Malay Political Leadership

Malay Political Leadership

Malay Political Leadership

Malay Political Leadership

Synopsis

This text shows how particular values and notions of leadership, which underpinned traditional Malay leadership, have played a crucial role in the political evolution of the modern Malaysian nation.

Excerpt

This book proposes certain notions of the evolution and modernization of Malaysia's Malay political leadership and they are explained in terms of historical and political experiences. The account of such experiences, far from any entrapment of nostalgic romanticism, is a progression of ideas and practices not unlike that experienced in other societies. What is different about Malay political leadership is that there is no leadership of its kind anywhere that has been able to maintain indigenous primacy in a fairly even multi-racial environment and one that subscribes to western democracy for its governance while retaining conservative Islamic values. In describing leadership notions, the author argues that there is an intrinsic value in the way we perceive certain things in life and much of it is innate. That value translates into a pseudo perceptual knowledge that gives rise to such impressions as predestination, illusion, etc., elements that are applied to prophetic beliefs and in the revelation and inspiration of leadership. These philosophical arguments that are offered in the author's doctoral thesis from which this book is drawn and expanded, have been left out for brevity and a more general readership.

The book hopes to show that despite its adherence to adat (custom and traditions) and religious practices, Malay leadership is generally speaking not traditionalist in its outlook. Indeed, an important part of the Malay cultural ethos is its pre-occupation with modernization. The Malaysian bureaucracy and its social institutions are decidedly one of the most modern of post-colonial societies moulded arguably from considerable western influence. Successive Malaysian leaders had striven hard to project themselves as progressive and innovative as any leader of the modern era while still maintaining their own distinct cultural identity and embracing traditional values. This view portends a duality of modernism and tradition that will be examined in this

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