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Members Only? Exclusivity and Fractionalisation in the Malaysian Third Sector

Abstract

Relatively little is known about the Malaysian third sector. This is in large part due to the lack of large-scale data about the organisations that make up the sector, with the last comprehensive investigation nearly 50 years ago (Douglas and Pedersen in Blood, believer, and brother: the development of voluntary associations in Malaysia, 1973). The limited understanding of the make-up of the sector creates difficulties in policy development and resource allocation. For the first time, we combine the organisational databases of seven different regulators to map the Malaysian third sector, classifying organisations according to the International Classification for Non-Profit Organisations. We produce a map of the Malaysian third sector, describing its constituents, activities and beneficiaries. Our results show a sector cross-cut with ethnicity and religion, and we reflect on the implications both for the development of third sector organisations in Malaysia and for how current nonprofit theories adequately describe third sectors in non-western contexts.

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by Nur Azam Anuarul Perai. Stata and Python codes were written by Alasdair Rutherford. Data management in Stata was executed by Nur Azam Anuarul Perai and checked by Alasdair Rutherford. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Nur Azam Anuarul Perai, and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Nur Azam Anuarul Perai.

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Perai, N.A.A., Rutherford, A.C. Members Only? Exclusivity and Fractionalisation in the Malaysian Third Sector. Voluntas (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-022-00506-2

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Keywords

  • Third sector
  • Mapping
  • Classification
  • Religion
  • Ethnicity