foreign power to construct or install the institutions of a national government, according to a model that may be more familiar to the foreign power but is often considered foreign and even destabilising. In this sense, state-building is typically characterised by massive investment, military occupation,

transitional government, and the use of propaganda to communicate governmental policy. ==============================================

National schools and racial integration

December 2008] (On


Of late there has been a great deal of focus on vernacular education. There are those who say that they should be closed as they believe that these schools are a hindrance to racial unity. On the other hand, the proponents of these schools are vehemently vociferous in defending them as they claim that denying them of such schools would breach the provisions of the Federal Constitution. The role of schools is to provide wholesome education to our children from a moldable age, which includes not just striving for academic excellence but instilling good moral and social values. In a multiracial and multi religious country, goodwill, tolerance and a spirit of sharing among the various races is of paramount importance and education is one of the most important tools for instilling these values which will forge unity among the races. Allowing children of all races to freely mingle under one roof will definitely go a long way to promote unity among them but the environment under which they are must also be favourable to nurture this unity which is so badly needed. Unfortunately such a favourable environment does not seem to prevail in our national schools, like it used to, during the time of English-medium schools of the fifties and sixties when people of all ethnicities preferred these schools. Education is the most important commodity for the progress of an individual and the nation. The people in general want quality education at an affordable cost, an education that can take them through the challenges in life. Are our national schools living up to these expectations of the people? The increasing demand for private and international schools today may be an indication that our national school system may be failing in its obligation not only in uniting the people but providing quality education as well. People from all walks of life are willing to pay a hefty sum for quality

education for their children elsewhere, after being convinced that our national schools are not capable of providing such education. Closing down vernacular schools would be an unwise move as it may not only be unconstitutional but such action would create a lot of ill feeling, anger and unhappiness among those who patronise these schools. This is the last thing we need at a time of heightened inter-ethnic tensions in the country. What needs to be done is to make our national schools more appealing to all communities. It is not the medium of instruction that is a deterrent but a lack of dedication among those entrusted with educating our children. In the past, our English-medium schools enjoyed the patronage of all races because of their high standards that were responsible for producing many highly talented and capable leaders in many fields. However due to the politicisation of our education system, over the years, our national schools instead of reflecting the aspirations of all Malaysians, have unfortunately become more Malay and Islamic for the comfort of the non-Malay, non-Muslim Malaysians. At the same time, most Malaysians would agree that the standard of education, discipline, morals and sports in our national schools too have declined over the years. Politicisation of our education must stop and drastic measures must be taken to improve the standards of our national schools to make them the premier schools in the country. This can be done with the recruitment of more dedicated and racially balanced number of headmasters, teachers and other staff. Nobody with a sound mind would want to shun national schools if they provide an exceptionally high quality of education. There is no doubt that there can be no genuine inter-ethnic unity unless the children of all races study, play, eat and even pray together under the same roof. This can only be achieved if they all go to the national schools which must strive to be truly national to attract children of all races. ==============================================

A Study of National Integration in Malaysia: The Impact of Multicultural Values By Assoc. Prof.
Dr. Zahara Aziz & Prof Amla Salleh (On

Malaysia is a multiracial nation consisting of various races comprising of three major ethnic groups: the Bumiputeras, Chinese and Indians. Due to

this make up, integration has become an ultimate goal of Malaysian social and economic programs. This study examines whether there are changes in the levels of integration of people in the state of Selangor (Malaysia) in relation to social distances, national identity and ethnocentricism, after several decades of the introduction of the mentioned programs. The level of integration was measured from three psychological domains of behavior, cognitive and affective. Questionnaire was distributed to 744 respondents in five districts of Selangor for data collection. Data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics and interpreted using and integration model which describes integration being divided into four levels- segregation, minimal contact, compromise and collaboration. Generally integration in Selangor was found to be at the third level that is level of compromise with the Chinese groups scoring the lowest in all the three domains, the Malays achieved the highest score in the cognitive domain, whilst the Indians received the highest score in the affective domain. Results of the study have indications to various sectors. The findings imply that teaching of civic courses in schools need to be reviewed which include student awareness toward different cultural activities. The paper concludes that although the level of integration is rather high, there are areas which need to be improved. ==============================================

Political Culture and Nation Building: Whither Bangsa Malaysia? by Shaklla Yacobe (On The concept of nation building (often used interchangeably with 'national Integration' "contains a vast extent of human relationships and attitudes ranging from the integration of diverse and discrete cultural loyalties, the development or a sense of nationality, the integration of political units into a common territorial framework with a government to exercise power, (he integration of the citizenry into a common political process to the integration of individuals into an organization for purposive activities.
[Source: Myron Weiner, Political integration and Political Development; The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 358 (March 1965). 54.]

