Most accounts of Malaysia’s post-independence history treat 1969 as a watershed marking the beginning of a new era in the country’s political, economic and social development. At the beginning of the twenty-first century the sight of young Malaysians ice-skating in a shopping mall built where Chinese tin-miners once toiled encapsulates the often breath-taking changes that have occurred since the inception of the New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1971. The implementation of the NEP was a major turning point in Malaysia’s history and for the first time its leaders sought a new direction in ethnic relations that diverged significantly from the colonial conception. Because the implications of this important shift continue to be felt throughout Malaysian society, the NEP deserves to be studied carefully. For almost a generation, debates over the impact of these changes have provided the stuff of academic discussions on Malaysia, with the inclusion of many contending voices. This chapter gives particular attention to the economic developments that have had such wide-ranging effects on Malaysian society. Many of these were introduced during the long tenure of Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister of Malaysia (1981−2003), which shaped Malaysia’s social restructuring in fundamental ways.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Restructuring Malaysia, 1969–1999
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number