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Sense of belonging to the ethnic group has a significant negative effect on the log of the odds ratio of not having an identity dilemma. The higher is the sense of belonging to the ethnic group, the lower is the probability of not having an identity dilemma. A one point increase in the sense of belonging to the ethnic group would decrease the probability of not having an identity dilemma by 2.6 percent. Although individuals feel proud, love and admiration of their ethnic group, they also feel that they should be known by other ethnic group. This contradicts the result of Phinney and Devich-Navarro (1997) and Weisskirch (2007).

5. Conclusion

This study investigated the identity choice among the Indian Muslims population in a multi-ethnic Malaysia. The location Penang island was chosen for its biggest concentration of Indian Muslim population in the country. The study found that more than 80 percent of the respondents have some kind of identity dilemma and did not choose Indian Muslim as their identity. Respondents were also asked to choose their preferred ethnic identity to be affiliated under six (6) different situations, which included choosing self-reported identity, option to choose an identity, identity want to be known as, identity when joining the Malaysian Indian Congress, identity when joining the Malaysian Indian Muslim Association and identity when joining the United Malay National Organization. Responses to these questions vary for various reasons. Using Logit analysis, the factors determining the choice of identity were investigated. It was found that age, primary education, knowledge about ethnic group, identification with majority group and sense of belonging to ethnic group are important determinants to the choice of identity. However, the findings cannot be generalized as typical response of the Indian Muslim population in Malaysia as the sample concentrated only in on the Penang Island. Other parts of the country has different socio-economic environment, which could have a different influence on the “ethnic dilemma” of the country‚Äüs Indian Muslim Malaysians.


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