ERIC Number: ED249298
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-May
Reference Count: 0
Malay Special Rights: "Affirmative Action" in Malaysia.
Lim, Mah Hui
This paper provides an overview of Malaysia's affirmative action program, legally constituted as Malay Special Rights. An introduction defines the aim of the program as improving the economic position of Bumiputras, who consist of Malays and other indigenous communities. These, it is said, are Malaysia's most economically disadvantaged groups; yet, in comparison with Chinese, Indians, and other significant ethnic groups, the Bumiputras constitute a majority and hold political power. The paper begins by examining the historical development of Special Rights during the period of British colonial rule. British "protection" of Malays, the paper asserts, deliberately promoted suspicion and separatism between and within the Malay and non-Malay communities. In the post-independence era, discussed next, the Bumiputras maintained their special political status, even though many were now land poor in contrast to their non-Malay counterparts who had attained greater economic power by establishing modern businesses. Special Rights between 1957 and 1970 are then considered, with particular focus on encouragements provided to Malays in education, small business, and rural land development. These are said to have been moderately successful, but both Malays and non-Malays reportedly remained dissatisfied with their country's economic inequalities. The next section outlines innovations the government had to make after racial riots erupted in 1969. Finally, the overall impact of Malay Special Rights programs are assessed; economic growth, education, inequality, and social harmony are discussed separately. It is concluded that programs have been successful in improving the economic position of the Bumiputras, but not in creating a harmonious and unified society. (KH)
Descriptors: Affirmative Action, Business, Economic Status, Educational Opportunities, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Opportunities (Jobs), Equal Protection, Ethnic Discrimination, Ethnic Groups, Ethnic Relations, Foreign Countries, Indigenous Populations, Public Policy, Social Discrimination, Social Integration, Social Problems
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Social Science Research Council, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: For conference proceedings, see UD 023 748.