Malaysian Studies

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  • Topic: Malaysia, Sabah, Orang Asli
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  • Published : April 10, 2013
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TOPIC ONE: MALAYSIAN SOCIETY

Definition: society
A society can be defined in many ways:
❖ a group of persons united by a common purpose or interest or a group of interacting people who share a geographical region (territory), a sense of common identity, and a common culture.

❖ a group of humans broadly distinguished from other groups by mutual interests, participation in characteristic relationships, shared institutions, and a common culture. ❖ the totality of social relationships among humans.

Definition: multi-racial society
❖ Made up of or involving of various races (pluralism).
❖ Minority and majority are able to maintain their separate identities, yet freely participate in the country’s social institutions, from education to politics. ❖ A condition in which members of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, or social groups maintain their traditional cultures or special interests within a common (shared) culture.

In this type of a society, no particular group is demanded to forgo their lifestyle; in fact they are allowed to practice their culture, language and religion. Each society is able to maintain their culture and tradition whilst living alongside other races.

Presented in an algebraic concept, a plural society is defined as following: A+B+C = A+B+C, each of the alphabets represent different ethnic race.

CONCEPT OF MULTI-RACIAL SOCIETY (Furnival 1956)
• consists of medley of peoples – Malay, Chinese, Indian and others that constitute the society. • mix but do not combine
• bound by their own religion, culture and language, ideas and way of life • live side by side in the society but separately within the same political unit • can work together, in a buying/selling mode, but they go back to their own community at the end of the day • jobs are race-related

Living in a multiracial society is complex. It requires an insight into the other races psyche and culture. It requires one to transcend stereotypical behaviors assigned to an ethnic group and see a person of another race as an individual, not by their race.

SEGMENTAL DIFFERENCES / CLEAVAGES IN A PLURAL SOCIETY
Eckstein 1966, in his book Division and Cohesion in Democracy states that a plural society is divided by certain segmental cleavages: race and ethnic groups, religion, ideology, language and culture.

THE MALAYSIAN SOCIETY
In the Peninsular Malaysia, the Malays, Chinese and Indians are the three major races, with the mixture of the Sikhs and the others.

THE MALAYS
The Malays communities include the Javanese, Banjar, Bugis, Boyanese and Minangkabau.

THE CHINESE
The Chinese community in Malaysia consists of the Hokkien, Cantonese, Hakka, Teochew and Hailam.

THE INDIANS
The Indian community in Malaya consisted of the Tamil, Malayali, Telegu and Sikh.

THE SABAHANS
The major groups in Sabah are the Kadazan Dusun, Chinese, Malays, the tribes of Murut, Rungus and Bajau.

Background population of the people in Sabah

|Community |Background | |Kadazan |Largest community | |(Dusun people) |Originally from Kalimantan | | |Concentrated in the areas of Ranau and Tambunan | | |Valley | | |Celebrate Pesta Keamatan | | |A farming community | |Bajau (known as |Originally from Mindanao and Sulu Island | |the sea people /|Concentrated in the Semporna, Kota Belud and Timbang| |Samal people) |Island in Sandakan Bay | |Murut |Live mostly in the interior such as Tenom, Rundu and| | |Pensiangan | | |A small number of them still live in long houses and| | |are nomads | |...
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