Regionalism in Malaysia: Containing Grievances in an Ethnoreligious Dominant Party System

21 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2021

See all articles by Mohamed Salihin Subhan

Mohamed Salihin Subhan

University of British Columbia

Kai Ostwald

University of British Columbia (UBC)

Date Written: September 1, 2020

Abstract

The multiethnic state of Malaysia has distinct regional identities that have been shaped both by historical and post-independence factors. These regional identities play a major role in political mobilization and electoral competition. Moreover, their unique religious, linguistic, and cultural attributes produce frequent center-periphery tensions. Yet unlike in neighboring Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines, regionalism in Malaysia has not produced any credible secessionist movements or violence. This paper provides an explanation for the absence of secessionism by focusing on demographic nuances and the center's grievance containment measures.

Keywords: Malaysia, Regionalism, Identity, Grievances, Dominant Party System, UMNO

Suggested Citation

Subhan, Mohamed Salihin and Ostwald, Kai, Regionalism in Malaysia: Containing Grievances in an Ethnoreligious Dominant Party System (September 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3760149 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3760149

Mohamed Salihin Subhan

University of British Columbia ( email )

2329 West Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia BC V6T 1Z4
Canada

Kai Ostwald (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia (UBC) ( email )

1855 West Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia BC V6T 1Z4
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.kaiostwald.me

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