05 January 2015
AT UMNO’S recent general assembly, the trope of “Ketuanan Melayu” rang loud and clear yet again through the halls of the Putra World Trade Centre, drowning out Prime Minister Najib Razak’s “1Malaysia” in the same way that it drowned out Mr Abdullah Badawi’s “Islam Hadhari” not too long ago, and Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s “Bangsa Malaysia” before that.
What exactly does Ketuanan Melayu mean? Furthermore, what does it imply?
At first glance, the meaning of Ketuanan Melayu, in the Malaysian cultural and historical context, is innocent enough. According to school textbooks, Ketuanan Melayu is defined as “the passion for anything related to the Malay race, such as political rights, language, cultural heritage and customs, as well as homeland”.
…The writer is dean and professor of comparative and international politics at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, and Lee Kuan Yew Chair in South-east Asia Studies at Brookings Institution.
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 06/01/2015