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Recent Trends and Challenges

Saw Swee-Hock and K Kesavapany

Publication Year: 2005

This book documents the trends and challenges that are taking place in the more important sectors of Malaysia. The chapters, written by specialists with an intimate knowledge of the country, cover major topics such as population trends and patterns, Islam Hadhari, Bangsa Malaysia, politics and the 2004 general election, civil service reforms, corporate governance, educational reforms, the impact of globalisation on the economy, and Malaysia’s relations with Singapore. Recent developments in these areas are likely to have a profound bearing on Malaysia and its neighbours in the years ahead. The book provides readers with a greater appreciation and a deeper understanding of Malaysia, which is undergoing significant changes and challenges.

Published by: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii

The chapters in this book are derived from commissioned papers and those presented at an ISEAS Workshop entitled “The Political Economy of Malaysia: Current Trends and Future Challenges” held in September 2004. Chapters 1, 2, 10, and 12 are specially commissioned from ISEAS scholars who are experts in their own field of interest. ...

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pp. viii-x

I am very pleased to have been invited to take part in the one-day workshop on “The Political Economy of Malaysia: Current Trends and Future Challenges” held at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, in September 2004. Most of the papers were by scholars from Malaysia and Singapore ...

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pp. xi-xvi

Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid is Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the School of Distance Education, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and has published widely in recent years. ...

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1. Population Trends and Patterns in Multiracial Malaysia

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pp. 1-25

The demographic data upon which this chapter is based are extracted from the four pan-Malaysia Censuses of Population conducted after the formation of the Federation of Malaysia on 31 August 1963. There are some differences in the definitions, classifications, and tabulations of the results in these population censuses, ...

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2. The Emerging Politics of Islam Hadhari

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pp. 26-46

Islam Hadhari was a key campaign issue during the 2004 general elections in Malaysia. Its message of a “progressive” Islam was popular with the electorate, resulting in a ringing endorsement of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi at the polls on 21 March. ...

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3. Bangsa Malaysia: Vision or Spin?

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pp. 47-72

Mahathir Mohamad was probably unwavering throughout his political life as far as his hopes for Malaysia were concerned. However, given the pragmatics of politics, one would expect the numerous slogans he forged over 22 years to direct the political focus of his countrymen to vary in efficacy, in seriousness, and in function. ...

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4. The 2004 Malaysian General Elections: Economic Development, Electoral Trends, and the Decline of the Opposition

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pp. 73-99

This chapter argues that the rise of the influence of the Opposition during the 1990s was primarily due to the outcome of key policies implemented by former prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, on the economy and Malaysian society. One key reason why Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi managed to lead the ruling ...

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5. The UMNO-PAS Struggle: Analysis of PAS’s Defeat in 2004

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pp. 100-131

The outcome of the 11th Malaysian general election of 21 March 2004 was staggering not because of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition’s triumph, but rather because of the magnitude of its victory. Garnering 63.8 per cent of the popular vote, the result meant that BN now controlled 199 out of 219, or 90.9 per cent, of parliamentary seats, ...

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6. The Malay Electorate in 2004: Reversing the 1999 Result?

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pp. 132-156

On 21 March the ruling National Front (Barisan Nasional, or BN) swept to its greatest electoral victory ever, winning 199 of 219 seats. The Opposition won only 20 seats, down from 45 in the smaller outgoing parliament. The Democratic Action Party (DAP) increased its representation by two to 12, ...

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7. UMNO and BN in the 2004 Election: The Political Culture of Complex Identities

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pp. 157-194

This chapter focuses on the pattern of the relationship between United Malays’ National Organisation (UMNO) and its partners in the Barisan Nasional (National Front, or BN) and the factors regulating their relationship especially in the context of the 2004 general election. ...

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8. Malaysia’s Civil Service Reform: Mahathir’s Legacies and Abdullah’s Challenges

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pp. 195-209

Since Malaysia’s independence in 1957, administrative reform efforts in the country have been moving ahead at a rapid pace. Under Mahathir, such reform efforts have been further reinforced with much conviction as well as rhetoric. His administration picked up the new public management (NPM) paradigm. ...

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9. Reinventing Governance in Corporate Malaysia: The Challenges Ahead

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pp. 210-229

Finally, Malaysia has a new prime minister in 22 years. The smooth yet historic power transition from one of the longest-serving to one of the few pre-selected prime ministers in Asia draws everyone’s attention to the unique democratic procedures in Malaysia. Without any unruliness taking place in the background of this momentous event, ...

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10. Globalisation and Ethnic Integration in Malaysian Education

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pp. 230-259

In the 1956 Razak Report, two important roles were assigned to education in Malaysia: to facilitate economic development and nation building, or ethnic integration.1 In the aftermath of the May 1969 ethnic riots, however, education also became a key vehicle designated by the state to advance its New Economic Policy (NEP) goal ...

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11. Globalisation and the Challenges Facing Malaysia’s Economy

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pp. 260-274

2004 was a very good year for Malaysia. Although the Malaysian economy showed some signs of easing in the fourth quarter of 2004, strong growth in the first three quarters (averaging 7.6 per cent) delivered a robust GDP growth of 7.1 per cent for the full year. (The economy grew 5.3 per cent and 4.1 per cent in 2003 and 2002 respectively.) ...

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12. Promising Start to Malaysia-Singapore Relations

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pp. 275-286

The period stretching from 1997 to 2002 was one of the most stressful in the short history of relations between Malaysia and Singapore. A number of confrontational issues came to a boil in the mean time, making it all the more difficult for them to be resolved. ...


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pp. 287-304


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pp. 305-313

E-ISBN-13: 9789812305541
Print-ISBN-13: 9789812303394

Page Count: 313
Publication Year: 2005

Edition: 1

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Malaysia -- Politics and government.
  • Islam and politics -- Malaysia.
  • Elections -- Malaysia.
  • Malaysia -- Economic conditions.
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