Ethnicity and nationalism: ideological struggles in Sarawak after the Second World War
ABSTRACT This paper studies how ethnicity has influenced the construction of nationalism in two political movements that took place in Sarawak, a former British colony in North Borneo. It analyzes the discourse of colonialism, freedom and independence that revolved around two movements namely the anti-cession movement and the underground communist movement, controlled respectively by the ethnic Malay and Chinese in Sarawak. A comparison of these two movements is made by looking at the fundamental differences between two movements and the way the British’s responses to them. In the analysis, local political developments as well as transnational links are taken into consideration as this paper assumes that transnational exposure was instrumental in shaping local nationalism. In doing so, the paper intends to explain the domination of ethnic nationalism in political discourse and institution of Sarawak.
KEYWORDS: Ethnicity, nationalism, Sarawak, Malay, Chinese, anti-cession and communism
Ngu, Ik-Tien, PhD in Political Science, Universiti Sains Malaysia. She is currently teaching as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Malaya. She has recently published several book chapters and journal papers on Chinese politics in Sarawak.