Author: Maznah Mohamad, Wong Soak Koon
Publisher: Penerbit UKM
Price: RM 35
This book explores the vexing question of Malaysian nation-building, governance and development by focussing on issues produced by the intersections of identity politics, ethnicity, civil society and modernization. The authors employ a variety of sources for their study — from empirical social surveys to literary texts. On a conceptual level, the book delves into the social meanings of dissent, counter-hegemony and contests, as antinomies to domination, hegemony and cooptation and how these are fluidly or rigidly realized within a volatile political atmosphere. Questions about political agency and the perimeters of coercion are some of the conceptual issues that are applied to understanding the Malaysian case. The theme of Reformasi punctuates this book but it is not its sole concern. This book is equally attentive to everyday micro-politics that propel people to engage in or disengage themselves from narratives and visions of grand transitions and transformations 'Risking Malaysia' is chosen as the title of this book for a reason. The word 'risk' connotes alternatives which signal on the one hand, the possibility of danger and loss and on the other, a chance for renewal and reward. If Malaysia can be said to be at a turning point, in which direction would it veer and what are the risks? This book will be of interest to readers in cultural and political studies, especially those who are keen to understand some of the developmental dynamics that affect ordinary Malaysians and issues which constitute the basis as well as the nascent elements for contemporary dissent against entrenched ideologies, rubrics and systems.