Cultural hegemony is exerted in Malaysia through the state's virtual control of the education system, from pre-school to tertiary level. Malaysian school children have been socialized to become individuals who are disciplined, competitive, hard-working, obedient and respectful of authority. These values are clearly enunciated in the compulsory civics and religious classes and in the conduct of extra-curricular activities. Students are taught not to question authority but to appreciate its efforts. The [status quo] is maintained and stability rather than democracy is the end. This influence is reinforced by state-owned radio and television stations and the government ownership of all major newspapers. Even when students are not well socialized into this stream of thought, they are still circumscribed by its main features. This makes the task of introducing a wider notion of democracy, alternative ideas of development and especially the building of a popular movement based on challenges to the dominant culture, extremely difficult.