P025
The maintenance and consolidation of Malaysian Chinese identities: an anthropological exploration

Convenors:
Ker Pong Thock (University of Malaya)
Jijiao Zhang (Insititute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)
Chair:
Thock Ker Pong
Discussant:
Lee Kam Hing
Location:
204
Start time:
15 May, 2014 at 13:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

Malaysian Chinese has manifestated a high degree of resilience in its identity. Hence the study on maintenance of Malaysian Chinese identity can provide a useful insight on this group of Chinese overseas.

Long abstract:

The maintenance of identities of Chinese Overseas in various regions of the world has been a subject of academic study. As a migrant and minority ethnic group who settled down in various countries always encounters the problem of maintaining its identities. However in the case of Malaysian Chinese, they have successfully maintained and consolidated its Chinese identity. Take into account its demographic composition as an ethnic minority group who became the citizen of an ethnic-hegemonic state, Malaysian Chinese have portrayed as a peculiar group of Chinese overseas. The UMNO-Malay controlled ruling regime has initiated a Malay-centric type of nation-building since independence. This state-sanctioned policy of nation-building had failed to dilute the Chineseness of Malaysian Chinese. The success of the Chinese in Malaysia to maintain its resilience in identity is contributed by the robust social capitals of this community. Hence various academic studies on these social capitals are able to provide and elucidate on this important phenomenon.