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Dimensions of Contested and Composite Culture in Malaysia: A Case Study of the Indian Diaspora

Ravindra K. Jain

Introduction

In a demographic-descriptive sense, Malaysia is a multicultural society. The 1996 statistics show Malaysia’s population as 20.56 million. Of those, around 19.65 million were Malaysians and 0.907 million were foreign nationals. The population of Peninsular Malaysia was 16.48 million, of Sabah 2.16 million and of Sarawak 1.92 million. Of these 12.13 million (59 per cent) were Bumiputeras (ethnic Malaysians), 5.5 millions (26 per cent) Chinese and 1.52 millions (8 per cent) Indians. According to the 1991 Census, there were around 1.3 million people of Indian subcontinent origin in Malaysia. The 1991 Census total for Indians ...

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