|Institution:||National University of Malaysia|
|Keywords:||Japan, Look-To-The-East Idea, Malaysia, Pro-West Idea, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad|
|Full text PDF:||https://tinyurl.com/y9vlrsx7|
The development of the Malaysian economy currently inherited from three previous levels, starting from the growth and rapid development level of natural resources industries from the mid 19th century until the year 1914, followed by a volatility or instability period of natural resources industries between the First and Second World War and last but not least the level of consolidation and rationalisation of natural resources industries together with a diversified economy after 1945. Although Malaysia is a former British colony, the importance of Japan’s economy has contributed to the change of the foreign policy from the Pro-West Policy during the colonial and post-colonial era to the Look-to-The-East Policy during the administration of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. Therefore the main issue of this study is to unravel the existence of the Look-To-The-East idea in Malaysia before it was made as the central policy, as moulded by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. The central objective of this study is to delve into the history of conflicts between the Pro-West and the Look-To-The-East ideas due to the importance of Western powers and Japanese investment in Malaysia during the colonial and post-colonial era. In terms of the methodology used, the initial phase of this research entails identifying and collecting primary and secondary sources from the libraries, archives and reports from various government’s organisations. The study’s discovery showed that the idea concerning the Look-To-The-East idea was first put forth in July 1906 by the new emerging Malay Youth Front through the publication of a magazine called al-Imam. The idea was then fostered by the newspapers and magazines in Malaya until the World War Two. During the Japanese occupation, although the printed media in Malaya then was made the propaganda tool by the Japanese administrators, the Look-To-The-East idea was propogated through various newspapers and magazines such as Berita Malai, Malai Sinpo, Semangat Asia, Suara Timur and Fajar Asia. Realizing the importance of Japanese investment to the Malaysian economy, the Look-To-The-East idea still remained during Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Hussein Onn era. The continuity of the Eastern-oriented thinking by these three Prime Ministers figures had witnessed Japan became as Malaysia’s main business partner when Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad took over the country’s leadership.