COMMENT | Shining a light on the bumi/non-bumi dichotomy

COMMENT | One of the most enduring socio-economic and racial issues in Malaysia is that related to the bumiputera and non-bumiputera term and the dichotomy, compartmentalisation and polarity that has resulted since the term was introduced into the nation’s political lexicon and life.

In this article, I will shine a light on what many observers see as the biggest elephant in the nation’s shaky edifice of national solidarity and unity. In it and a subsequent piece, I will examine the origins of the bumiputera term; discuss how it has evolved as a political and policy construct; and review its role and significance in national policy-making and implementation.

Should this political and policy construct that defines and regulates the lives of the majority of Malaysians in many ways continue? What is its relevance more than half a century after its formulation? What are alternative and better constructs that can address more effectively the challenges that we face in nation-building?...

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