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[Vol. 35, No. 1, 2017]



Published by
Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia

Print ISSN: 0127-4082
Online ISSN: 2180-4273
Frequency: Biannually
Current Issue: Volume 35, No. 1, 2017
Abstracting/Indexing: EBSCO, Genamics JournalSeek, Google Scholar, MyCite, Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS), Directory of Open Access Journal (DOAJ), JURN

Kajian Malaysia is listed in Scopus and ERA Ranked Journal List.

USM has extended content delivery format for its journals’ publication in print and PDF to include ePub, to address the growing need for more mobile accessibility.

News: Kajian Malaysia bags inaugural Ministry of Education CREAM Award
:: Aims & Scope

Kajian Malaysia is a refereed journal committed to the advancement of scholarly knowledge of Malaysia by encouraging discussion among the several branches of social sciences and humanities. The journal publishes articles, reviews and notes which by their content or approach, is of interest to a wide range of scholars. Although the journal would focus mainly on works in the field of Malaysian studies, articles with a theoretical content may also be published.

Kajian Malaysia is published by Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia by an autonomous Editorial Board drawn from staff members of the University. The Board is assisted by a panel of distinguished scholars from local and foreign universities.

The journal pursues a bilingual publishing policy (Bahasa Malaysia and English). The Editorial Board reserves the right to decide which language an article will appear in, and will undertake to provide professionally acceptable translations.


:: Publication Ethics

Kajian Malaysia adheres to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) standards on publications ethics. For further details please visit:


:: Current Issue

Volume 35, No. 1, 2017

Title: Chettiar Capital and the Emergence of the Chinese Bourgeois in British Malaya
Author: Ummadevi Suppiah and Sivachandralingam Sundara Raja
Source: Kajian Malaysia 35(1) 1–21, 2017
- Abstract  

The historiography of Malaysia that addresses the Chinese and Indians rarely examines the interaction between the two ethnicities. In fact, works by Western and local scholars drew attention to the fact that the Chettiars operated outside ethnic parameters in Southeast Asia and particularly in Malaya. It has to be noted that the Chettiars were credit providers and financiers for the Chinese bourgeois from the early 19th century until the Second World War. This article explains how the Chettiars helped Chinese entrepreneurs in the economic development of British Malaya. Existing literature seems to depict the unbalanced view that the Chinese used their own capital and sought financial assistance from Chinese towkays and banks along with European commercial banks to develop their economic activities. The reality was that Chinese entrepreneurs also used the services of Chettiars as personal financiers and credit providers in crucial periods such as during the depression of the 1920s and 1930s.

Keywords: Chettiar, capitalism/capital, Malaya, laissez-faire, Chinese bourgeois, business caste

Title: A Transitioning Sabah in a Changing Malaysia
Author: Mohamad Nawab Mohamad Osman
Source: Kajian Malaysia 35(1) 23–40, 2017
- Abstract  

The East Malaysian state of Sabah has played an important political role in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government. In the 2013 election, the component parties of BN in the state delivered a substantial number of parliamentary seats and helped the BN hold the government, despite losing the national popular vote. This paper argues that the changing political dynamics in Sabah will not have a significant impact on the Malaysian political landscape. The paper will examine the socio-political history of Sabah and analyse the impact of this history on contemporary Sabah politics. Further, the paper will study recent political developments, such as the Lahad Datu incursion and the issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah, and how these developments will shape the political landscapes of both Sabah and the larger state. The paper concludes by drawing a trajectory of Sabah's politics. It is concluded that despite Sabah's growing political importance for the BN, the political developments in Sabah will not significantly alter the landscape of Malaysian politics and that Sabah as a state will remain marginal in the larger context of Malaysian politics.

Keywords: Sabah, 2013 elections, Malaysian politics

Title: Chinese or Malay-Medium Schools? A Study of Factors Influencing Chinese Parents' Choice of Primary Schools in Sarawak, Malaysia
Author: Diana Phooi-Yan Lee, Su-Hie Ting and May-Chiun Lo
Source: Kajian Malaysia 35(1) 41–67, 2017
- Abstract  

This study examined factors that influence Chinese parents' choice of medium in primary schools in Sarawak, Malaysia. A questionnaire that was based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour was administered to investigate the influence of attitudes towards school, social pressure (subjective norms) and perceived behavioural control on parents' intentions for school choice. The survey was conducted with 397 Chinese respondents who had children in one of 21 Chinese- and Malay-medium schools in Kuching, Sarawak. The results showed that the strongest influence on primary school choice was perceived behavioural control, which is the extent to which parents felt capable of paying fees and enrolling their children in the school of their choice. Positive attitudes towards Chinese schools also predicted choice for Chinese-medium schools. Parents who wanted their children to learn Mandarin and Mathematics and to have a Chinese cultural appreciation chose Chinese-medium schools. However, subjective norms had little influence on school choice. Collectively, attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control accounted for 44.0% and 32.4% of the variance in Chinese parents' intentions to choose Chinese- and Malay-medium schools, respectively. The findings suggest that there may be other factors that influence school choice, which should be investigated using interviews.

