Political Parties and the Politics of Citizenship and Ethnicity in Peninsular Malay(si)a, 1957-1968

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About the Publication

The inclusion of provisions derived from the principles of citizenship and bumiputraism in the 1957 Malay(si)an Constitution invariably created ambiguities and tensions. While the provisions based on the principles of citizenship proclaimed the equality of rights and liberties of every citizen, those based on bumiputraism vindicated a hierarchy of rights along ethnic lines. In the sixties, the relatively unencumbered freedoms of speech and press and democratic space permitted the intense contests over the terms and meaning of the Constitution and its implementation to be debated legally and publicly. This paper examines how the contests over the terms and interpretations of the Constitution and its implementation brought about frictions and fissures in both the Alliance and the opposition parties.

Contents

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