Cake
  • Log In
  • Sign Up
    • In Malaysia we have this legal system where a sub-population of the country - namely the Malay population - has special privileges due to their race. This is part of the constitution, and so it's pretty much set in stone.

      I won't get into too many details, but basically what this means is that Malays (and natives of East Malaysia) are awarded special privileges in many sectors, often at the expense of non-Malays (Chinese and Indian citizens). This practice is institutionalised to the point where filling in official forms for any purpose, healthcare, education, financing, business etc., requires you to state your race. One example is scholarships and placements in public universities, where some scholarships are only open to Malays, and public universities enrol students to fulfil a racial quota (often giving more placements to Malay students). Malay citizens also enjoy discounts when purchasing real estate, while non-Malays have to pay more to purchase the exact same property. There are other examples as well, but you get the point.

      Is there anywhere else in the world where political systems favour one race over another? I could Google it, but I value the input and conversations on Cake.

    • Is there anywhere else in the world where political systems favour one race over another?

      I've read that institutional racism against ethnic minorities and foreigners is a pretty big problem in Japan, though perhaps a bit more unspoken and less explicit than what you've described in Malaysia.

      But one thing that strikes me about your question is that I can't think of any place in the world where political systems don't favor one race over another. In some places it's just less explicit.

      In the U.S., for instance, our Constitution and many of our laws say that everyone is equal. But the reality is that for centuries white people who came to America from Europe killed and oppressed Native Americans, kidnapped black Africans and enslaved them, and were just generally huge racist jerks.

      Around 150 years ago — just a few generations! — half the country fought an incredibly bloody war with the other half of the country over the right to own slaves. It's easy to see this as being far in the past because we learn about it in History class, but it really wasn't that long ago.

      The end result of those centuries of oppression and genocide is that to be a Native American or an African American or a person in another minority group often means starting with a built-in societal disadvantage. The parents, grandparents, and great grandparents of a white American born today are more likely to be educated and economically advantaged than the parents of a non-white American because the generational effects of centuries of oppression are still rippling through American society.

      I think if you look almost anywhere in the world, you'll see similar patterns.

    • Race based affirmative action does not work, the solution has to be merit based.

      Quotas or subsidies for the disadvantaged to help improve their entry levels into higher education is probably the best way, to right some of the wrongs of the past.

    • Quotas or subsidies for the disadvantaged to help improve their entry levels into higher education is probably the best way, to right some of the wrongs of the past.

      If I'm not mistaken, this is why Malaysia has this policy of "Malay rights", to give them an advantage over the other races. The problem is, Malays are not "disadvantaged", and because of these "rights", they end up with an easier path in life than our non-Malay citizens. Malays can get into university with average results and still get scholarships, while non-Malay citizens with better results won't be granted the same opportunities.

    • The education idea I was mentioning was in the context of world wide affirmative action, not specifically Malaysia, I should have made that clearer.

      The Malaysian system is not fair and is always a source of heated discussion amongst the non Malay citizens, especially in relation to the Malay reserve land law.

      Affirmative action exists in other countries to some extent, the best example is probably South Africa, they have had two forms, pre and post apartheid.

      You are correct, in modern Malaysia the Malays are not disadvantaged. With the Malays being over 65% of the population I don't see change coming anytime soon.

    • There are some countries with large non-citizen populations and very different systems in place for citizens. The UAE comes to mind, where Emirati citizens have education, a safety net, and I believe guaranteed employment, and a culture somewhat apart from the more than 80% of their population made up of expats and migrant workers. It isn't racial, per se, but it is a form of nativism.

    You've been invited!