Multiculturalism: The Issue Of Racism In Malaysia

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Multiculturalism is a term that is being used to describe a society that reflects ethnic and cultural heterogeneity and also to signify an essence of equality and mutual respect between people of different ethnics that living in one nation, in a same society (Tirkkonen, 2009). Malaysia is a multiracial country that is made up by diverse ethnic groups and identities that practice various kinds of religions. Malaysia’s population consists of three major races that include Malays, Chinese and Indians. This broad ethnic mix is a product of the British colonial immigration policies that occurred during the colonial era. Since then, Malaysians always describe their country as a multicultural country. It has become part of Malaysia’s identity, and…show more content…
Again, because of various ethnicities and history of origins, Malaysians speak in diverse languages, have different beliefs and practice different religions that lead to the development of a unique Malaysian culture. However, Malaysia also suffered from some religious intolerance and racism due to the multiple religions and misunderstanding between different religions and beliefs. During the British colonial administration, they were bringing in foreign labors from India and China to Malaysia that change the nation’s demographic structure and caused Malaysia to be a multicultural country (Ahmad & Yusof, 2010). However, the British administration developed a divide and rule policy that caused this racial diverse nation becomes an ethnically divided country. This specific policy broadens the gap between the different ethnics in Malaysia. Under this policy, the British government separated these different races with each other by assigned them working in different industries. The Chinese were asked to focus to work in the tin mines, Indians in rubber estates, while the Malays worked their local villages (Aziz, Salleh & Ribu,…show more content…
Besides, the education system developed by the British colonial government in Malaysia during the colonial era is in fact one of the reasons on why there are issue of racism, discrimination and prejudice happened among people from different ethnicities in the modern Malaysia. During the colonial era, the British colonial government made education policies based on the role that each of the races plays in the economy at that time. Because of this, there are many different types of schools were created. The objectives of education during the British colonial government are also different compared to what Malaysia has today. At that time, the objective of the education is to provide children with a really basic education, particularly in their own languages so that they can work in their corresponding economic sectors (Ibrahim, Muslim & Buang, 2011). In my opinion, the British colonial government creates the education policies not because they want to train the children to become very well educated so that they can increase their social mobility. I believe that the British colonial government was aware that it would not bring them any benefit to educate the locals, because they only need the locals to work in industries that helped them to exploit the resources. As a research paper suggest, British colonial rulers did not look education for the locals as a beneficial investment for future

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