A critical exposition and assessment of Mahatir Mohammad's theory on race relations and reconciliation

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Philosophy

Subject Categories



College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Adviser

Daniel Kroger

Defense Panel Chair

Elenita Garcia

Defense Panel Member

Rolando Gripaldo
Brian Douglas Elwood


This thesis is an exposition and critical assessment of Mahathir Mohammed's race theory. Mahathir Mohammed is the current Prime Minister of Malaysia (1981- ), influential leader of ASEAN, South-South relationship and the Islamic world. He belongs in the rare group of politicians whose words and administration has affected permanently the lives of many, institutionalising the distinct philosophy in the way a multicultural society.The study divides the reading into: general ideas of race theory and governance, the policies of Mahathir Mohammed, and an assessment of his ideas.The the general ideas of how to advance the needs of multicultural societies in the West and East is looked into and then an introduction to the basic fabric of Malaysian style multiculturism is given.The study delves into the formation of multicultural Malaysia and administration before the role of Mahathir and the development of the Mahathir Mohammed model of multiculturalism. The role of Mahathir in the nation stretches even longer than when he assumed power. It begins at the death knell of the Tunku Abdul Rahman administration in the late sixties.The assessment on the policy of separate representation and the effectiveness of the policy to create bangsa Malaysia (A Malayan race) received the long treatment of the thesis. A reading of the politics and development of the Southeast Asia region from post World War II may assist in the understanding of the basic nuances of Mahathir's ideas. The Justice Department's Appraisal of Human Rights in Malaysia for 1999 can further explain life in Malaysia under Mahathir.

The exposition and critical assessment of Mahathir extend beyond his writings and speeches, or the material written on him. The absolute grip he holds over the nation enables his infuence in most any Malaysian activity in the last twenty years. It is the spirit engendered by Mahathir that is perused here rather than just his words. The common thread through this thesis is the complexity Mahathir holds in the sense he is deliberately contradictory. He is a politician's politician that he is willing to explain and re-explain himself in the most populist fashion and not let anyone label him as anything except adversary no one would contend with.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

180 leaves ; 28 cm.


Theory (Philosophy); Race relations; Racism; Minorities; Reconciliation

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