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The Malays: Their Problems and Future

SYED HUSIN ALI is a retired academic and politician who served as president of the left-wing Parti (Sosialis) Rakyat Malaysia. He is also a prominent political detainee, who was held for six years without trial under Malaysia’s Internal Security Act, from 1974 to 1980.

The Other Press (Second Edition, 2008)
248 pages including Bibliography and Index


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The Malays: Their Problems and Future discusses the Malays and their origin, history, religion, economy, politics and development up to the present day. The Malays as an ethnic group has been defined on the basis of both legal-constitutional and historical-cultural factors. While it is difficult to speculate or visualise correctly the future of any country or people, it is possible to provide a general outline of the trends of the past and present, and probably attempt to at least indicate what should be avoided and promoted to ensure a better future.

The author connects all of these to the various changes in the forms of modernisation and development programmes which affected, and continue to impact upon, the Malays. Three decades have passed since the book was first published. During that time many changes have taken place in the country. But the basic problems facing the Malays, contends the writer, have remained the same. The current controversies on the declining power of the Malays, as perceived by some, affirm these problems, and make the book more relevant.

Preface to the First Edition

1. Who are the Malays?
2. From Pre-Colonialism to Post-Independence
3. Political History and Process
4. Malays and Islam
5. Structure and Social Changes
6. Wealth, Exploitation and the Economy
7. Development Policies: Success or Failure?
8. Multi-Ethnic Society
9. Conclusion


Weight0.375 kg
Dimensions22.8 × 15.1 × 0.8 cm





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