The Old and New Malaya of Colonial Days and Its Continuity Into Modern Day Malaysia

Sivachandralingam Sundara Raja, Wu-Ling Chong, Ahmad Kamal Arifin Bin Mohd. Rus


The term “Old Malaya” refers to the Malay states of the eastern coast of the Peninsular (Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu) and the “New Malaya” to the states on the west coast (Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor and Pahang). The British concentrated their economic growth on the west coast, thereby giving rise to a dual economy. On the west coast, the British were profit driven with special focus on mining and plantation sectors which reaped great economic growth. Similar policy was carried out by the post-independence government which focused more on the west coast states. This had serious implications and caused the east coast states to be underdeveloped. It is only very recently (2007) that the government planned to create the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) and Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) with major projects to improve the economic condition of the east coast states. The unequal development extended beyond regional inequalities, again as in the case of colonial rule. For instance, the Indians were marginalised both during the colonial era as well as in post-independent Malaya/Malaysia. The marginalisation of the Indians when plantations were bought over by government owned companies led to uneven development in post independent Malaya. This article intends to explore the uneven development of Malaya in the 19th and early 20th centuries, a situation which continued to exist in post-independent Malaya.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n2s1p161

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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