Malaysia: The Making of a Nation

By Cheah Boon Kheng | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOUR

1970—76
Malay Dominance, Economic Integration
and National Unity under Tun Razak

… the government policy on national unity is not by process of assimilation but by integration, that is, by mutual adjustment of diverse cultural and social traits, acceptable to all races in the country.

Tun Abdul Razak, Straits Times (Malaysia), 16 May 1972

Due to his strong determination in championing the cause of the Malay peasants when he was Minister of National and Rural Development, he was branded by the non-Malay communities as racialist, as biased against the Chinese, as a religious fanatic who would discontinue, even reverse, the liberal and humanitarian policies so wisely pursued by the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman…. Eventually, using wisely and honestly the great power conferred upon him by his office, he finally won the acceptance and respect of his fellow countrymen.”

Paridah Abd. Samad, Tun Abdul Razak:
A Phenomenon in Malaysian Politics,
p. 213

THE GROWING assertion of Malay political primacy during Tun Abdul Razak ' s administration marked the most radical change from the Tunku's administration. However, given the mixed ethnic composition of Malaysia, and in the wake of the 13 May inter-racial riots in 1969, he still felt that an official declaration of Malay political primacy or a statement claiming Malaysia was a “Malay” nation-state would cause further tensions. Consequently, this was not done.

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