This chapter will attempt to outline how the colonial powers used legal instruments to shape the economic roles of different minorities in accordance with the overarching colonial strategy of ‘divide and rule’. The chapter will then proceed to show the problems that the system posed to the newly independent states of Southeast Asia and their different reactions which ranged from upholding relevant colonial legislation, the abolition of such legislation, to the enactment of new discriminative laws to achieve a reversal of the colonial power structure. At the end of the chapter, an attempt will be made to assess the economic impact of these legal policies on the economic development process of the countries concerned. In view of the large number of countries surveyed, this chapter can provide only a brief survey of the issues. The essay is based on the assumption that an analysis of the legal framework of racial distinctions might give an additional explanation for ethnic tensions that is at least as important as cultural preferences or political alliances.
|Title of host publication||Reading Asia|
|Subtitle of host publication||new research in Asian Studies|
|Editors||Frans Hüsken, Dick van der Meij|
|Place of Publication||Richmond, UK|
|Publisher||Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group|
|Number of pages||26|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|