Summary: Inter-Ethnic Divisions

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Inter-ethnic Divisions Another issue that reflects the lack of national identity in Malaysia is the inter-ethnic divisions in the country. During the colonial rule, the different ethnic groups were segregated by occupations, with the Malays in agriculture, Chinese in commerce and Indians in plantation (Stockwell, 1982). This colonial arrangement allowed for the formation of strong ethnic communities but at the same time made distinctions between the different ethnic groups. After colonial rule, the Malays with affirmative policy gained many rights and priorities in the country. The Chinese, due to their occupational designations, had some economic power. However the Indians were not so fortunate. As Malaysia continued to progress economically in the 1980s, plantations were acquired for property and township development. Not only were the Indians displaced from their jobs, but they also lost their community space in the plantations (Singh K., 2013). As a result of past colonial arrangements, different ethnic communities shared collective experiences, strengthening the strong bonds that already exist in each community. Today, these inter-ethnic divisions are evident in the education system. In Malaysia, there are 3 main types of primary schools, namely the National primary schools in Malay medium and national-type primary schools in…show more content…
An individual’s perception toward his/her community is also relevant, where high levels of alienation from it or high attachment to it significantly influences migration decisions (Strielkowski, W., 2012). Whilst it would be too presumptuous to conclude the lack of national identity from emigration statistics, migration can be an indication of the national identity and sense of belonging of the non-Malays to

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