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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 37, No 21. August 28, 1974

Loyal compradors

Loyal compradors

The Malay elite are a remarkable example of loyal and solicitous compradors. They offer to overseas interest an excellent 'practical partnership', 'mutual involvement', and have succeeded almost ideally in 'maximising rewards and minimising risks'.

The events of the Malayan Union demonstrate the remarkable achievement of British policy from the nineteenth century on, in cultivating the Malay Raja class as effective junior partners of British colonialism. The response to the M.U. served to consolidate the Malay elite, enabling the articulation of Malay aristrocratic values in more modern political forms, developing in U.M.N.O., the Federation of Malay Constitution, and the Alliance what was to both the British and Malayan elites a very satisfactory vehicle for the consolidation and preservation of their collective interests.

'Special rights', the keystone of the Alliance's communal controls, internalised by the British sponsored Raja class, survived independence with the dual functions of communal control and of economic uplift. 'Special rights' demonstrate both in its historic origin and in its symbiotic relationship with the consequences of Western growth-oriented development, how the Malayan elite have assumed comprador and exploitative roles.

The Alliance, as an inter-communal instrument of control representing the Malaysian bourgeoisie, is irrevocably committed to the neo-colonialist strategy that necessitates 'special rights' and repressive constitutional controls to attempt to counter the imbalances and dislocations caused by their neo-colonialist mentors, the owners and controllers of all significant sectors of the Malaysian economy. As such the Malaysian bourgeoisie is fatally compromised as an instrument of imperialist powers and is not possible to escape from the underdevelopment to which they have contributed so well,

—Abridged from W. Richards' survey

"The Underdevelopment of West Malaysia"

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