Liberating the Malay Mind by M. Bakri Musa

In Liberating The Malay Mind, M. Bakri Musa maps with clarity a path towards a liberated Malaysia by carefully examining the country’s past and evaluating the current Malay obsession with Ketuanan Melayu. The book explores the way in how special rights and “sons of soil” privileges bestowed have inhibited the Malay people from forging an educated, dynamic and globally competitive Tanah Melayu.

Dr. Bakri Musa examines Malay culture through the prisms of history, psyche and religion and details the steps necessary to liberate the collective Malay mindset through free access to information, an enlightened education system, and engagement in commerce.

With this careful navigation, and not by pinning hopes on the political amulet of Article 153, Liberating The Malay Mind forges a way towards a self-sufficient Malaysia, able to turn crises into opportunities, and challenges into inspirations.

“Unlike our political merdeka – which was granted to us by the British – our liberated mind cannot be bestowed. We have to strive for it. Then we will be Tuans even elsewhere other than Tanah Melayu.” M. Bakri Musa

Bakri Musa is a Malaysian-born and Canadian-trained surgeon in private practice in Silicon Valley, California. He has given presentations on Malaysian affairs at Stanford University’s Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, The University of Buffalo, and Rochester Institute of Technology. Apart from scientific articles in scholarly journals, his commentaries have appeared in mainstream Malaysian papers The New Straits Times and The Sun Daily. He was a long-time columnist for the on-line portal Malaysiakini (Malaysia Now) and a regular contributor to The Malaysian Insider. Beyond Malaysia, his Op-Ed pieces had appeared in The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, and The Far Eastern Economic Review. His commentary was also aired on National Public Radio’s “Marketplace.” The latest of his eight books, Liberating The Malay Mind, was released in 2013. He maintains a blog that also serves as a repository of my essays and commentaries at and is on Facebook.

The Malays are trapped by invisible walls

Published on Jan 28, 2016

The nation’s Malay community are trapped by invisible walls of their own making, says writer Bakri Musa.


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