John Carleton

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies


The count of Malaysia has its share of resources with which it has developed into a world trading power. Alongside the other Newly Industrialized Economies (NIEs), it has profited from a hard-working citizenry, natural wealth in geography or resources, and a stable government. However; this country has been able to lift itself above its peers and other countries in the world beyond the limits prescribed by these benefits alone. The reason behind this success may be found by looking at the country's historical and recent leadership trends. Since the country's inception, the public leaders of Malaysia have imposed upon its citizenry a plan for economic prosperity for all of its citizens, including the indigenous population, which has made it an increasingly egalitarian, as well as wealthy, society. Political scientists classify governments on a spectrum from total democracy to total dictatorship, with varying degrees of qualified authoritarian regimes making up the middle ground. Harold Crouch argues in Government and Society in Malaysia that relatively benign authoritarian or semi-democratic regimes can be beneficial to development. In this essay, this positive view of authoritarian regimes will be the basis for the examination of the leadership of Malaysia throughout its development. Though far from the "philosopher-kings" of Plato, the leaders of Malaysia have striven for what they thought was right for their count and their people.