This study investigates education policy in Malaysia aimed at achieving national integration across ethnic groups. The analyses are framed by theoretical considerations of ethnicity, nation, nation-building and plural society and the role of education policy in relation to them. The historical analyses demonstrated the ongoing effects of colonial residues in contemporary education policy and the ongoing ethnic-based contestation around the policy and accommodative state strategies utilised. The interview analyses demonstrated the contested nature of the concept of integration, tensions in the application of a bumiputera/non-bumiputera binary in policy, Malay concerns over their rights and economic opportunities, and Chinese and Indian concerns for language and cultural maintenance. The analyses demonstrated how in Appadurai’s (1996) terms the nation (ethnic cultures and languages) and the state (politics and policy) have remained the project of each other in Malaysian education policy aimed at national integration. The research showed that concern for national integration has retained meta-policy status within Malaysian education.