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UNITY and national

integration of the
Ethnic Relations in Malaysia

 The country is a multi-racial society that has

successfully created peace and become a model of a
calm and peaceful plural society for other countries.
The Theory of Racial Relations (1)

 National unity generally refers to the uniting of various

groups that have different social and cultural
backgrounds, into one physical entity.
 The relation between races can be seen from the
degree of ‘nearness’ beginning with relations that are
apart to relations that are close.
 The processes portray how minority groups become
part of the main stream of a society.
The Theory of Racial Relations (2)
 Segregation – Split the area of the residence, the school
system, transportation, public facilities and others among
the ethnic groups in a country by law (de jure) or not based
on law (de facto).
 Accomodation – The ethnic groups aware of each other’s
norms and values but they continue to safeguard their own
living culture. Each ethnic group sends a representative
who represents his own group and sometimes they are
mutually dependent on one another.
 Acculturation – Known as cultural assimilation. Process
of borrowing or accepting the cultural elements of the
majority group, without changing the original cultural
The Theory of Racial Relations (3)
 Assimilation – Known as structural assimilation. The
concept of assimilation is about the entry into a
dominant society through friendship and close
 Amalgamation – Happens when culture or race mixes
to form types of new culture and race. e.g.: inter-
marriage between ethnic groups or races.
History of Ethnic Relations
 Before a society achieves the stage of integration, it
usually goes through five stages of change.
- Stage of co-existence:
 The people in same area rarely communicate and
contact between them is limited to matters of
necessity only.
-Stage of frequent external contact:
 Gradually frequent contact among the communities
occurred, but the contact was still unable to establish
an understanding among them.
History of Ethnic Relations
- Stage of compromise:
 Communities’ conscious of their common interest and
usually compromise takes place in the economic and
political area.
- Stage of unity:
 The communities in the society compromise and cooperate
as much as possible, there is the tendency for them to live
unite in many ways
- Stage of integration:
 Cooperation among races and they share the same values
create a sense of belonging and strong ties among them.
National Integration Problems

 Pre-judgment action or attitude towards other groups
or races.
 Attitude of favouring one’s own ethnic community.
Lead to social gaps between ethnic.
 Belief that one’s own culture is superior to that of
Obstacles to Integration (1)
Ignorance of other ethnic groups
 Limited or lack of understanding of the way of life, the
living conditions and the problems of other races.
Socialization only within ethnic groups
 Process of socialization of one ethnic group cannot be
exposing to other cultural elements.
Communal Politics
 Each community still has their own racial political
party to voice the feelings and demands of their
Obstacles to Integration (2)

Socio-economic difference
 The socio-economic differences among the ethnic
groups still obvious and led to jealousy and suspicious.
Cultural Differences
 Different cultures could spark off feelings of prejudice,
racism, and ethnocentricism.
Segregation or Physical Separation
 Physical segregation results in an ethnic group not
knowing another ethnic group.

Political Efforts
 Actions through the legislative system – laws and acts are
made by Parliament to settle the problem related to unity.
 The Constitution contains a number of clauses oriented
towards racial equality, such as allocations that provide
protection to certain communities.
Political Efforts (Cont’d)

 The Seditions Act aimed at preventing an

individual from raising sensitive issues in public.
 The Internal Security Act (ISA) is aimed at
protecting the country’s interests and internal
 The Alliance, the Barisan Nasional unites all the
parties into one bigger multi-racial organization.
Economic Efforts

 Government took some measures and recorded in the

five-year plan and government development policies to
have economic equity among the races and to reduce
the identification of race by economic activity.
 Creating Malay entrepreneurs by giving loans, license
and work contracts.
Economic Efforts (Cont’d)
 Government encourages the bumiputra community to
buy government shares and property like MARA.
 Creating industrial zones to give employment
opportunities to the bumiputra community.
 Government encourages foreign investors to invest in
the country.
Social and Cultural Efforts

 The government encourages the sharing of values

among the races.
 In 1971, the government introduces the concept of
National Culture to create a national identity for the
plural society of Malaysia.
 The Malay language was used as the official language
and also the national system of education.
 The government sets up agencies and organizations
such as KEMAS to develop racial unity.

Methods for Socio-psychological
Methods for Socio-economic
The End…