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By A. Munro-Kua

Socio-economic and political concerns are handled selectively inside a chronological historic framework, overlaying the dramatic colonial influence of 1940-60 till the current day. The nation is tested from the viewpoint of social type in addition to communalism, to give an explanation for the dominance of the ruling coalition over the 37 years due to the fact independence. the writer argues that authoritarian-populism is the idea that most closely fits the obvious paradox of an everlasting regime through the poll field, and the wide regulations at the scope of democracy, rather throughout the repressive equipment of detention with no trial. The underlying subject is a critique and clarification of Malaysia's human rights list.

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1989:98 32 Authoritarian Populism in Malaysia The dependence of the state on foreign capital, which expected a stable and controllable labour force, presupposed that 'stability' was of paramount importance. At the same time, from an Alliance perspective, discriminatory policies could be implemented and workers' rights minimized by inhibiting trade unionism. In such a situation it also became imperative to stem political challenge from any quarter in order to sustain the status quo. All this was accomplished through the use of detention without trial, initially through the use of the overriding Emergency Regulations and later the ISA.

Tensions within UMNO developed as the aristocratic class fraction began to be challenged from within the party by the nascent Malay bourgeoisie. A number of characteristics emerged from the colonial pattern of development and the state which succeeded it. A key legacy of uneven development was a broad ethnic correlation with economic sector. In this, the most polarized group was the Malays. At one end of the scale, aristocrats had been groomed for administration and political power and at the other, the Malay peasantry grew increasingly impoverished in the rural sector.

These were sectors to which the State could control access through the granting of licences and preference for Malay applicants. 25 The Post-Colonial State 31 Despite the preference given to Malay business, the policies of the Sixties were not generally successful. 1). But the ground had been laid for state intervention on the basis of 'communal balancing'. We will see how in other institutions of the State, notably its ideological apparatuses, communalist distinctions prevailed even further. Thus under the Tunku, economic policies were operating to widen disparities.

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