Politics of Malaysia in Kee Thuan Chye's Plays: Ethnicity, Class and National Identity
|Keywords:||紀傳財;馬來西亞英語劇場;後殖民;Kee Thuan Chye;English Language Theatre in Malaysia;Postcolonialism||Issue Date:||2015||Abstract:||
After World War II, Malaysia achieved independence from British Empire. However, the local government reproduced the colonial power structure, resulting in ethnic strife, class conflict and diverse national identity. The “13 May Race Riot” is a watershed in the political history of Malaysia, which impelled the government to open a series of national policies. These policies emphasize Malay privileges, failure to respect the cultural difference in Malaysia. On the other side, although Malaysia had established a democratic government after independence, the ruling party remains unchallenged since the first election. In the 1980s and 1990s, the powerful ruling party gradually formed an authoritarian regime, suppressed the opposition party and abridged freedom of speech and freedom of the press, in an attempt to build a Malay-dominated nationalism for consolidating its legitimacy. Kee Thuan Chye as a journalist and playwright, he had been criticizing the Malaysia’s ruling party whether in his news commentary or literary creation. Kee Thuan Chye belongs to the Chinese Malaysian on ethnic identity, but his writings in every fields are in English. English for him, is not a tool to wrestle with the colonial power, as the other postcolonial writers, but a relatively neutral language, which he can reach out to various ethnic groups in Malaysia, and call on a truly multicultural country. Kee Thuan Chye’s plays are not only his speaking channels under the self-censorship in the mass media and newspapers, but also the practice of his political ideal. Within his plays, it will be able to observe the predicament of political and social development in Malaysia since independence. In addition to the dominating of western countries in the economic and cultural level, Malaysia has to confront the internal ethnicity, class and national identity issues in the post-colonial era.
|Appears in Collections:||戲劇學系|
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