Sunday, February 17, 2008
Malaysia (pronounced /məˈleɪʒə/ or /məˈleɪziə/) is a country that consists of thirteen states and three federal territories in Southeast Asia with a total landmass of 329,847 square kilometres (127,355 sq mi). The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. The population stands at over 25 million. The country is separated into two regions—Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo—by the South China Sea. Malaysia borders Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines. The country is located near the equator and experiences a tropical climate. Malaysia's head of state is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (conventionally referred to as 'the King' or 'the Agong') and the government is headed by a Prime Minister. The government is closely modeled after the Westminster parliamentary system.
Malaysia as a unified state did not exist until 1963. Previously, a set of colonies were established by the United Kingdom from the late-18th century, and the western half of modern Malaysia was composed of several separate kingdoms. This group of colonies was known as British Malaya until its dissolution in 1946, when it was reorganised as the Malayan Union. Due to widespread opposition, it was reorganised again as the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and later gained independence on 31 August 1957. Singapore, Sarawak, British North Borneo and the Federation of Malaya joined to form Malaysia on 16 September 1963. However, less than two years later Singapore seceded from the federation and became an independent republic on 9 August 1965. The early years of the new union were marred by an armed conflict with Indonesia and the expulsion of Singapore. The Southeast Asian nation experienced an economic boom and underwent rapid development during the late-20th century. With rapid growth averaging 8% from 1991 to 1997, it has, from time to time, been considered a newly industrialised country.Because Malaysia is one of three countries that control the Strait of Malacca, international trade plays a large role in its economy. At one time, it was the largest producer of tin, rubber and palm oil in the world. Manufacturing has a large influence in the country's economy.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
The Malays form the majority of the population. Some Malays are of Arab descent and there are sizable Chinese and Indian communities. (In Malaysia there is 3 main races, Malays, Chinese and Indians. Malays can trace their ancestors to Indonesians and arabians.) Islam is the largest as well as the official religion of the federation. The Malay language is the official language. The Malay language was originally written in Pallava from India, the earliest known inscriptions in Malay were found in southern Sumatra and on the island of Bangka and date from 683–6 AD. They were written in an Indian script during the time of the kingdom of Srivijaya, but nowadays, the Roman alphabet (Rumi) is more often used.
Malaysia is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and participates in many international organisations such as the United Nations. As a former British colony, it is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. It is also a member of the Developing 8 Countries.
The name "Malaysia" was adopted in 1963 when the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo and Sarawak formed a 14-state federation. However the name itself had been vaguely used to refer to areas in Southeast Asia prior to that. A map published in 1914 in Chicago has the word Malaysia printed on it referring to certain territories within the Malay Archipelago. The Philippines once contemplated naming their state "Malaysia", but Malaysia adopted the name first in 1963 before the Philippines could act further on the matter. Other names were contemplated for the 1963 federation. Among them was Langkasuka (Langkasuka was an old kingdom located at the upper section of the Malay Peninsula in the first millennium of the common era).
Even further back into history, the English ethnologist George Samuel Windsor Earl in volume IV of Journal of the Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia in 1850 proposed to name the islands of Indonesia as Melayunesia or Indunesia though he favored the former.
Malaysian Dream Girls ...
Archaeological remains have been found throughout peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. The Semang have a deep ancestry within the Malay Peninsula, dating to the initial settlement from Africa over 50,000 years ago. The Senoi appear to be a composite group, with approximately half of the maternal lineages tracing back to the ancestors of the Semang and about half to Indochina. This is in agreement with the suggestion that they represent the descendants of early Austronesian speaking agriculturalists, who brought both their language and their technology to the southern part of the peninsula approximately 5,000 years ago and coalesced with the indigenous population. The Aboriginal Malays are more diverse, and although they show some connections with island Southeast Asia, some also have an ancestry in Indochina around the time of the Last Glacial Maximum, followed by an early-Holocene dispersal through the Malay Peninsula into island Southeast Asia.