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Topic 1 Introduction to the Malaysian society (2009) 1.

SOCIETY Definitions: - The aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community - A particular community of people living in a country or region, and having shared customs, laws, and organizations. ( - A group of humans broadly distinguished from other groups by mutual interests, participation in characteristic relationships, shared institutions, an a common culture. - Biology: A colony or community of organisms, usually of the same species – an insect society ( Plural society Malaysia is made up of ethnic groups who are different not just culturally but also economically, from the point of view of settlement, politically and socially. According to Furnival the plural society is characterized by ethnic groups who live under one political unit (a country) but are not integrated. Every group has its own language, culture, religion, values, thinking and way of life. For example, the diversity of culture, the physical separation, identification, identification of ethnic groups by employment, lack of social contact, and the existence of a dominant group politically. (Nazaruddin, et. al., 2003) Indigenous Population of Sabah and Sarawak Background of the Population of Sabah Communit y Kadazan Bajau Murut Sulu Brunei Background - The largest community, also known as the Dusun people - Originally from Kalimantan and most of them live in the hinterland - Concentrated in the areas of the Ranau and Tambunan Valley - Originally from Mindanao and Sulu Island - Concentrated in Semporna, Kota Belud and Timbang Island - Mostly in the interior such as Tenom, Rundu and Pensiangan - Some still live in long houses and are nomads - Originally from the Sulu Archipelago and now concentrated in Sungai Sugut - Muslims - Originally from Brunei and now settled in Beaufort, Kimanis and Papar - Mislims Background of the Population of Sarawak Communit y Malay Background - Originally from Sumatra


Difficulties living in India .Into three racial stocks: Senoi.Economy is based on subsistence and agriculture.Melanau Iban (Sea Dayak) Bidayuh (Land Dayak) Penan Kelabit . Minangkabau.Most of them live as nomads in the woods .Originally from Kalimantan (River Kapuas) .Religions: 85 % animism. Bugis.Political stability and growing economy in Malaya .Originated from West Kalimantan .Rapid economic development in Malaya 2 . .Poverty . Banjar.Some of them still live in long houses Aborigines . animal hunting and fishing.Live in inland areas such as along the Sungai Sekrang. Pahang. farming activities.Indonesian traits .Political instability in Indonesia Chinese .Peace-loving and easy going but once with headhunting past .Live mainly in the areas of rivers Baram and Rejang .Negrito: Mainly in Perak.Live in the hill country of Bau and Serian .Chinese population characteristics Indians . 10% Islam. Sungai Batang Lupar and Sungai Rejang . Kelantan.Live mostly along the Igan. Boyanese) .Live mostly along the coastal areas . Negeri Sembilan. Selangor. Pahang and Trengganu .Muslims .g.Political instability in the districts of South China .Difficulties of living in China .Muslims .Assimilated with the Malays and practice the Malay culture . e.The most famous of their villages is Bario .Senoi: Found largely Kedah.Political stability of Malays . Kelantan and Pahang . Perak.The largest community . Negrito and the Orang Asli . Oya and Mukah rivers . collecting of forest products.Migration facilities . Malacca and Johor .Growth of the tin and rubber industry . 2003) Indonesians (Javanese.The Orang Asli: Mainly in Selangor. 5% Christianity Factors (Push-and-Pull) for migration of foreigners into Malaya (Nazaruddin.

medical and legal professions iii) 2. Malayan/Malaysian Indian Congress. businessmen and craftsmen o Majority could not acquire land for agriculture o Business based on sub-ethnic groups o Urban community Indians o Many started businesses like restaurant. grocery. People’s Progressive Party. Pan Malayan/Malaysian Islamic Party. Economy i) Malays o Mainly involved in the agricultural and traditional industries sectors o Low productivity and low income o Rural community ii) Chinese o Mainly involved in business as merchants. etc o MCA remains the main Chinese party Indians o MIC. Malayan/Malaysian Chinese Association to protect their interests and for self-government after World War Two: Leaders mostly English-educated o Politically divided: MCA. is the main Indian political party o Name after the Congress Party of India iii) 3 . Politics i) Malays o Strong politically o Strong representation in Parliament o The dominant prime movers in politics since 1946 o UMNO. hairdressing and cloth stores o Involved in low-skilled or unskilled occupations o Many remained in the plantation as labourers o Some involved in trading.- Encouragement from the British government Impact on the country (Traditional aspects) 1. DAP. Labour Party. headed by Arabic-educated leaders ii) Chinese o Not allowed to involved in politics during the Japanese occupation o Formed the MCA. United Malay National Organization: Led by English-educated leaders o PAS. Democratic Action Party.

