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 elevate the socioeconomic status of the economically disadvantaged bumiputera community and to defuse interethnic tensions following the 13 May Incident in 1969 by placating the Malay majority through granting them a privileged status over the Malaysian Chinese.[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]

  1. ^ "The slaughter of sacred cows". The Economist. 3 April 2003. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  2. ^ "A Never Ending Policy". The Economist. 27 April 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Malaysia ethnic tribes 'forced to convert'" – via www.youtube.com.
  4. ^ "Quickiepedia | Outcasts in their own land - The Orang Asli" – via www.youtube.com.

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