Malaysia is one of, if not the most, the advanced Muslim countries in the world. During the 1980's and 1990's, also known as the Mahathir era, the country experienced a challenging economic growth which eventually ended at a turning point: the shift from an agrarian economy to that of an industrial export-oriented one. The aim of this article is to examine the extent in which Islam plays a role in the social behavior of urban Malays who are brought face to face with the modernization process and the western values that come with it. Moreover, the study pays particular attention to the manner in which changes have occurred on role expectations among couples of various degrees of religiosity as the family unit shifts over time; that is, from the 1960s’ generation to that of the 1990s. It examines the behavior of young and elderly Malay couples of varying degrees of religiosity as well as their attitudes towards certain social variables. The study indicators of the manifestation of religiosity reveal that despite the country’s vast economic achievement, the young couples of the 1990s are almost as religious as the young couples of the 1960s.
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