Keywords: Chinese schools, medium of instruction, Theory of Planned Behaviour, school choice, Malaysia

Title: Locational Decisions in a Creative City: Evidence from Penang's Architectural Firms
Author: Suet Leng Khoo, Nurwati Badarulzaman, Narimah Samat and Sharifah Rohayah Sheikh Dawood
Source: Kajian Malaysia 35(1) 69–89, 2017
- Abstract  

The importance of location has been revisited and reinstated with the emergence of concepts such as "creative economies, creative cities". In a creative city, the defining characteristic is the clustering of creative human talent or the "creative class" to drive growth, progress and economic development. In the literature, selected locations in urban areas function as magnets to attract and retain the creative class. This paper examines the case of Penang's construction industry, which is classified as a creative industry. The paper aims to understand the factors that shape the locational decisions of employers in Penang's construction industry. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used to elicit data. Thirty-five architectural firms were surveyed and 16 employers were interviewed. The findings suggest that location is not the main factor that determines where young creative architects prefer to live and work. In fact, Penang is currently facing the critical issue of attracting and retaining young creative architectural talent, as architects prefer monetary gains in larger cities than remaining in Penang. Penang is not perceived as an ideal location for young creative talent to cluster, and this in turn impacts the employers and the industry as a whole. More committed state interventions and a good incentivising system should be in place to reverse the "brain drain" and make Penang an optimal location that attracts the creative class back and drives the construction industry's competitive and creative edge to greater heights.

Keywords: creative city, creative class, architecture, Penang, economic development

Title: Pembangunan Kepimpinan Wanita: Membina Ilmu Watan bagi Kepimpinan Wanita Menerusi Kehidupan Tun Fatimah Hashim
The Development of Women's Leadership: Constructing Local Knowledge on Women's Leadership through the Life of Tun Fatimah Hashim
Author: Muhammad Rahimi Hasan and Bahiyah Abdul Hamid
Source: Kajian Malaysia 35(1) 91–116, 2017
- Abstract  

Kajian ini tertumpu kepada aspek teoretis kepimpinan wanita berdasarkan pengalaman pemimpin wanita Melayu, sekali gus Malaysia iaitu Tun Fatimah Hashim (1924–2010). Selama empat dekad kepimpinannya, kedudukan politik Fatimah Hashim sebagai Ketua Kaum Ibu United Malays National Organization, (UMNO) (1956–1972) meletakkan beliau di barisan hadapan kepimpinan wanita. Selanjutnya, beliau telah dilantik sebagai Menteri Kebajikan Am (1969–1973) yang bermaksud menteri pertama dalam kalangan wanita Malaysia. Peranan Fatimah Hashim selaku Yang Dipertua National Council of Women's Organisations (NCWO) sejak 1965 sehingga 1989 mewajarkan lagi kepimpinan Fatimah Hashim dikaji selidik. Kesignifikanan penyelidikan kepimpinan Fatimah Hashim adalah kerana kelahiran dan pembangunan kepimpinan beliau pada era pramerdeka dan awal pascamerdeka yang bercakerawalakan masyarakat konservatif-patriarki. Ketika itu, masih lagi belum termaktub secara rasmi sebarang komitmen daripada pihak kerajaan untuk melindungi dan membela hak-hak wanita seperti Dasar Wanita Negara, mahupun Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) yang diratifikasi Kerajaan Malaysia pada tahun 1995. Kewujudan budaya patriarki yang masih tebal dan ketiadaan kerangka undang-undang bersifat membela dan memperkasa hak golongan wanita secara tidak langsung mewujudkan isu kepimpinan wanita. Pertama, sebab-musabab Fatimah Hashim diangkat dijulang sebagai pemimpin wanita Malaysia meskipun berada dalam persekitaran yang tidak mendukung pembangungan kepimpinan wanita – isu halangan wanita menjadi pemimpin masyarakat. Kedua, sebagai pemimpin wanita, Fatimah Hashim berusaha secara konsisten melawan persekitaran konservatif-patriarkal dengan mengartikulasikan tuntutan hak wanita – isu penerimaan masyarakat terhadap kepimpinan wanita. Ketiga, zaman yang serba mencabar itu mempengaruhi pencapaian perjuangan hak wanita yang dipimpin oleh Fatimah Hashim – isu keberkesanan kepimpinan wanita. Akhirnya, kajian ini menganjurkan agar penjelasan teoretis kepimpinan wanita berlandaskan ilmu watan dibangunkan. Hal ini kerana penjelasan pengalaman kepimpinan Fatimah Hashim berdasarkan penilaian teoretis para sarjana tempatan didapati lebih memuaskan berbanding penjelasan teoretis-empiris yang berpusatkan pengalaman Barat.

