Malaysia’s Economic Heritage
Any serious consideration of the present should recognise its roots in the past. For living generations of Malaysians, growth has always been export-led. Yet the openness of the Malaysian economy — very open even by Third World standards — is not a natural condition, but rather a feature of the structural transformation it has undergone, especially since the British colonial period. Like that of many other ex-colonies, contemporary Malaysian history has also been complicated by developments of the colonial era; in a very profound sense, the Malaysian nation is a child, albeit a stepchild, of imperialism. And of course the shaping and reshaping of the Malaysian economy did not stop with Independence, but continues. Hence, the basic perspective in this volume views the present — including the recent past — as history in the making. It is always useful to begin considering contemporary issues from a historical perspective. To put the Malaysian economy in the 1980s in the proper light, it is worthwhile to review its formation.
KeywordsGross Domestic Product British Colonial Colonial Government Primary Commodity Japanese Occupation
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