The Riddle of Malaysian Capitalism: Rent-Seekers or Real Capitalists?

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Hardback: $26.00 $1.00
ISBN-13: 9780824820534
Published: November 1998

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336 pages
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  • About the Book
  • Is capitalism in Southeast Asia 'real' or a 'chimera', that is, some Southeast Asian derivative of capitalism that ultimately will not be sustainable? Malaysia, where an intimate relationship has been forged between the state and business in an effort to create Malay capitalists, presents an interesting and illuminating case in the debate.

    In this work Peter Searle identifies the complex interaction between the state, the dominant political party (UMNO) and business as the source of dynamism or defeat in the development of Malay capitalists. He also challenges a common view that Chinese business groups are completely different from Malay business groups.

    Overall this study argues against drawing sharp contrasts between dependency and self-reliance, between state and capital, and between rent-seekers and true 'productive' capitalists. For it is from that amalgam of categories and groups the study concludes that a form of capitalism is emerging in Malaysia which is nonetheless remarkably dynamic and resilient, despite its unorthodox origins.