Re-building the Concept of Nation Building in Malaysia

  •  Suhana Saad    


Generally, Malaysia is being described as one of the prime example among those societies that are severely divided along ethnic lines. The country is also among the few pluralistic societies that have achieved some measure of success in managing ethnic conflict and enjoying relative political stability. The complexities of the Malaysian case stem are from the make-up of its ethnic population: Malay (58 percent), Chinese (24 percent), Indians (8 percent), and others (10 percent). Efforts to integrate these diverse groups in the interests of national unity have been, and remain, at the heart of the Malaysian endeavour of nation-building. Her national independence and its Constitution were grounded upon the political bargaining process among ethnic groups which ensued social contract had made them possible. During Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad years, the political sensitivity towards the non-Malays was reduced remarkably. Among the important changes were, liberalization of language, education policies and the most important is the promotion of nation building such as Bangsa Malaysia (united Malaysian nation). When the present Prime Minister, Najib Razak took over the office, he introduced One Malaysia slogan to develop one nation. One Malaysia seeks to improve the relationship of all Malaysians, regardless of racial, religious and cultural background. This paper aims to examine whether the One Malaysia is a new concept or just a re-branding of existing concepts. Therefore, the principles of One Malaysia will be examined to see the efforts toward nation building.

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