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‘Malaysia belongs to the Malays’ (Malaysia ni Melayu Punya!): Categorising ‘us’ and ‘them’ in Malaysia’s mainstream Malay-language newspapers

Mohamad Jamil, Siti Nurnadilla (2020) ‘Malaysia belongs to the Malays’ (Malaysia ni Melayu Punya!): Categorising ‘us’ and ‘them’ in Malaysia’s mainstream Malay-language newspapers. Critical Discourse Studies Journal. ISSN 1740-5904 E-ISSN 1740-5912 (In Press)

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Malaysia’s 13th general election (henceforth, GE13) in 2013 was the final election where the longest-serving elected government in the world, Barisan Nasional (BN), regained power, before it was ousted after over six decades of authoritarian rule in 2018. In a country that practises parliamentary democracy but simultaneously observed close cooperation between the then ruling coalition and the mainstream press, this paper shows the micro-politics of the driving force of the coalition, United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) – specifically, how anxiety regarding the maintenance of their privileged and empowered Malay position dominated the national narrative during the GE13 campaign. Focusing on editorial journalistic genres in four paid-for Malay-language newspapers, I illustrate the typical politics of fear that characterises much of Malaysian right-wing rhetoric – the ways in which racial and religion issues are provoked. The in-depth representational analysis, via the Discourse-historical Approach’s (DHA) nomination and predication strategies, also suggests the normalisation of nationalistic and racist rhetoric, which primarily works with ‘fear’: fear of change, of loss of privilege, of the future, of other races; in principle, almost anything can be constructed as a threat to ‘Us’, an imagined homogenous people inside a well-protected territory through the discursive construction of such in-groups and out-groups.

Item Type: Article (Journal)
Additional Information: 8906/85647
Uncontrolled Keywords: Politics of fear, racial categorisation, GE13, right-wing rhetoric, editorials and columns
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > P87 Communication. Mass media
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences
Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences > Department of English Language & Literature
Depositing User: Dr Siti Nurnadilla Mohamad Jamil
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2020 10:28
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2020 10:28
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/85647

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