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Title: A dilemma of identity : the overseas Chinese in Malaya and the quest for nationhood, 1930-1949
Author: Koon, Huat Kin.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3601 8155
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis is a historical study of the internal politics of the overseas Chinese in British Malaya from 1930 to 1949 as it shaped and was in turn being shaped by the quest for a national identity, emphasised as it was by the transition of the community as mere sojourners into permanent settlers. Where once blind patriotism and loyalty to China on the basis of the indivisibility of one's nationality from his country of origin had nourished the principal values underpinning Chinese nationalism in all its forms and variations, they were now being challenged by an intensifying bond linking the Chinese to their adopted homeland of Malaya led largely by a progressive minority intent on cementing their place in the future destiny of an emerging state. To this end, this thesis will study the contest between the `Sino-centrics' and the `Malayans' over the object of overseas Chinese nationalism as it developed into an ideological battle over the primacy of `nation' or 'community'. The inability to agree on and chart a common path vis-ä-vis their future magnified the sub-group differences between them and accelerated the contest to champion the Chinese nationalist cause, variously defined, which served only to highlight the persistent divisiveness that had constantly plagued the community as a whole, that they lost sight of the higher goal of political equality on the basis of a common Malayan citizenship. This thesis will argue that the disparate nature of the overseas Chinese community thus allowed external agencies and forces, no less the British colonial authorities, to influence the form and substance of Chinese politics and in so doing play a significant part in laying the foundations for a subordinate political role for the Chinese in a new Malaya
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available