Whatever one’s politics may be, one has to admit that the origins of the Federation of Malaysia are complicated and are overlaps of compromises made over time to define a middle ground that was democratic enough and yet centralised enough to be comfortably stable.
The middle ground that developed, however, came almost always to be defined in terms of racial balances, to the detriment of other parameters relevant to a modern economy, such as class tensions, urban-rural divides and various socio-economic gaps.
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