Global Perspectives in Family Therapy: Development, Practice, and Trends

By Kit S.Ng | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3

Family Therapy in Malaysia

An Update

KIT S.NG

Malaysia is a culturally and religiously diverse country of about 19 million people consisting of 59% Malays and other indigenous groups, 32% Chinese, and 9% Indians/others. Most Malays (Bumiputras) are Muslims and most Chinese are Buddhists. A minority of the Indians, Chinese, and Eurasians are Christians; however, Hinduism is also a noticeable religion in Malaysia. Each ethnic group strongly adheres to its religious and cultural beliefs. Although the English language is widely used in Malaysia, the official language is Malay. Malaysians are accustomed to using several languages in their school systems and in official business. Malaysia is one of the fastest growing countries in Southeast Asia and is rapidly becoming a major economic force. The escalated growth toward urbanization during the last 30 years has mobilized concentrated efforts toward adequate social welfare and human service programs by the Malaysian government. This trend is clearly evident in the country's massive drug rehabilitation programs and its emphasis on reducing juvenile delinquency (Scorzelli, 1986, 1992). Although the efforts have significantly reduced drug abuse, there are still questions regarding juvenile delinquency.


THE NEW MALAYSIA

Malaysia has been very fortunate compared to other developing countries. With vast natural resources and steady economic growth, Malaysians have enjoyed a very comfortable standard of living. Because of consistent economic growth, Malaysians are also forced to adjust to many socioeconomic changes. For the last 15 to 20 years, there has been a mass migration of the

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