A comparative Analysis of how Malays are treated in Singapore and Malaysia
“Affirmative action” means positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education, and business from which they have been historically excluded. Indeed if one were to see affirmative action in the light of John Rawls’ maximin approach to give the greatest benefit to the least advantaged in society, it would seem to be a just and fair way to organise society. Hence it’s no surprise that affirmative action is prevalent in many countries today principally to ameliorate the disenfranchised in the society to become ‘full partners’ in the society. However, when affirmative action involves preferential selection—selection on the basis of race, gender, or ethnicity—it tends to generate intense controversy. For the purposes of this paper a comparative analysis on the affirmative action practised by two countries namely Singapore and Malaysia with regards to their indigenous populations– the Malays - will be attempted.
Affirmative Action In Malaysia
Affirmative Action for the majority in Malaysia, the Malays, also known as the ‘bumiputeras’ – literally meaning “sons of the soil” - is enshrined in the Malaysian constitution itself. Malays are accorded special rights through quotas for educational institutions, public sector employment and business licenses - as a constitutional right as per, Article 153(2), of the Federation of Malaysia Constitution promulgated in 31st August 1957. However Racial riots in Kula Lumpur in May 1969 brought to the fore the economic imbalances that characterized Malaysian society then. In effect, all social indices – infant mortality, per capita income, literacy rate – were all lagging for the bumiputeras. And because of these imbalances extra help in the form of affirmative action was seen both as morally and socially justified.
Hence the... [continues]
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(2010, 09). Affirmative Action: Ethical or Purely Discrimination. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 09, 2010, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Affirmative-Action-Ethical-Or-Purely-Discrimination-401067.html
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