Beyond the Ballot Box podcast

Affirmative Action in South Africa & Malaysia: What Can We Learn?

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South Africans celebrate “Freedom Day” every April 27, commemorating the country’s first democratic election in 1994. It also marked the official end of racial segregation and apartheid in South Africa. Apartheid and racial segregation meant that there was a huge inequality and inequity gap between the ethnic groups in South Africa, namely the minority white population and the poorer majority black population. To tackle this, South Africa implemented an affirmative action policy which bears some resemblance to Malaysia’s New Economic Policy.

So, decades on, what has been the result of the affirmative action policy in Malaysia and South Africa?

Dr Lee Hwok-Aun, who’s a Senior Fellow of the Malaysian Studies Programme at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, has spent many years studying the ethnic majority-favouring affirmative action policy in South Africa and Malaysia. He joins us on the show today to share his insights.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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