Interethnic relations in Malaysia: Group identifications, indispensability and inclusive nationhood


Maykel Verkuyten, Ercomer, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands. Email,


This paper focuses on interethnic relations in Malaysia and examines survey data collected among Malay (n = 405), Chinese (n = 90), and Indian (n = 53) participants. In agreement with the Common In-group Identity Model, inclusive nationhood was related to more positive out-group attitudes. Relative in-group indispensability was related to higher bias as predicted by the In-group Projection Model. Furthermore, the dominant group of Malay had higher in-group indispensability, more strongly endorsed an inclusive national representation, had stronger ethnic and national identification, and a stronger association between both identifications.