The development of Malay entrepreneurship in Malaysia : a thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Business at Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand

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Massey University
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Since the institution of the New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1971 and beyond its end in 1990, the Malaysian government has had mixed successes in developing Malay entrepreneurship. Despite on-going of privileges and assistance and the government’s concerted efforts and initiatives, Malay entrepreneurship still continues to lag behind that of the Chinese. This study centres on the challenges faced by the Government of Malaysia in the promotion of Malay entrepreneurial development. Based on interviews with diverse people, both within and outside the government, the study reveals that Malay entrepreneurial development is a complex process confronted by many issues and problems. The study also reveals that government privileges and assistance to Malays to promote entrepreneurship do not help much in boosting an entrepreneurial culture nor do they help them in enhancing entrepreneurial competitiveness and achievement. Instead, such privileges and assistance have conversely made the Chinese more resilient and competitive entrepreneurially but discriminative against the Malays. This conclusion confirms the proposition that “state assistance in the form of an affirmative action to an economically-challenged sector of society does little to create entrepreneurship; rather it challenges rival economic groups to sharpen their own competitiveness”. Finally, the study is able to indicate that Malay entrepreneurship differs slightly from the conventional Western concepts of entrepreneurship. The differences are largely due to the historical background of the Malays as a communitarian society; as Muslims; as a society still divided along class lines and as a status conscious community.
New Economic Policy, Entrepreneurial development, Business competitiveness