If nation building so touches the root of people's beliefs and attitudes in regard to politics, then the process of nation building must be affected significantly by the character of a society's political culture. Malaysia and Nation Building In facing the difficulties of nation building the post-Independence Malaysian government embarked on efforts to build a sense of identity and to create a unified society. However, the nature of Malaysian society

being multiracial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural as well as multi-religious, presents considerable challenges to the task of successful nation building, and the need to build a new political culture is therefore an essential part of the process. It is clear that the Malaysian government has used as its primary definer the Malay political culture as a means to ensure commonality within the society. For instance traditional symbols from the feudal system, the institution of monarchy, the Head of the Federation (Yang QiPertuan Agong or the King of Malaysia), Islam as the official religion and Bahasa Melayu as the national language are all largely derived from the Malay political culture. Although Malay culture serves as the primary definer at the symbolic level, it is the Western models of political institutions such as constitutional monarchy. bi.cameral parliament and jUdicial system that have been adopted. According to T.N. Harper By Merdeka (Independence) the Malay community had been elevated into a nation, and it seems that to [Prime Minister; P.K./M.W.] Tunku Abdul Rahman the nation was a political and cultural entity based on the concept of original sovereignty. Non-Malays could be admitted to the nation, but Tunku Abdul Rahman did not concede that nationality should be the basis of citizenship. (...) in so far as the term 'nationality' was used it was used in its restricted legal sense, almost synonymously with citizenship - but the Tunku would not allow the term bangsa [race/nation] to be used for it. (...) there could be a Malayan nation, but the Malay bangsa [race/nation] would exist as a distinct core within it. [Source: T.N.
Harper, the End Empire and the Making of Malaya (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, P.P. 350)]

The period 1957 to 1969 was an important era in the history of Malaysia. In addition to the successful formation of a nation state, it was also marked by the expulsion of Singapore from the Federation and a worsening in race relations. The formation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963 incorporated Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore. Brunei withdrew at the very last moment. The inclusion of Sabah and Sarawak's natives such as the Kadazan, Iban, Dayek, Metanau and Murut expanded the multiracial composition of the society and they were recognized as 'Bumiputeras-(sons of the soil). On 5 March 1965 however, Singapore was expelled from Malaysia due to problems arising primarily from the proposal to implement the policy of "Malaysian Malaysia" by the Singaporean People's Action Party (PAP), led by Mr. Lee Kuan Yew." [Source:
M. Nordin Sopiee, From Malayan Union to Singapore Separation (Kuala Lumpur. The University of Malay Press. 197") P.P. 200.]

With the expulsion of Singapore, some of the leaders who had earlier belonged to the Singapore-based PAP formed the Democratic Action Party (DAP), which was formally registered in 1965 and became the largest predominantly Chinese party. In the May 1969 general election, the Alliance Party, as feared by Tunku, was rejected by a majority of Chinese voters and suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the predominantly Chinese opposition parties. At the announcement of the results there were violent inter-racial riots, especially in Kuala Lumpur. These riots included a large number of killings and considerable destruction of property, and underlined the strong undercurrents of distrust between the major ethnic groups. The riots were eventually quelled by security measures introduced after the announcement of a state of emergency and for the next eighteen months Malaysia was under the administration of the National Operations Council (NOG). The UMNO leadership strengthened the Alliance by incorporating ten political parties into a coalition known as the Barisan Nasional (National Front) that included the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS)Y The government was faced with the difficult challenge at creating new economic and political strategies that would produce a strong and united nation with long-term stability. For many Malaysians, the economic and political strategies heralded a turning point, as they brought about fundamental changes in their lives. Constitutional Reform Following the riots of 13 May 1969, the Government decided that certain "sensitive issues" which had previously incited communal tensions should be removed from the realm of public discussion and debate within the Parliament. The Constitutional Amendment Act of 1971 was subsequently ratified. This empowered Parliament to pass laws prohibiting the questioning of any matter, right, status, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative established or protected by the provisions of PART III, Article 152 and 181. Issues deemed sensitive~ were those regarding citizenship, national language, special privileges of Malays, the natives of North Borneo and the sovereignty of hereditary Rulers. Realizing that economic strength and political power are inseparable, the government launched the New Economic Policy (NEP) to cover a twentyyear period (1970-1990) to promote national unity via a two-pronged strategy. In addition to the social and economic programs, a further step taken by the government was the creation of a Department of National Unity on July 1969 to formulate a national ideology. This new ideology,

