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A Divided Nation: Malay Political Dominance, Bumiputera Material Advancement and National Identity in Malaysia

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National identity in Malaysia is defined by Malay culture and politically associated with ethno-nationalism whose goal is material advancement of bumiputera in general and Malay-bumiputera in particular. The process entailed a restructuring strategy to transform the ethnically defined occupational structure and increase bumiputera ownership of the country's corporate wealth to 30 per cent by 1990. To be sure, Malaysia had by turn of the century entered the services stage and expanded the ranks of the middle class. The continued popularity of UMNO (United Malays National Organization) indicates that Malay ethno-nationalist aspirations and its definition of national identity is still relevant. Malaysia thus remains a nation with a divided polity.

Keywords: Bumiputera Material Advancement; Nation; National Identity; Nationalism

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2007

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