We can read books on Malaysia’s history by scholars of various persuasions all we want. In the end, the solution to the ills suffered by the country over the last half century will have to come from discussions about principles, not about contested facts.
We can blame the British for the mess they left behind, and for the even bigger mess they engineered as their retreat strategy, aimed at protecting their post-colonial interests. We can blame colonialism for forcing the South-East Asian region – and the entire world, in fact – into the legacy of the nation state and the ethnonationalism and inter-communal tensions that always accompany it.
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