Kata kunci: Fatimah Hashim, kepimpinan wanita, hak wanita Malaysia, isu gaji sama untuk wanita

This study focuses on the theoretical aspect of women's leadership based on the experience of a distinguished Malay woman leader, namely Malaysia's very own Tun Fatimah Hashim (1924–2010). Tun Fatimah Hashim's political position as the Leader of Kaum Ibu UMNO (Women's Wing of United Malays National Organization, UMNO) for the four decades of her leadership (from 1956 to 1972) has placed her at the forefront of women's leadership in Malaysia. Her appointment as the Welfare Minister in the Malaysian cabinet (1969–1973); the first minister among Malaysian women attest to her ability as a formidable leader. Her role as the Head of National Council of Women's Organisations (NCWO) from 1965 until 1989 further justifies that there should be studies carried out to investigate Tun Fatimah Hashim's leadership especially among local researchers. To understand why this study is significant, we must first understand the socio-political context that gave rise to the leadership of Fatimah Hashim, significantly that of the pre-independence and the early post-independence period within the milieu of a conservative-patriarchal society. At that time, there was no officially-written commitment from the government to protect and defend women's rights such as the National Women's Policy or the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) ratified by the Malaysian Government in 1995. The resilience existence of a strong patriarchical culture and the non-existence of legislative framework to defend and strengthen the rights of women have indirectly sparked interest on the issues of women leadership. Firstly, one of the reasons which has elevated Fatimah Hashim as a woman leader in Malaysia is her capability to centralise the issue of women's obstacles in becoming community leaders despite living in an environment which was indifferent to women's development. Secondly, as a woman leader, Fatimah Hashim strived consistently to fight the conservative-patriarchal environment by articulating women's rights – the issue of claiming women's rights through the public's acceptance of women's leadership. Thirdly, the influence of living in challenging times and its effects on the struggle for women's rights led by Fatimah Hashim – the issue of the effectiveness of women's leadership. Lastly, it is hoped that this study will develop public knowledge on women's leadership based on local knowledge specifically through theoretical assessment by local researchers and scholars on Fatimah Hashim's leadership. We feel that this kind of endeavour will be more effective compared to the empirical theoretical explanation which centres on the experience of the West.

Keywords: Fatimah Hashim, women's leadership, Malaysian women's rights, issue of equal pay for women

Short Communication

Title: Laporan Pencapaian Universiti: Satu Renungan dari Asia Tenggara
University Achievement Report: A Reflection from Southeast Asia
Author: Jyh Wee Sew
Source: Kajian Malaysia 35(1) 117–131, 2017
- Abstract  

Perbincangan ini mengetengahkan laporan Kedudukan Akademik Universiti Sedunia (Academic Ranking of World Universities, ARWU) yang diusahakan oleh Shanghai Jiao Tong University supaya laporan tersebut lebih dikenali dan diakuri oleh komuniti terpelajar di Asia Tenggara. Adalah bermanfaat bagi komuniti varsiti untuk memberi perhatian pada kandungan ARWU, iaitu penyata laporan yang tertua dan paling disegani. Pandangan bahawa universiti yang sempurna tidak wujud disangkal dengan barisan kriteria yang jelas mendasari petunjuk yang berkaitan. Seperkara lagi, laporan ARWU yang terperinci mendedahkan bahawa sesebuah universiti yang bersejarah panjang belum tentu mencapai taraf universiti yang cemerlang. Pencapaian awal yang tertera di dalam kad laporan universiti usaha pihak Barat yang diterbitkan pada awal tahun perlu ditapis dengan semakan kedua di Asia Tenggara. Hal ini disebabkan hakikat bahawa bandingan antara keputusan awal dengan laporan ARWU membolehkan pihak pelajar, pengkaji dan pentabir membuat keputusan yang lebih sahih dalam perancangan masing-masing.

Kata kunci: Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), kriteria penilaian, kesahihan objektif, pendidikan tinggi, pencapaian universiti

This discussion presents the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) report conducted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University toward its wider recognition and acceptance by the learned community in Southeast Asia. It is beneficial for the varsity community to pay attention to the content in ARWU, the oldest and most revered report card. The view that an ideal university does not exist is refuted with a listing of clear criteria underpinning the relevant indicators. Futhermore, the detailed report in ARWU reveals that the university with a long history may not necessary achieve the status of a great university. The early achievements documented in the university report cards prepared by the West that is published at the beginning of the year could be refined with a second check in Southeast Asia. This is because a comparison of the early results with the ARWU report will enable the students, researchers and the administrators to make a valid decision in their own planning.

Keywords: Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), criteria of evaluation, objective validation, higher education, university achievements

Book Review

Title: The Malayan Emergency: Essays on a Small, Distant War, by Souchou Yao. Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2016, 178 pp.
  Wong Yee Tuan