CULTURE Definitions: . Deepavali. (http://oregonstate.htm) . Sikhism. language/dialects. etc Indians o Not a homogeneous group: differentiated in terms of origin. belief.o Indians remain loyal to MIC in each and every general elections since independence 3. Sociocultural i) Malays o Majority live in villages o Characterised by strong social ties and strict social control o Adaptation to the values and norms of the community o High regard for consensus o Family is considered an important institution for social security o All Malays are Muslims but not all Muslims are Malays o Humble and don’t impose their values on others o Festivals: Hari Raya Aidilfitri. values and norms which impact the behaviours of a relatively large group of people. Awal Muharam. 1934) .Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge. the punggal or New Year Festival. (Lustig & Koester. ii) Chinese o Comprised various dialectal communities o Culture greatly influenced by the Moon Cake law. morals. (Ruth Benedict. Christianity and Islam o 90% of Indians are Hindus and speak Tamil o Festivals: Thaipusam.Culture refers to the complex group of symbols created by society to shape behaviour that is passed on from one generation to the next. Hari Raya Aidiladha. (Edward Taylor.Learned set of shared perceptions about beliefs.lib.html) 4 . etc. 1871) .The learned patterns of behaviour and thought that help a group adapt to its surroundings. (http://mccoy. custom.What really binds men together is their culture – the ideas and the standards they have in common. art. caste and religions o Religions ranging from Hinduism. Confucianism and Buddhism o Acceptance of Mandarin as the official language of the community o Most Chinese in Malaysia are Buddhists o Festivals celebrated taken roots in the history and culture of the society o Festivals: The Chinese New Year. etc iii) 2. 1996) . and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.siu.

medicine.Easy-going.lib.Truth for one culture may be radically different from truths of another culture. . ideology.Respect and obedience towards parents and elders. (http://mccoy. diet.htm) Tradition values and culture The Malays .htm) Definitions Cultural convergence: The tendency for cultures to become more alike as they increasingly use technology and organizational structures in the modern world united by improved transportation and communication.utexas. Cultural relativism: Understanding the ways of other cultures and not judging these practices according to one’s own cultural . and government. and community self-help or gotong-royong . sexual behaviour.Beliefs make up the truths of a culture.Strong belief in Islam: Rukun Islam . technology. including such learned features as speech. dress. tolerance and goodwill .siu.Culture is inculcated.Culture is adaptive. body alterations. drug use. attitudes.Culture is gratifying.Each culture has its own history.Culture is learned. (http://www.Culture is a social warm and accommodating . family ties. livelihood. . (http://www. . . personal hygiene.- A total way of life held in common by a group of people.Culture provides individuals with both implicit and explicit guidelines on how to view the world and behave in relation to others and the environment. .Cultures differ on beliefs regarding family dynamics.“Adat Temmenggung – patrilineal”. and experiences of other groups. behaviour. .htm) Characteristics of Culture . gender roles. . Cultural divergence: The likelihood or tendency for cultures to become increasingly dissimilar with the passage of ideology. lifestyles and languages that determine how individuals interact with one another. “Adat Perpatih – Matrilineal” 5 . traditions. leisure. etc (http://unr. Cultural assimilation: The process of integration into a common cultural life through acquisition of the sentiments.htm) . neighbourliness.Social norms: good manners.

“Tai-chi”.Based on family ties. “saree/sari”. “Chap Goh Mei”.“Baba and Nyonya” community . “samfoo – a jacket and trousers combination”. “Adat Istiadat Diraja” Holidays: Mass exodus called “Balik Kampung” or “Return to the Kampung”. Thaipusam.- “Adat Resam”. “vestis or kurtas – thin white cotton shirt”.Social norms: Respect for elders. “Dhotis – short version of sarung in white”. tight blouse) . “Sarung”.Strong cultural acceptance and adaptability 3. no beef for Hindus .Adopted a “prosper thy neighbour” approach . (Mid-Autumn Festival or Mooncake Festival). etc The Chinese . ambitious and dynamic . 2003) 6 .Deepavali. “Chingay” flag parade. “Gasing”.Dress: Western styles of dressing. “Moon Yuet” ceremony .Lion and dragon dances. “Wau”. “Baju Kebaya”.Filial piety. “Cheongsam” . exchanging of pleasantries. “Hungry Ghosts Festival” . “Ching Ming”. “Congkak”. “Silat”. “Batik”. “Ang Pow”. lantern parade. religious . “capati”. “Rumah Terbuka” Do not eat pork and only eat “Halal” food Tradition garments: “Baju Melayu”.Food: Hot and spicy.Strong family ties and community awareness . “Bird Singing Contest for merbuk and tekukur”. Dragon Boat Festival – eating of chung. the community and entrepreneurship . “Tudung” “Joget”. Thai Ponggal . “coli – short.Reunion dinner. “Songkok”.Dress: Western clothes. “Sepak Takraw”. etc The Indians .Urban lifestyle.Industrious and entrepreneurial . ETHNIC RELATIONS IN MALAYSIA History of Ethnic Relations a) Stage of co-existence: in the era of the British colonists b) Stage of frequent external contact: during the British rule up to the time of independence c) Stage of compromise: at the time of the early independence era until now d) Stage of unity: at the present stage e) Stage of integration: an ongoing process The Theory of Racial Relations (Nazaruddin.

