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Title: Changing patterns of socio-economic organisation in West Malaysia
Author: Yun, Hing Ai
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1979
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This thesis traces the development of labour and capital in the Malaysian social formation as investigations in this direction will not only indicate the essential character of the social formation but also point to the opportunities that will have to be seized in order to transform the society. The first part of this work examines the historical penetration of alien capital and labour under two different sets of conditions: in the tin mining and agricultural sectors. The First Chapter discusses how alien capital took over control of production and ownership in Malayan tin mines; the different forms capital assumed in the course of development and the crucial role of the state in these transformations. The Second Chapter details the introduction of indentured labour and the development of the wage form in both the tin mining and plantation sectors. Although the analysis is carried out in the context of intra-ruling class struggles, the focus is on the contradiction between labour and capital. The Third Chapter traces the development of capitalist agriculture and deals with the subordination of the subsistence sector to capital and the state. However, developments in Malaysia are not seen as simple reflections of imperialism's ambitions. Indeed, it will be shown that the resulting Malaysian society arose not only as a consequence of its integration into the world capitalist system but also from the particular characteristics manifested by various sectors of the society at that time. One important feature of the development of capitalist relations is that internal relationships were radically transformed. The dynamics of this change is in the process of unfolding today as each of the barriers erected by the colonial state and aimed at the ossification of the subsistence sector is successfully removed. Thus it is possible to observe these processes at first hand. The second half of this thesis discusses these processes as they unfold today. Chapter Four relates preceding accounts of historical developments with the analysis of contemporary Malaysian society presented in the second half of the thesis. As a greater part of the failure of Malaysian independence has already been structured by the realities of class and dependence, this chapter attempts to highlight the difficulties involved in guaranteeing the stability of a peripheral capitalist system such as Malaysia and in ensuring the further reproduction and accumulation of capital. This can be seen in the analysis on the imperial connection in Malaysia and the role assumed by the rising indigenous bourgeois class. From Chapter Five onwards we discuss the Malaysian economy from the level of the village to reveal the impact social and economic forces have on the lives of villagers. More specifically these chapters investigate the process of differentiation in the countryside as the peasant was not involved in capitalist relations initially through wage labour but through various forms of household production. Investigations into differentiation covers peasant resistance to appropriation, their attempts to eke out a living under appropriation, and the elements of structural conditions that contribute to the success of such attempts. We also assess attempts by the owning class to determine the conditions of production and exchange in the light of the differing economic strength of each strata of the owning class (which includes the rich peasants, mercantile capital, state capital under various guises and international capital). Chapter Five, contains a very brief outline of the village economy. Chapter Six is about the major mode of surplus labour appropriation in the countryside. It examines a number of basic and related issues: to what extent is the major mode of surplus appropriation conditioned by Malaysia's dependent status How does this mode reproduce itself What is the relationship of the village rich with other fractions of the bourgeois class Based on discussions in the previous chapter. Chapter Seven indicates the importance of class differentiation as one dimension of the intensification of commodity production and shows that as a result of the latter process, important divisions and restrictions have been created which affect access to resources and influence the pattern of class formation. Chapter Eight deals with transformations of capital and labour in the village economy. It reveals how increased state involvement in peasant agriculture had unleashed a host of forces which, coupled with changed structural conditions, rapidly accelerate the process of proletarianization of the rural masses.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Economics & economic theory