Archive for August 27th, 2016

Seeking a new formula to unite Malaysia’s diversity

Ooi Kee Beng
The Straits Times
AUG 26, 2016

The issue of Bangsa Johor (Johor nationality) made national news again on Wednesday, when former prime minister Mahathir Mohamed was asked about it at a forum on relations between the federal government and state governments.

Asked about Johor’s separation from Malaysia, a national concern fanned by provocative comments made by Johor’s Crown Prince, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, Tun Dr Mahathir replied that such a separation would encourage “unhealthy” feelings of superiority and harm the unity of the federation.

The issue of “Bangsa Johor” is hugely interesting on several levels. It acts as a reminder that despite the centralised nature of Malaysian governance, the country was sewn together in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s as a federation. This was clearly reflected in the country’s 1957 Constitution. Read the rest of this entry »