AUKUNEGARA (Articles of Faith of the State), was announced on 31 August 1970. Other government policies were also introduced in an effort to create a positive attitude towards cultural assimilation and the creation of a national culture. Among them was the National Culture Policy which was introduced in August 1971 to develop a national culture from three foci: the indigenous culture; suitable elements from the non-Malay cultures; and Islam as an important component. The critics of the National Culture Policy counter-proposed a Natural Assimilation policy to allow the assimilation of culture -naturally". The 1983 Joint Memorandum on National Culture submitted by major Chinese organizations had promoted cultural pluralism (or multiculturalism) and the establishment of common cultural values. Conclusion The attempts to create an integrated Malaysian political culture have gradually evolved through Malaysian history. The concepts of "Malayan Malaya", "Malaysian Malaysia" and Bangsa Malaysia proposed at different junctures failed to forge a new approach towards progressive politics. There has been a persistent conflict between the Malays' demand for a Malay-Malaysia and the non-Malays' demand for a "MalaysianMalaysia. This conflict arose out of the respective claims for perceived rights and privileges by both sectors of society. The Malays based their claims on moral, traditional and historical grounds whereas the nonMalays took a contemporary stance, insisting that there should be free and fair competition in all aspects of life. To achieve Bangsa Malaysia (a United Malaysian Nation) Malaysians must think of their society as consisting not of a majority and minorities, but of a plurality of cultural groups and this cannot be secured through government action alone, but requires widespread attitudinal change. All Malaysians need to be familiar with the diversity of cultures in Malaysia and cultivate a respect for the history and traditions of each ethnic group. Such positive attitudes nurtured at a young age will gradually change the prevailing political culture based on racial and ethnic divisions, to one that is able to transcend racial, religious, cultural and linguistic differences. ==============================================

Malaysia - Political parties


Before World War II, there was limited political activity in Malaya, but the Japanese occupation and its aftermath brought a new political awareness. Postwar political parties sought independence, and although the Malays feared domination by the populous minorities, particularly the economically stronger Chinese. The United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the leading Malay party, and the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) formed the Alliance Party in 1952. This party was later joined by the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) and became the nation's dominant political party. The Malayan Communist Party, a powerful and wellorganized group after the war, penetrated and dominated the trade unions. In 1948, after the Communists had resorted to arms, they were outlawed. In the elections of April 1964, the Alliance Party won a majority of 89 of the 154 House seats. The third general election since independence was held in Peninsular Malaysia on 10 May 1969; in the balloting, the Alliance Party suffered a setback, winning only 66 seats. The election was followed by communal rioting, mainly between Malays and Chinese, resulting in much loss of life and damage to property. The government suspended parliament and declared a state of emergency; elections in Sarawak and Sabah were postponed until July 1970. By the time parliament was reconvened on 22 February 1971, the Alliance had achieved a two-thirds majority (required for the passage of constitutional amendments) with the addition of 10 unopposed seats from Sabah and through a coalition with the Sarawak United People's Party, which controlled 12 seats. The elections for state assemblies also resulted in a setback for the Alliance Party, which before the elections had controlled 10 of the 13 state assemblies, but after the elections only 7. In September 1970, Tunku Abdul Rahman retired as prime minister and was replaced by the deputy prime minister, Tun Abdul Razak. In 1973, the Alliance Party formed a broader coalition consisting of the UMNO, MCA, MIC, and eight minority parties. Known as the National Front and led by the UMNO, the ruling coalition was returned to power in the 1974, 1978, 1982, and 1986 elections with overwhelming majorities (148 of 177 seats in 1986). The principal opposition parties, which win few seats owing to a legislative apportionment scheme that heavily favors Malay voters, are the Chinesebased Democratic Action Party (DAP), founded in 1966, and the PanMalayan Islamic Party, dedicated to establishing an Islamic state. In July 1981, Datuk Seri Mahathir bin Mohamad replaced Datuk Hussein bin Onn as prime minister. As of 1986, the National Front also had majorities in 11 of 13 state legislatures; the state assembly of Sabah, the lone exception, was under the control of the Sabah People's Union (Berjaya). In the 1986 elections, Chinese voters moved away from the

MCA and toward the DAP. In April 1987, Mahathir narrowly overcame a challenge to his leadership of the UMNO. As of 2003 there were more than 20 registered parties. The governing coalition is the Barisan Nasional (National Front), led by the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and comprising 13 other parties, most ethnically based. Major opposition groups are the Muslim Unity Movement (APU), dominated by the Parti Se-Islam Malaysia (PAS), the Democratic Action Party (DAP), which is predominantly Chinese and socialist, the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), and the newly formed National Justice Party formed by Wan Aziziah Wan Ismail, the wife of jailed government official Anwar Ibrahim. In the election held 28 and 29 November 1999, the 193 seats of the lower house were distributed as follows: National Front (148 seats), DAP (10), PBS (3), and PAS (27), and Parti Keadilan Nasional (5). In the election, PAS won control of the state governments of Kelantan and Terengganu, giving it two of Malaysia's 13 states. The next elections must be held by 20 December 2004, but because Mahathir has announced he will resign by October 2003, an election is expected to be called before he leaves office in the hope of capitalizing on voters' goodwill towards the UMNO.