Malaysia is in the midst of enormous societal transformations, and Malay identity is a key locus for these transformations. Malaysians are asking themselves two questions—What does it mean to be Malaysian? And what does it mean to be Malay?
The Malaysian government has a goal of becoming a fully developed nation by the year 2020. This national plan, known as "Vision 2020," is developing within the context of highly contested local/global debates about Islam, science, and modernity. I argue that these debates are best conceptualized as competing projects for reconstructing Malaysian economy, society, and identity and thus represent alternative constructions of Malaysian modernity.