ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print
Malaysia in transition

Mahathir advisers propose review of Malay privileges to spur economy

Long-standing Bumiputra policy favors ethnic majority, from scholarships to contracts

Daim Zainuddin, head of the Council of Eminent Persons, speaks to the press in Kuala Lumpur on Aug. 20. (Photo by Ying Xian Wong)

KUALA LUMPUR -- Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's hand-picked advisers have recommended changes to Malaysia's Bumiputra policy, a set of affirmative action measures designed to lift the social welfare of the majority ethnic Malays. The policy, introduced in 1971, grants a wide range of privileges -- from scholarships to access to government contracts -- based on ethnicity rather than merit.

Past attempts to revise the policy have been met with strong protests from conservatives, including Mahathir, who argued that Malays would be diminished in their own birthplace without state support.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more