Dr. Mutahir Ahmed Malaysia is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious state which presents an excellent example of ethnic harmony and communal coexistence that added to its rapid economic progress. Its GDP grew by 7.1 per cent in 2004, the fastest since 2000. The private investment also increased and contributed 6.2 per cent of points to over all economic expansion. Net international reserves registered an increase of 21.9 billion US dollars to 66.7 billion US dollars till the end of 2004. On Human Development Index, (HDI) Malaysia’s rank is 57 which is considered in the list of medium scale countries. Deutche Bank in a recent report stated that Malaysia would record the highest rate after India ahead of China over the period 2006-2020.
In this background, the project tries to analyze how Malaysia achieved these objectives. Despite many challenges and serious concerns faced by Malaysian state and society. On the other hand, Pakistan as a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural state, since its independence has been facing ethnic chaos, which resulted in economic turmoil and political instability. This categorizes Pakistan in the low Human Development list (on HDI Pakistan is on 135). The project aims to study the politics of ethnicity in Pakistan in an historical and comparative perspective with special reference to the State.
In this context, Malaysia can be a good case study for Pakistan where Pakistan can learn lessons from the experiences of Malaysia in order to have ethnic coexistence and economic development. The objectives of the project are: First, to study Malaysia’s political, economic, social and cultural institutions both at state and society level and why Pakistan has failed to do so. Second, to examine Malaysia’s resolution of its ethnic problem and how various ethnic groups integrated in Malaysian society and why the State of Pakistan failed to resolve ethnic crisis. Third, to examine the role of religion in Pakistan and Malaysia and to analyze major areas of differences. Fourth, to find out what lessons Pakistan can learn from the process of economic stability, religious tolerance, ethnic harmony, cultural diversity and the process of democratization in Malaysia. Finally, to help develop interest in Pakistan about the dynamics of Malaysian society and create a better sense of understanding between the two countries, particularly in cultural field.
Much has been written on ethnic and cultural problems of Pakistan, but what is lacking is a comparative survey with historical approach, keeping Malaysia as a case study for ethnic and cultural harmony in Pakistan.