An examination of key economic, political and social aspects of Malaysia at the turn of the 21st century. It covers the years of rapid growth and dramatic structural change leading up to the 1997 financial crisis, and the subsequent adjustments which enabled the economy to resume its vigorous advance. The authors critically address affirmative action policies aiming to help Malays enter the modern economy and make income distribution more equitable while reducing poverty. They look at case studies of persisting poverty amidst economic progress, and also scrutinize the development of East Malaysia with its special problems away from the centre of power in Kuala Lumpur. The authors review the direction of politics after Prime Minister Mahathir, as well as exploring Malaysia's foreign, education, and labour policies. They canvass the idea of a "new Malay", better adapted to modern society, investigate the position of the Chinese, examine the struggle for women's rights within the religious framework of Islam, and discuss the contributions of Malaysian NGOs to ongoing changes. They finally draw together crucial issues facing Malaysia in the 21st century.
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