With the attainment of formal independence in August 1957, the Alliance, a coalition of the political élite from the three major ethnic groups, formally assumed state power and political jurisdiction over post-colonial Malaya. Not unlike other newly independent countries, the post-colonial government embarked upon a programme of economic development emphasising economic diversification and industrialisation. In preparing for this political transition, the British had ensured that the leftist forces who threatened their economic interests were curbed, while ethnic élites committed to protecting their interests were groomed to inherit state power in 1957. The basically capitalist development path for newly independent Malaya was thus assured. The legal framework and other capitalist institutions inherited from the colonial period were not only maintained, but strengthened and developed. The post-colonial government continued to promote free enterprise, while the economic interests of the ex-colonial power were protected and greater foreign investment inflows were encouraged. The nature of the post-colonial state thus ensured the development of Malaya along capitalist lines.
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