Construction of nationhood through education in Malaya: revisiting the Barnes and Fenn-Wu Reports

Moses Samuel, Mahmud Hasan Khan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This article provides an analysis of two colonial reports, the Barnes and the Fenn-Wu Reports on education in the British colony of Malaya. The popular stance on the Barnes and the Fenn-Wu Reports is that one is an effect or reply to the other. We argue on the contrary that the two reports construct a common argument on nation-building which becomes apparent through a dialogic reading of the reports. We show how the two reports, written in the 1950s, reflect the anxiety of the colonial rulers in constructing a nation and the ethnic communities (the Malays and the Chinese) in pre-independent Malaya. These communities were constructed not without their inherent antagonism as well as their reciprocal vulnerabilities in a future political state. This act of articulation is predominantly a political act constructed through a complex web of interdiscursivity and intertextuality. The spectres of the Barnes and the Fenn-Wu Reports continue to surface in education and nation-building discourse in modern-day Malaysia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)249-260
    Number of pages12
    JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Education
    Volume33
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Keywords

    • nation-building
    • colonial discourse
    • Malaya
    • ethnicity
    • articulation

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Construction of nationhood through education in Malaya: revisiting the Barnes and Fenn-Wu Reports'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this