Law and Society in Malaysia: Pluralism, Religion and Ethnicity, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Law and Society in Malaysia

Pluralism, Religion and Ethnicity, 1st Edition

Edited by Andrew Harding, Dian A. H. Shah


242 pages

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This book provides a systematic and interdisciplinary examination of law and legal institutions in Malaysia. It examines legal issues from historical, social, and political perspectives, and discusses the role of law in relation to Malaysian multiculturalism, religion, politics, and society. It shows how the Malaysian legal system is at the heart of debates about how to deal with the country's problems, which include ethnic and religious divisions, uneven and unsustainable development, and political authoritarianism; and it argues that the Malaysian legal system has much to teach other plural polities, nations within the common law tradition, and federal states.

Table of Contents

List of tables

List of contributors



1 The Creation of Greater Malaysia: Law, Politics, Ethnicity, and Religion

Kevin Y. L. Tan

2 Malaysia’s Blocked Social Contract Debate

Rueban Ratna Balasubramaniam

3 Dimensions of Ketuanan Melayu in the Malaysian Constitutional Framework

Wilson T. V. Tay

4 ‘Nazrinian’ Monarchy in Malaysia: The Resilience and Revival of a Traditional Institution

Andrew Harding

5 The Particular in the Universal: Negotiating the Right to Education and Cultural-Linguistic Rights of Minority Children in East Malaysia

Jaclyn L. C. Neo

6 Legal Pluralism in Malaysia: The Case of Iban Native Customary Rights in Sarawak

Yogeswaran Subramaniam

7 Religion, Conversions, and Custody: Battles in the Malaysian Appellate Courts

Dian A. H. Shah

8 The Rise of 'Islamic' Sexual Morality and State Power in Malaysia

Tan Beng Hui

9 Justice and Enforcement Agencies Personnel in Malaysia and their Views on Domestic Violence, Marriage, and Religion

Noraida Endut and Intan Hashimah Mohamed Hashim

10 Political and Religious Hegemony via the Suppression of Expression: Book Banning and Film Censorship in Malaysia

Azmi Sharom and Saw Tiong Guan


About the Editors

Andrew Harding is a Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore.

Dian A. H. Shah is a research fellow at the Centre for Asian Legal Studies (CALS), National University of Singapore, and a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya, Malaysia.

About the Series

Routledge Law in Asia

The series examines legal system development and rule of law in Asia, using Western legal systems as comparison points. Given the great diversity among legal systems, the purpose is to understand how rule of law is conceived and implemented, and the role of law and the legal system with respect to economic growth, political reform and democratization, the protection of human rights, geopolitical stability and the engagement of Asian countries with other countries in the international arena. The project also addresses the Euro-American centricism of comparative law by replacing outdated stereotypes with empirically grounded, in-depth and up-to-date analyses of Asian legal systems across a wide range of issues and areas of law.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies