The Political Mobilization of the Christian Community in Malaysia

Author: Pui Yee Choong

About this book

Spanning Malaysia’s post-independence period and using the repression-mobilization nexus as a key theoretical framework, this study outlines how its Christian community delicately and simultaneously defends its religious rights without being construed as anti-Islam in the face of state-led “Islamization”. This study charts the changes in the community’s resistance tactics by primarily focusing on the 1980s to the contemporary period while considering subnational differences between East and West Malaysia. It explains why it adopted a non-partisan and non-violent approach despite targeted repression. In outlining the interplay between a minority community’s mobilization and national-level contestation, it focuses especially on the role played by the Christian elites. Additionally, it raises key questions that remain relevant in the study of contentious politics: How do minority communities in semi-democratic contexts protect their rights? What are their options and constraints for resistance? And how do changes in the political environment mould their strategy and resistance tactics?


Pui Yee Choong is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at University of Malaya. She has published journal articles, book chapters, and opinion editorials on contemporary Malaysian political and social issues. She was previously the History and Regional Studies Programme Coordinator at the Penang Institute, Malaysia, and a Senior Analyst at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. Pui Yee holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Monash University, an MSc in Strategic Studies from the Nanyang Technological University, and a BA(Hons) in Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Malaya.

Pages: 200

Illustrated: No Illustrations

ISBN Print: 9789087284374

ISBN ePUB: 9789400604773

Published: 30 January 2024

Language: English

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