Case Study on Malaysia
Malaysia is a multicultural society. Malaysia consists of three main ethnic groups, 50.4% being Malays, 23.7% Chinese, 11% indigenous people, 7.1% Indians and 7.8% other races. Due to its colonial past under the British rule, ethnicity has been an issue in Malaysia even up till this day. (Noor, 2013)
Social identity is based on the assumption that society is structured into different social groups that that will lead to different statuses and power. In Malaysia it is largely based on race and religion. It is a known fact that Malays are given priority in many matters. The Malaysian government supports a Bumiputera centric policy; Bumiputera meaning sons of the soil, ...view middle of the document...
This is a necessary for the minority races because to establish a social identity within any society, one first needs to be understood and with a common language, this was made possible.
Refering to Journal Article, Multiculturalism in Malaysia and Singapore: Contesting Models, the author stated that ethnic separation has been ongoing as far back when Malaysia was under the British colonial rule. The British separated the the groups by dividing labour based on ethnic groups. The menial labour intensive jobs were mostly delegated to them while the Chinese were given more opportunities to work in the waged capitalist sector. (Noor, 2013). There was little to no interaction between the different races further separating the different cultures.
When the British rule ended, the Malaysian government sought to create a multicultural nation. As mentioned, the Malay language was chosen as the national language, reason being because the English language was associated with the British rule. The ruling party also felt that this was necessary to give the “disadvanged race”, the Malays a sense of hope that they being at the bottom class at that point of time, will rise up. (Quayum, 2003). Looking at the current situation now, the governent might have overdone it leading to racial tensions between the majority and minority groups. The non malays feared that they would be assimiliated into the Malay ethnic national identity and along the way will lose their own cultural identities.
An article by Time Magazine, Facing Malaysia’s Racial Issues, showed an example of growing discontentment among a minority race. 20,000 ethnic indian nationals marched a peaceful protest. They believe they were “ exploited by the British people for 150 years and now is left at the mercy of a Malay muslim governent”. In this article, the minority group expressed their concerns that they are not having the same social status as the majority group and their future in Malaysia looks bleak. (Kuppusamy, 2007).
The articles selcted for this case study both present a balanced view and are backed with nescessary details. Both the Journal articles and the news source leads to the same conclusion. Malaysia is...