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Globalisation, ICTs and National Identity: The Consequences of ICT Policy in Malaysia

Authors: Abd Rasid Abd Rahman


For the past thirty years the Malaysian economy has been said to contribute well to the progress of the nations. However, the intensification of global economy activity and the extensive use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) in recent years are challenging government-s effort to further develop Malaysian society. The competition posed by the low wage economies such as China and Vietnam have made the government realise the importance of engaging in high-skill and high technology industries. It is hoped this will be the basis of attracting more foreign direct investment (FDI) in order to help the country to compete in globalised world. Using Vision 2020 as it targeted vision, the government has decided to engage in the use of ICTs and introduce many policies pertaining to it. Mainly based on the secondary analysis approach, the findings show that policy pertaining to ICTs in Malaysia contributes to economic growth, but the consequences of this have resulted in greater division within society. Although some of the divisions such as gender and ethnicity are narrowing down, the gap in important areas such as regions and class differences is becoming wider. The widespread use of ICTs might contribute to the further establishment of democracy in Malaysia, but the increasing number of foreign entities such as FDI and foreign workers, cultural hybridisation and to some extent cultural domination are contributing to neocolonialism in Malaysia. This has obvious consequences for the government-s effort to create a Malaysian national identity. An important finding of this work is that there are contradictions within ICT policy between the effort to develop the economy and society.

Keywords: Globalisation, ICTs, ICT Policy, Malaysia, National Identity, Vision 2020

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