Policy Discourses in Malaysian Education: A nation in the making, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Policy Discourses in Malaysian Education

A nation in the making, 1st Edition

Edited by Suseela Malakolunthu, Nagappan C. Rengasamy


156 pages

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Since independence in 1957, Malaysia has become a globally-recognised industrial trading partner. With a 60% Muslim population, it also enjoys the reputation of being a moderate and peaceful nation. However, with just a short time left to realising its Vision 2020 of developed nationhood, the pathway of nation building still seems ambiguous. There is a brewing tension in its race and ethnic relations which has permeated the various fronts, namely politics, society, economics and education. This book analyses the education policies that have been formulated and implemented in Malaysia since independence. It demonstrates how these policy enactments have influenced the nation’s growth and transformation, and the challenges faced in creating a model of equity and multicultural co-existence among its racially and ethnically diversified people. Shedding light on these issues, it points towards the major mending that is needed for Malaysia to become a truly developed nation.

Chapters include:

  • Education of ethnic minorities in Malaysia: Contesting issues in a multiethnic society
  • Access and equity issues in Malaysian higher education
  • Graduate employability in government discourse: A critical perspective

This comprehensive book is a case study on Malaysia that will supplement researchers and advance students in their understanding of a multi-racial society’s perspective and attitude towards education.

Table of Contents


(Suseela Malakolunthu and Nagappan Rengasamy)

2.Globalisation And The Politics Of Education In Malaysia: Some Past And Contemporary Policy Issues

(K S Balakrishnan)

3.Education of Ethnic Minorities in Malaysia: Contesting Issues in a Multiethnic Society

(R. Santhiram and Tan Yao Sua)

4.Access and Equity Issues in Malaysian Higher Education

(Hena Mukherjee, Jasbir S. Singh, Rozilini M. Fernandez-Chung and T. Marimuthu)

5.English as a Malaysian and ASEAN language: Implications for Language Policy and Planning

(Azirah Hashim and Gerhard Leitner)

6.Technical and vocational education and training in Malaysia: From policy to implementation

(Kee-Cheok Cheong, Hwok-Aun Lee, Kuppusamy Singaravelloo and Abdillah Noh )

7.Education Policy and Human Capital Transformation Strategy in Malaysia

(Hussein Haji Ahmad)

8.Graduate employability in government discourse: A critical perspective

(Zuraidah Mohd Don)

9.Going forward: The need to rethink education policies

(SuseelaMalakolunthu and Nagappan Rengasamy)

About the Editors

Suseela Malakolunthu (PhD, Michigan State) is a Professor and Chair of Educational Research and Consultation at the Universiti Utara Malaysia. Besides, Suseela provides consulting services on school improvement and school leadership. She is an awardee of the Fulbright Fellowship for research on ‘Multicultural education and leadership’ at Stanford University (2005 – 2006), and has served as a Research Fellow of the Asia Pacific Centre for Leadership and Change, Hong Kong Institute of Education (2009-2011).

Nagappan C. Rengasamy (PhD) is a Senior Consultant in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at the Asian Institute of Logistics and PEMM Consultants, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. He has about 35 years of industrial work experience both in operational and educational capacities. He specialises in strategic management, leadership, creativity, and adult and vocational education, and offers consulting services in professional development programs. He has also taught management subjects in universities.

About the Series

Routledge Critical Studies in Asian Education

In Asia, schooling, teaching and learning are undergoing major changes as a consequence of wider economic, social, cultural and political movements. The success of some Asian countries in international education benchmarks has redirected attention to the region. This is counterbalanced by other countries that are struggling to educate their citizens in the midst of political instability, ideological and religious tensions, poverty and natural disasters. In spite of such broad differences across countries in Asia, pioneering and innovative research is being conducted that is of increasing interest to researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and governments worldwide.

The Routledge Critical Studies in Asian Education book series will examine key theoretical and empirical research on the changing institutional and cultural contexts of Asian education. The series aims to establish a strong platform for the critical discussion of educational practices and pedagogies in Asia, and is open to Asian and international researchers with a focus on the region. Interdisciplinary research is welcomed, including education, social sciences, psychology, organisational studies, economics, history, political science, cultural studies, and language and literacy.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Adult & Continuing Education
EDUCATION / Bilingual Education
EDUCATION / Multicultural Education
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General
EDUCATION / Comparative