Christianity and the Malaysian Middle Class

A sociological exercise on faith and the middle class. Part of a larger work, i.e. my PhD thesis, which was extracted for a smaller essay. It’s published in Business of Faith website. I want to thank Dina Zaman (Director of Imam Research) who edited the larger work which subsequently became this essay.

Here is an extract of that piece:

he expansion of the Malay middle class was due to the implementation of the New Economic Policy (NEP) and the industrialisation policy beginning from 1970. The NEP committed the government to help expand the Malay middle class as a way to level the unequal socio-economic playing field among the Malays and non-Malays while the industrialisation policy transformed the economic structure of the country from one that was based on agriculture and mining to an industrialised one. In short, both policies contributed to the growth of a Malay middle class.

The non-Malays also benefited from the economic transformation of the country. In 1970, the percentage of Chinese in the administrative and managerial occupation group was at 62.9%. Although the figure had declined to 52.3% in 2000 nonetheless their share in this group still remains significant. The same results can be observed in other occupation groups that are associated with the middle class. In short, the middle class has grown rapidly since the 1970s that cuts across the racial lines and constitutes a significant sector in Malaysian society.

You can read the whole piece here.

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