Malaysia’s New Economic Policy, Growth and Distribution: Revisiting the Debate

  • R. Thillainathan University of Malaya
  • Kee-Cheok Cheong University of Malaya

Abstract

Malaysia’s New Economic Policy (NEP) has been a subject of intense debate since its inception. Admirers have acclaimed it as unleashing pro-poor growth while critics have labeled it with terms like cancer. Both parties have valid points. The implementation of the NEP has seen growth and addressed distribution, but has also heightened inequality, while the growth rate is diminishing. However, it is difficult to make summary judgments on a policy that has evolved and changed over nearly half a century. It is argued that assessments of the NEP should take into account changes in context as well as the manner in which the NEP has been implemented. Whilst summary judgments are unhelpful, an argument may nevertheless be made that, in common with experiences in many developing countries, a trade-off between growth and distribution exists where affirmative action is translated into ethnic discrimination.

Author Biographies

R. Thillainathan, University of Malaya

Faculty of Economics & Administration, University of Malaya

Kee-Cheok Cheong, University of Malaya

Faculty of Economics & Administration, University of Malaya

Published
2016-06-01
How to Cite
THILLAINATHAN, R.; CHEONG, Kee-Cheok. Malaysia’s New Economic Policy, Growth and Distribution: Revisiting the Debate. Malaysian Journal of Economic Studies, [S.l.], v. 53, n. 1, p. 51-68, june 2016. ISSN 1511-4554. Available at: <https://mjes.um.edu.my/index.php/MJES/article/view/2779>. Date accessed: 11 dec. 2017.
Section
Articles