Amalgamation: This is a process that happens when culture or race mixes to form a type of new culture and race.1. Assimilation (Structural Assimilation): This concept of assimilation is about the entry into a dominant society through friendship and close connection. Diffusion: The spread of a cultural pattern from one culture to another. Plural society: The concept of a plural society as put forward by J. social. Accommodation: This is a process where the ethnic groups are aware of each other’s norms and values but they continue to safeguard their own living culture. For example: Ethnic groups of Germans. that is. and where no directed change agent is apparent. Polarisation: It means the splitting into definite groups because of differences in practices and outlook until there exists a number of clusters of the society who are in opposition to other clusters. 9. 4. Segregation: This is a relation that has the characteristic of a split among the ethnic groups in a country. 2. Obstacles to National Integration 1. based on physical differences (like the colour of the skin and the degree to which the cultural features differ from that of the dominant group). For example: Inter-marriage between ethnic groups or races. Communalism (loyalty to a sociopolitical grouping based on religious or ethnic affiliation) 7 . Unity: The concept of unity is external in nature and refers more to solidarity that is physical. This is portrayed by a sense of belonging among members of a society based on deeper ties and feelings. 8. 7. Furnival shows a society that is characterized by physical. Integration: The concept of integration refers to the process of unification of groups with different backgrounds to become one entity tied by norms and values as well as common interest. The degree of assimilation of the minority groups varies.S. French and Italians living in Switzerland 3. 5. For example: The Apartheid Policy that was practiced before in South Africa. values and patterns of behaviour (culture) of the majority group without changing their original cultural elements. Acculturation (Cultural Assimilation): This is a process when people from a minority group accept the norms. cultural and economic separation among ethic groups. 6. 10. Prejudice (preconceived judgment or opinion) 2.

3.Economic growth through equitable redistribution and taking into account the aspirations of the different races . should not stop certain ethnic groups from carrying out any rightful activity in the areas concerned. To make sure that policies made and implemented should be based on principles of compromise among the leaders of the ethnic groups.Commitment to adjust one’s own attitude to that of the other races National Integration Strategies 1. with effective regulations and control of harmful elements . cultural and so on. Changing concepts of a divisive nature 3. Cultural differences 6. social. It is generally accepted that efforts to unite the members of an ethnic group need to be carried out before trying to create national unity (among the ethnic groups). Process of socialization limited to within ethnic groups 3.Economic efforts . Creating cohesive relations Physical and Social Development Strategies 1. Socialisation and re-socialisation 2.Readiness to accept cultural and religious diversity as a source of strength . Reducing group demand 4. Ethnocentrism (judging other cultures by the standards of your own. Ignorance of other ethnic groups 2. Reducing group identification 3. National unity can be achieved when economic differences among ethnic groups are reduced and subsequently eliminated. economic.Political efforts . Updating and increasing socio-economic strategies 2. 4. 2.Social and Cultural efforts THE BASIS OF RACIAL UNITY IN MALAYSIA .3. Socio-economic difference 5. Communal politics 4. which you believe to be superior) Causes and Reinforcing Obstacles to Integration 1. Inter-regional transfer of officers 8 .Sharing of political power among different ethnic groups .Democratic process in accommodating ethnicity. Strategy and the Measures for Self Edification 1. Segregation or Physical separation The Strife towards Unity and National Integration . The implementation of all policies.

Enhancing the role of social institutions METHOD TO ACHIEVE NATIONAL INTEGRATION 1. Social groups 5. Development in the small enterprise sector 9 . Improving educational infrastructure 2. Continuous education 4. Exposure to other communities 5. Development of rural infrastructure 4. Tourism within the country 7. Development of rural folks 5. Mass media Methods for Socio-economic Development 1. Formal education 2. Social activities 6.4. Co-curriculum activities 3. Create bumiputra entrepreneurs and professionals 3.