A Muslim Archipelago: Islam and Politics in Southeast Asia by Dr. Max Gross

By Dr. Max Gross

This examine makes a speciality of Islam in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. it really is meant because the starting of a data base for coverage makers and analysts. the writer was once Dean of the college of Intelligence stories on the nationwide security Intelligence university and Professor of Intelligence (Middle East). the cloth here's prepared thematically round international locations and 5 questions: (1) How did Islam come to the rustic? Or how did the rustic emerge as predominately Islamic? (2) How vital has Islam (as against different political ideologies) been within the political historical past of the rustic? (3) what's the offi cial coverage of the present govt of the rustic towards Islam? (4) What valuable Islamist routine exist in the nation (or in exile)? (5) what's the analysis in regards to the way forward for modern Islamic routine within the state? the present quantity is a projected quantity considered one of a multi-volume research.

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The British then moved quickly to establish, in 1888, a protectorate arrangement, similar to that already in effect for the federated Malay states, with Sarawak, the Sultan of Brunei, and the British North 13 Borneo Company jurisdiction, and in 1891 an Anglo-Dutch arrangement delineated a border agreement between Dutch and British territories on Borneo. The way was made, therefore, for these territories (except for Brunei) to become part of modern Malaysia in 1963. Continuing Role of Malay “Custom and Religion” A feature of British governance in Malaya was careful avoidance of questions “touching on Malay custom and religion” that remained in the hands of the traditional sultans.

The Malay Response: The New Economic Policy Although the riots could have been interpreted as highlighting a need to promote greater political equality in Malaysian society, the UMNO-dominated government that sought to promote stability by strengthening its own hand politically concluded otherwise. The causes of the May 1969 violence were attributed mainly to the grievances and frustrations of the Malay element of society that were primarily economic in nature. 31 The NEP was a long-term, 20-year plan that spanned four five-year plans, ending in 1990.

In this new formula, the nine Malay sultans retained their former status and powers, especially with regard to Malay customs (adat) and religion. Joined with them were two new states, Penang and Malacca, formerly part of the Straits Settlements, which would have elected governors rather than hereditary sultans. 5 million Chinese inhabitants remained apart from the federation as a British Crown Colony, which ensured a Malay majority in the new Malay state. 15 The “Emergency” The change in British policy emboldened the opponents of this policy, especially the Malaysian Communist Party and other left-wing groups, which so recently had been engaged in insurgent operations against the Japanese, to resort to “armed struggle” in an effort to overturn the established — as they viewed it — Anglo/Malay­ dominated society and replace it with a more egalitarian political order as envisioned in the Malayan Union.

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