Essay on National Unity

3488 Words Apr 14th, 2010 14 Pages
CPPS Policy Factsheet:

National Unity
CPPS is pleased to bring to you its “CPPS Policy Fact Sheet” on national unity. In this factsheet, we will look at government policies which affect national unity and explore their effects on social cohesion and integrity in Malaysia.
BACKGROUND Malaysia is one of the most plural and heterogeneous countries in the world, with three major ethnic groups — Malay, Chinese, and Indian — plus several other indigenous tribes. It has a checkered history, having been under four different colonial powers at one time or another since the 16th century. This ethnic and cultural diversity is reflected in the wide variety of languages spoken and religions practiced in Malaysia; even within the same ethnic
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(Mid-Term Review of the 9th Malaysia Plan) 41% of Malaysians either describe national unity as “superficial” or “imposed”, or believe there is no national unity at all in Malaysia. (Merdeka Centre Ethnic Relations Perceptions Poll) 25% believe that Malaysians from different ethnic groups are drifting apart rather than becoming more united, and 15% believe that the situation will only worsen over the next decade. (Merdeka Centre Ethnic Relations Perceptions Poll) There is a clear correlation between age and mixing outside one’s own ethnic group; younger Malaysians are likelier to say they find it difficult to relate with those not from their own racial background, and less likely to say they like mixing with people of a different race. (CPPS Minda Muda study) 22% do not have any friends from ethnic groups other than their own. Of those who do, 60% rarely or never take meals with their friends from other ethnic backgrounds. (Merdeka Centre Ethnic Relations Perceptions Poll) Roughly 2/3rds of young Malaysians’ close friends are primarily from the same ethnic group or religion as them. (CPPS Minda Muda study) Only 57% of Malaysians believe that government policies should focus on promoting interests common to all Malaysians, with 25% believing that government policies should focus on the interests of specific ethnic groups. (Merdeka Centre Ethnic Relations Perceptions Poll) 75% of young

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