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Title: Malaysia and the commonwealth : the Mahathir era (1981-2003)
Author: Osman, Nazariah
Awarding Body: Keele University
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 2013
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Abstract:
There was a significant change in the Malaysia's attitude to the Commonwealth when Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia's fourth Prime Minister, came to power in 1981. In contrast to his predecessors who had supported the Commonwealth, Mahathir took a dim view of it, at least during his first five years in office. This reflected his disenchantment with the British whom he regarded as arrogant, his strong nationalist credentials, and his initial tendency to regard the Commonwealth as a 'British' organisation. In practice this translated into several steps that some Malaysians interpreted as indicating that the Prime Minister intended to withdraw Malaysia from the organisation. The most important of these steps was the two 1986 reviews that Mahathir ordered into Malaysia's position in the Commonwealth. However, by 1985, the premier's attitude began changing. Mahathir's discovery of, and awakened interest in, the Commonwealth was evidenced by his decision to attend Commonwealth Prime Ministers Meetings and to play host to major Commonwealth events. Ultimately, the Commonwealth became an important avenue for Mahathir to draw the attention of other developing states to Malaysia's example of economic and social development and to assist them to emulate her experience. This thesis aims to trace and account for the changing significance of the Commonwealth in the formulation and conduct of Malaysia's foreign policy during Mahathir's era. In particular, it examines the factors that led to Mahathir's disenchantment towards the Commonwealth. Further, the research analyses the reasons for, and the results of the reviews, and consider the extent to which the reports he commissioned in 1986 contributed to the changed of attitude of Mahathir. The thesis also scrutinises the reasons for Mahathir's changed attitude towards the organisation. This draws attention to the appeal of Commonwealth membership and the final part of the thesis considers how Malaysia's active involvement in Commonwealth programmes benefitted the country not only during the 22 years of Tun Dr. Mahathir's premiership, but since the early stage of her membership.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.602982  DOI: Not available
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