Why is Malaysia not Disintegrating? : Islam, the Economy and Politics in Multiethnic Malaysia

The question why Malaysia is not disintegrating like its neighbour country Indonesia and other multiethnic countries in the region or even around the world, is addressed here from a socio-historical perspective. The role of religion – Islam – and economic policy is described by illustrating their critical function and their peculiar conversion in the developmentalist setting of Malaysian politics. The emergence of the political reform movement of the late 1990s is located and understood within in a longitudinal and historical-structural framework. Security, ethnic bargain, and development planning are defined as the central pillars of Malaysia's development as a multiethnic society which is caught in cultural contestations but nonetheless stable.


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