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Malaysian Chinese

Recent Developments and Prospects

Lee Hock Guan and Leo Suryadinata

Publication Year: 2011

This collection of papers examines a variety of topics on the Chinese in Malaysia: the nature of Malaysian multi-ethnic society and the position of the ethnic Chinese, the conflation between ethnicity and religion, the 8 March 2008 election and its impact on the community, the similarities and dissimilarities of the Chinese positions in East and West Malaysia, the new developments in the economy, and the media and education in the past few decades under the New Economic Policy which have major bearings on the 8 March 2008 election and the post-election Malaysian Chinese community.

Published by: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-9

On 10 July 2008, the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) and Chinese Heritage Centre (CHC) jointly organized an international seminar on the Chinese in Malaysia. It was the second one in the series on “Ethnic Chinese Communities in Southeast Asia”. ...


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pp. ix-x


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pp. xi-xiii

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pp. xv-xxxiv

The results of the 8 March 2008 election stunned both the ruling coalition and opposition parties (Ooi et al. 2008). The Barisan Nasional were denied a two-third majority in parliament, and five states — Penang, Kedah, Perak, Selangor and Kelantan — were won by the opposition parties. Overwhelmed by the unexpected outcome, some observers characterized the ...

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1. Malaysia: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Nation Building

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pp. 1-25

On 31 August 2007, Malaysia celebrated her fifty years of Independence from British rule.1 While Malaysians and non-Malaysians may hold differing views of Malaysia, both would, however, agree that there has been considerable economic achievement and visible modernity as symbolized by the famous Petronas Twin Towers and modern highways. But in recent years, there is ...

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2. Being Muslim and Chinese in Malaysia

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pp. 26-44

It has been a general view that being Muslim and Chinese in Malaysia must be something out of the ordinary, or an issue that is problematic. This chapter focuses on the identity dilemma faced by the Chinese Muslims in Malaysia and offers a general look at the reasons behind this and the consequences of this perceived dichotomy, for a better understanding of ...

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3. Quo Vadis: The Chinese in Malaysia

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pp. 45-69

A larger than expected swing against the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) in the March 2008 election altered the political landscape of Malaysia to an extent that few had thought possible. The opposition Pakatan Rakyat gained more than a third of the parliamentary seats, thus denying the ruling BN a two-third majority for the first time. Five large and important states ...

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4. At a Crossroads: Malaysia's Coalition Politics and Chinese-based Political Parties

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pp. 70-85

The 8 March 2008 Malaysian general election stunned the incumbent Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition for it was bereft of the two-third parliamentary majority the coalition traditionally has held since the country obtained political independence in 1957. The electoral outcome was considered a tremendous shock to the BN and Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi. Not only ...

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5. The End of Chinese Malaysians' Political Divison? The March 8 Political Tsunami and Chinese Politics in Penang, Selangor, and Perak

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pp. 86-108

For many Chinese Malaysians, a major concern in Chinese politics is the problem of “political division” in the community. Since 1959, Chinese electoral politics in West Malaysia has been characterized by fragmentation, with Chinese voters splitting their support between the ruling coalition, the Alliance, and later the National Front (Barisan Nasional, BN), and the ...

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6. Forced to the Periphery: Recent Chinese Politics in East Malaysia

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pp. 109-124

This chapter will chart the development of Chinese politics in the East Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah in the past decade. In general, Chinese politics in both states has taken the same trajectory as Chinese politics in the peninsula, that is, the political marginalization of the community, especially in electoral politics. The only key difference between Chinese politics in the ...

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7. The New Malaysian Economic Agenda: Some Preliminary Observations

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pp. 125-143

This chapter attempts to compare and contrast the much vaunted New Economic Policy (NEP) and its later variants, viz. the National Development Policy (NDP) and the National Vision Policy (NVP) with the New Economic Agenda (NEA) propounded by Anwar Ibrahim, the former deputy prime minister of Malaysia and de facto leader of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) ...

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8. The Old and New Malaysian Chinese Language Press, with Special Reference to the 12th General Election

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pp. 144-165

As mentioned by several authors of this book, one of the factors that contributed to the unexpected opposition win during the 12th Malaysian general election was the role of the mass media (Weiss 2008; Welsh 2008). The new communication technology, through online news sites, sociopolitical blogs, and emails, is said to have played a significant role in disseminating ...

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9. Education of the Chinese in Malaysia

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pp. 166-192

This chapter will look at the subject of the education of Malaysian Chinese rather than on Chinese education which focuses mainly on mother-tongue education. Two aspects of education which have preoccupied the Chinese community are mother-tongue education and education opportunities. The Chinese are concerned with these two aspects because of the centrality of ...


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pp. 193-205

E-ISBN-13: 9789814345095
Print-ISBN-13: 9789814345088

Page Count: 205
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: 1