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Bumiputera (malaysia)

The meaning of «bumiputera (malaysia)»

Bumiputera or Bumiputra (Jawi: بوميڤوترا‎, Sanskrit: भूमिपुत्र) is a term used in Malaysia to describe Malays, the Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia, and various indigenous peoples of East Malaysia (see official definition below). The term is sometimes controversial, and has similar usage in the Malay world, used similarly in Indonesia and Brunei.

The term is derived from the Sanskrit which was later absorbed into the classical Malay word bhumiputra [Sanskrit "भूमिपुत्र"], which can be translated literally as "son of the land" or "son of the soil". In Indonesia, this term is known as "Pribumi".

In the 1970s, the Malaysian government implemented policies designed to favour bumiputras (including affirmative action in public education and in the public sector) to create opportunities, and to defuse interethnic tensions following the 13 May Incident in 1969.[1] Originally intended to be a temporary measure, these policies are still in effect and have been described as racially discriminatory.[2] Although the policies have succeeded in creating a significant urban Malay and Native Bornean middle class, they have been less effective in eradicating poverty among rural communities.[3][4]

The concept of a bumiputra ethnic group in Malaysia was coined by Abdul Razak Hussein. It recognised the "special position" of the Malays provided in the Constitution of Malaysia, in particular Article 153. However, the constitution does not use the term bumiputra; it defines only "Malay" and "indigenous peoples" (Article 160(2)),[5] "natives" of Sarawak (161A(6)(a)),[6] and "natives" of Sabah (Article 161A(6) (b)).[6] Definitions of bumiputra in public use vary among different institutions, organisations, and government departments and agencies.

In the book Buku Panduan Kemasukan ke Institusi Pengajian Tinggi Awam, Program Pengajian Lepasan SPM/Setaraf Sesi Akademik 2007/2008 (Guidebook for entry into public higher learning institutions for SPM/equivalent graduates for academic year 2007/2008), the Malaysian Higher Education Ministry defined bumiputra as follows, depending on the region of origin of the individual applicant:[7]

In addition to the interpretation given above, a broader definition of bumiputra include groups such as native Indonesians, Malaysian Siamese, Muslim Indian Malaysians, Peranakan and the Kristang people of Portuguese-Eurasian descent.[9] Most of these encompass communities that were established in southeast Asia prior to the period of British colonial rule which saw large scale immigration from China. Others[who?] favour a definition encompassing all children of Bumiputra; there have been notable cases of people with one Bumiputra parent and one non-Bumiputra parent being dismissed as non-Bumiputra.[7]

At the time of Malaya's independence from British colonial rule in 1957, the population included many first or second-generation immigrants who had come to fill manpower needs as indentured labourers. Chinese immigrants, who typically settled in urban areas, played a significant role in the commercial sector after the Indians left the country to return to India, many of the commercial sectors were sold to the Chinese immigrants. The Communities Liaison Committee (CLC), comprising leading politicians from different racial backgrounds, supported the promotion of economic equality for the Malays, conditional on political equality for the non-Malays. CLC member E.E.C. Thuraisingham later said, "I and others believed that the backward Malays should be given a better deal. Malays should be assisted to attain parity with non-Malays to forge a united Malayan Nation of equals."[10]

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