At the beginning of the 1970s, the Malaysian government implemented preferential policies in favour of the Malays. These policies were implemented under the aegis of the New Economic Policy (NEP) (1971–1990) and incorporated into the official development plans (from the Second Malaysia Plan right up to the Fifth Malaysia Plan and subsequently the First Outline Perspective Plan to the Second Outline Perspective Plan). The NEP was implemented after the 13 May 1969 incident to create the socio-economic conditions for national unity by reducing poverty and economic disparities, especially between Bumiputeras and non-Bumiputeras (Sua & Santhiram, 2017). In the case of the Malays, they were deprived of the much-needed socioeconomic mobility as they were encouraged by the British colonial government to engage in the semi-subsistence rural peasant economy that offered little socioeconomic advancement. They were also provided with a rural-based primary education with a curriculum that emphasized weaving, carpentry, basket-making and gardening with little arithmetic, reading and writing along with the teaching of moral education to instil obedience to authority.
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