Multiculturalism And Religio-ethnic Plurality
Malaysia is regarded one of the most plural countries in Southeast Asia. The plurality and the diversified nature of the society and the ability to live in relative peace and harmony make it possible to speak about Malaysia's experience of multiculturalism and co-existence. Upon independence in 1957 and the formation of Malaysia in 1963, the various religious and ethnic groups have practically demonstrated a remarkable sense of tolerance and reciprocity when they agreed to uphold the proposed Federal Constitution, which among other things granted citizenship to the immigrants (by the principle of jus soli), the recognition of Islam and the special Malay and Bumiputra rights. This paper seeks to depict the experience and the state of multiculturalism and the pattern of reciprocity and tolerance rooted and accustomed in the Malaysian society. It also traces some of the possible factors that are helping to shape the present generation's outlook towards multiculturalism.