Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Discussion of Case Study Themes

At a Glance
Both Indonesia and Malaysia are considered newly industrializing economies and are making a transition from resource extraction to manufacturing and industrial production. For centuries, both countries have been connected to distant lands through trade. Both Indonesia and Malaysia are former colonies of European powers that gained independence in the 1940s. The government of both countries plays a vital role in fostering economic activity. While both countries share the island of Borneo with Brunei, Malaysia is connected to the mainland of Asia whereas Indonesia is completely insular. Both countries are adjacent to the equator. Agricultural production in Indonesia supplies a variety of crops such as coffee, tea, tobacco, spices, and rice. In Malaysia, the main crops are oil palms and rubber. The majority of the population of both countries is of Muslim faith. There are large populations of other minority groups in both countries: ethnic Chinese and Indians in Malaysia, and religious Hindus and tribal people in Indonesia.

Case Study 1 -- Indonesia: Tourist Invasion

Tourist Development is Encouraged by Government
The Indonesian government has taken steps to foster development in areas peripheral to the country's major cities. One such step has been state-supported programs to expand the Balinese economy through the tourist industry. State-sponsored programs help obtain investment capital, which is used to build tourist developments like the Nusa Dua complex. Jobs created from these developments help relieve the population pressures on Jakarta by providing employment close to home for the Balinese people and by luring people away from the population centers of Java.

The Shift from Subsistence Economy
Before the tourist invasion, Bali's primary economic activity was fishing. Now the emphasis of the Balinese economy has shifted from meeting the needs of local residents to meeting the needs of temporary visitors. Seventy percent of the locals depend on tourism for their income. Low-wage, low-skill jobs predominate in this industry, although training opportunities are available since many hotels seek skilled local managers. A village resident who, in an earlier era, might have learned fishing techniques from the elders now might learn computer techniques from a global hospitality chain.

External Influences Disrupt Island Life
Tourist development is not without problems. The influx of foreigners can erode local culture and lifestyles, as witnessed in the city of Kuta, Bali's oldest tourist area. Street hawkers, glowing neon signs, drugs, and prostitution have transformed this surfer's paradise from the quiet home of farmers and fishermen to what some might call tourism gone rampant.

Translocation: Balancing Population and Development
Bali has witnessed a large influx of Javanese. Java, with a little over 100 million residents, is the most populous of Indonesia's 13,000 islands. In fact, the island of Java is among the world's most densely populated areas and is home to Indonesia's power base, the capital city of Jakarta. Jakarta seeks to relieve its urban population pressures through a government policy encouraging resettlement of Javanese to other Indonesian islands. This process, called translocation, places those sympathetic to the Jakarta government in distant positions of power throughout this far-flung country.

Case Study 2 -- Multicultural Malaysia

Multi-ethnic Social Policy in Malaysia
The government of Malaysia developed the policy of Bumiputera to help the country's different ethnic groups coexist. The policy allows the Malays, Chinese, and Indians that constitute Malaysia's population to maintain their own customs and religious practices. By implementing this policy across a range of social relations, primarily in the educational system and the workplace, the government has been able to close economic gaps among the country's ethnic groups.

Business owners are required to provide Muslim Malays with opportunities to practice their religion during the workday. In schools, courses in Malay language are compulsory, while additional courses are designed to foster interethnic understanding. The Bumiputera policy, which encourages people to maintain their own customs while accepting the customs of others, has resulted in the creation of more opportunities for ethnic Malays. As these opportunities increase, Malays who historically have lived in rural areas are beginning to migrate to towns and cities for jobs available in the industrial and manufacturing sectors.

Economic Opportunity for All
Malaysia is a newly industrializing economy. The rapid growth of the Malaysian economy has helped decrease ethnic friction. It has afforded virtually the entire population opportunities to increase their standard of living and has fostered ties among ethnic groups through business partnerships and transactions.

As more ethnic Chinese develop business opportunities in Malaysia, their growing economic power and land holdings are changing the structure of the agricultural and urban sectors. The resulting Chinese economic dominance led to riots in 1969, pitting Malays against Chinese. To reduce the economic gap among different ethnic groups and to promote social harmony, the government embarked on a policy of Bumiputera or "Malays First." The policy begins with education and employment and extends across the entire range of social relations.

Rather than allow economic forces to create disproportionate power for one ethnic group over others, Malaysia's policy of Bumiputera strives to balance customs, lifestyles, and educational opportunities, even as preferences for the Malay majority are promoted. The resulting peaceful coexistence of Malaysia's different ethnic and religious groups has contributed to the country's booming economy and remarkable growth over the past twenty-five years.

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