ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: Malaysia Gone Sour

Vol IV, No 23 june 7, 1969

Malaysia Gone Sour

The recent riots in Kuala Lumpur have once again exposed the serious problems of nation building that Malaysia faces today. Mob violence on racial or communal issues is bad enough; what is worse is the inability of the country’s established leaders to respond to the situation in a manner that will heal the wounds. Like any other urban strife, the Kuala Lumpur riots have died down after a few days of orgy and violence; but the question “what next” is bothering most observers of the South-East Asian scene. According to some observers, the political division within Malaysia along racial lines has now proceeded to a point where the old style coalition of the races under Tunku Abdul Rahman has become impossible to achieve. The Chinese population in the country is demanding a larger share of power than before and the Tunku’s own capacity to bring about a compromise has been greatly curtailed by the growth of Malay chauvinism within his party. In fact, the rise to absolute power of a leader like Tun Abdul Razak in the wake of the Emergency has only deepened Chinese fears; the minorities in Malaysia have greater faith in the Tunku than in his powerful deputy…In all probability the divisive forces within Malaysia have been greatly strengthened by the riots, both among the Malays and the Chinese.

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Updated On : 7th Jun, 2019
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