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A Short History of Malaysia: Linking East and West - download pdf or read online

By Virginia Matheson Hooker

ISBN-10: 1864489553

ISBN-13: 9781864489552

In practise for a visit to Malaysia, this helped me comprehend the background and present outlook and concerns. not likely a enjoyable learn, however it appears to be like well-written and helpful to figuring out the rustic. yet i am not a professional.

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Extra info for A Short History of Malaysia: Linking East and West

Example text

However, this was possible in the lowland forests of the northern Malay Peninsula and in upland areas of Sabah and Sarawak until the early 20th century. 58587 History Malaysia F2 8/27/03 5:54 PM Page 25 Peopling Malaysia Borneo are the Penans (also known as Punans) who live in isolated areas in Sarawak, but who are physically unrelated to the Semang groups of the Peninsula. Social organisation is characterised by low population density of small groups—individuals and married couples—who maintain a wide network of acquaintances so that they can come and go from other groups as they need to.

Although we do not know the full list of merchandise being traded between Southeast Asia and other parts of the world in the early centuries CE, reports from the 15th century indicate a mixture of foodstuffs (bananas, grains, fish), spices, cloth, precious metals and specialist luxury items such as birds’ nests, resins and aromatic woods. A network linking China and the Mediterranean through the Straits of Melaka was thus well established by the 1st century CE. Even when empires, such as those of Rome and China, changed their configurations, the trading networks did not disappear but adapted and re-linked to respond to the ever-changing, but always hungry, markets for specialist products.

From their work as labourers in tin-mines and the building industry, many prospered and invested their savings in enterprises such as mines, plantations, factories, shops and banks, forming institutional networks now regarded as characteristic of the overseas Chinese. In Malaysia, the Chinese established a system of mutual help through associations and societies for labour, trade, hospitals, schools and funerals. These were strengthened by strong clan links at local levels. Their commercial operations were similarly independent of outside assistance and were based on a small number of leading financiers at major commercial centres (Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Singapore) who dealt directly with Chinese firms in smaller centres.

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A Short History of Malaysia: Linking East and West by Virginia Matheson Hooker


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