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‘Malay Muslim first’: the politics of Bumiputeraism in East Malaysia

Chin, J ORCID: 0000-0003-3631-9913 2017 , '‘Malay Muslim first’: the politics of Bumiputeraism in East Malaysia', in S Lemière (ed.), Illusions of Democracy: Malaysian Politics and People , Strategic Information and Research Development Centre, Selangor, Malaysia, pp. 201-220.

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This chapter traces the political marginalisation of the main Bumiputera (indigenous) political grouping in the East Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah. Often ignored by scholars working on Malaysia, their political plight and marginalisation by the Muslim powerbrokers in both states in the past two decades are symbolic of the making of a ‘Malay Muslim’ state, rather than the promise of multi-ethnic and multi-religious Malaysian federation. In theory, the Bumiputera were favoured in all political, economic and social spheres under the infamous New Economic Policy (NEP). They are supposed to get easy access to government jobs, scholarships and places in public universities, special licences and easy credit. In reality, it would appear that these benefits are only available to Muslim Bumiputera (MB) while the majority Bumiputera, being non-Malay and non-Muslim, are marginalised or get very little benefit from the NEP and other affirmative action policies.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Chin, J
Keywords: Sabah, Sarawak, politics, Indigenous, bumiputera
Publisher: Strategic Information and Research Development Centre
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Sophie Lemiere

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