A National Service training scheme was launched in
2003 to tackle the polarization of Malaysian society

People & Power investigate the complexities of race and politics in Malaysia.

For years Malaysia has billed itself as a model of peaceful multiculturalism. Tourism brochures boast about a "tropical paradise" where tourists can experience "a diversity of Asian cultures in one single destination" - a phenomenon it says - "we take pride in. From the people, to food, sights and sounds, Malaysia is a unique melting pot in Asia".

But is this really the case? Despite half a century of nationhood, many say that the races that make up its population have never been further apart. Years of positive discrimination towards the Malays, introduced in 1971 as part of the government's New Economic Policy (NEP), have fuelled resentment from Chinese and Indian communities. These policies granted Malays special privileged access to universities, housing and government jobs.

The government says the policies have helped reduce inequality between the Malay community and the Chinese community, which has long dominated the country's economy. 

"I break down and cry thinking of our plight," says one Indian mother. "We buy a house and the Malays buy a house. Why are they given a 7 per cent discount when we poor Indians don't get any? They are human beings and we are human beings too. We are also Malaysian citizens just like them."

Aloke Devichand explores the underlying tensions and discrimination in Malaysia today.

Marketing Milk

Ni Wayak Kitik believes one of her twin
babies died after drinking infant formula
What happens when corporate greed tries to influence a new mother's needs?

People & Power explore the devastating impact of slick advertising campaigns by formula milk manufacturers in Indonesia. 

The aggressive corporate programmes of infant formula companies are in direct breach of government laws, which encourage new mothers to breast-feed newborns.

 

Watch Part One here:

Watch Part Two here:

This episode of People & Power aired from Sunday November 4,  2007 at the following times GMT:
Sunday: 1430
Monday: 0130, 1330
Tuesday: 0630, 2030


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