Ground Report | New Delhi: What India can learn from Malaysia’s reservation policy? The capitalist economy of Malaysia has a reservation model. There is reservation not only in jobs and studies but also in the business sector. This is because Mahathir Mohamad is in power there. With a population of about 30 million, the country consists of 13 states and three federal territories.
GDP per capita of $11,000 places Malaysia in the top category of “middle income” countries. The Malaysian population comprises about 50 percent Malay-Muslims, 25 percent indigenous population, and 25 percent Chinese Malaysians and ethnic-Indians. Chinese Malaysians have been businessmen in origin, Indians are either white-collar job holders or plantation workers depending on their education. Malaysians, dubbed “lazy” by former prime minister Mohamed Mahathir, were left behind in the bargain.
What India Can learn from Malaysia’s reservation policies?
India needs to learn from the Malaysian model of involving “native people” in the country’s economic life. We have a model whose advantages and disadvantages are now available to implement, expand and fix the existing “reservation policy” in India. Of course, the case of Malaysia is different, as it belongs to three ethnicities: Malays, Chinese, and Indians.
There are 6000 castes in India, although explicit groups such as SC, ST, and OBC have been constitutional groups. Along with linguistic minorities, religious minorities are also mentioned in the constitution.
India is in the lower class of “middle-income” countries, with a per capita GDP of about $1499. Policy shifts in favor of manufacturing need to be made if it is to take quick steps towards higher growth. A welcome start has been made with Make in India, however, its translation to a significant increase in IIP is yet to be seen.
Another point to be borrowed from Malaysia is diversification in agriculture, something that Indian agriculture has not done on a large scale. Tourism, emphasis on medical tourism, excellent infrastructure which ranks 25th in the world, and a vibrant sports culture are other exemplary worthy features.
Secondly, the Malaysian model can be studied and modified so as not to hurt the interests of any community. Indians can create their own systems to respond to the unique social system that India has.
Third, reservation should be enacted and extended to every organ supported by the government. This includes the military, judiciary, business, and entertainment.
Malaysian economy has been a fairy tale of sorts in Asia
The Malaysian economy has been a fairy tale of sorts in Asia. The impressive GDP growth of nearly 6.5 percent over five long decades has made Malaysia a good example for other Asian tigers to follow. Malaysia has worked on the mantra of economic diversification. From a natural rubber- and tin-producing economy, it has diversified from a primary to secondary industry such as manufacturing for palm oil and other products of agriculture. Out of all, manufacturing, which was facilitated by several laws by the government, saw the economy grow rapidly.
The Malaysian economy is facing almost the same turmoil as its politics, most recently a 24 percent drop in ringgit since January 2015, a fall in FDI, the global fall in oil prices reducing its oil production. Has reduced and the general mood is not upbeat.