Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society

 "To end what he describes as the tyranny of racial-cum-religious politics that marginalizes other ethnic groups, Hoffstaedter suggests an end to all forms of politicization against both the majority and the minority, allowing all individuals, including Malays, to choose their religion.

 "To end what he describes as the tyranny of racial-cum-religious politics that marginalizes other ethnic groups, Hoffstaedter suggests an end to all forms of politicization against both the majority and the minority, allowing all individuals, including Malays, to choose their religion. In other words, he is suggesting a new social contract between citizens and the state that would provide mechanisms of recognition, tolerance and negotiation for the future. To Hoffstaedter this is the key to move Malaysia beyond a debilitating identity crisis.

The above suggestions may cause uneasiness, especially among the Malays, but this thought-provoking study based on social and anthropological insights certainly contributes to the understanding of processes in the formation of Muslim Malay identities in contemporary Malaysia; how Malay elites have to come to term with the incursions into the political sphere by Islamic and Malay supremacists and from moderate civil groups; and the effect of the interplay on ethnicity and identities in Malaysia. The book is a must read by all, be they academicians, researchers, politicians and Malaysians in general."

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