Identity, Nationhood and State-Building in Malaysia: A Conversation with Patrick Pillai – S$20.00

Identity, loyalty and nation building are key global challenges today. In the first part of this book, Emeritus Professor K.J. Ratnam, a leading Malaysian social scientist, discusses multiple identities in complex societies, political loyalty, and the challenges that ethnic and religious differences pose for social cohesion. In the second section of the book, done in conversational style, he talks to researcher-writer Patrick Pillai about the importance of regaining the middle ground in Malaysian politics. He expresses a clear preference for civic over ethnic nationalism, arguing that, by embracing all citizens, it provides a more sustainable basis for loyalty. Among key issues discussed are whether Malaysia is a 13-State or a three-State federation, democracy and governance, ethnic politics, and electoral reform. Professor Ratnam also analyses current political alignments and their impact on ethnic relations, the perils of ethnic stereotyping, and the need for a national consensus on foundational issues. He says visions, narratives, national ideologies and constitutions may be useful in bringing people together, but are not enough for holding them together, and suggests some practical ways this problem can be overcome. Sweeping in scope yet detailed in analysis, this publication will interest scholars, students, policy makers and laymen, and encourage reflection on useful ways of facing up to the many complex challenges confronting multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies like Malaysia.

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Title: Identity, Nationhood and State-Building in Malaysia

Author: KJ Ratnam

ISBN: 9789672165651

Book Size: 5.625″ x 8.5″

Weight: 239g

No. of pages: 129 

Price: S$20.00 (before tax)

Year: 2019

Finish: Paperback

Published by: SIRD

Printing: B/W

Genre: International Politics, Malaysian Studies, Malay Studies, Social Science

Additional information

Weight 239 g
Dimensions 14.2 × 21.5 cm


Established in 2000, and nominated for 2020’s Prix Voltaire, Gerakbudaya is a publisher and distributor of books that embody social awareness, critical and alternative perspectives, and the hidden histories of Malaysia, Southeast Asia and the wider world we live in.

Gerakbudaya is dedicated to the circulation of timely and important books, to breaking down artificial barriers between writers/thinkers and between institutions and the outside world, and generating informed discussions on important issues in Malaysian life by providing different views and fresh insights.

As a publisher, alongside our academic imprint Strategic Information and Research Development Centre (SIRD), we are committed to publishing original and thought provoking books which produce a critical awareness of Malaysian politics, history, culture and society.

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