Malaysian society has undergone significant transformation during the five decades since independence. Social change, often directly spurred by new directions in public policy, have been especially noticeable after the unfortunate events of May 1969 and after the ascendancy of Dr Mahathir Mohamad to the position of Prime Minister of Malaysia. Malaysia's recent economic success has been accompanied by social, cultural and environmental problems as well as those of marginalised groups. These have given rise to the necessity of managing them through public policy responses, e.g., government action to deal with demographic change such as heavy undocument immigration of foreigners, significant environmental deterioration, higher crime rates and changing concepts of identity as exemplified by debates over Islamisation and the role of women (especially Muslim women) in Malaysian society. Public policies, in turn can give rise to unanticipated consequences. This is certainly true, for example, as indicated by continuing controversies and debates over the effectiveness and success (or lack thereof) of corporatization and privatization policies. With the intensification of the forces of globalization and thus, the response of the Malaysian state to these forces through the introduction of new public policies and the modification of existing ones, there is little doubt that new issues and challenges including the problem of marginalised groups will arise in turn. Some of these important issues and challenges are critically addressed by the authors of the various chapters of this book.
This product was added to our catalog on Sunday 01 April, 2007.