|People & Culture
The Malays, long linked to the land as bumiputra, or sons or
princes of the soil, generally prefer the sound of a cock crowing
in the morning and crickets at night to noisy traffic horns and
congested sidewalks. As farmers and fishermen living in close-knit
neighbourhoods, rural Malays cherish the simplicity of an
uncluttered outdoor life.
Islam - the binding spirit : though the rift between the farm and
the city widens as years go by, it does not threaten the strong
unity the Malays drive from a comman faith. The laws of islam
immediately set a Malay apart from his fellow Malaysians. Pork, a
food relished by the Chinese, is forbidden to the muslim Malays.
Intermarriage between races is uncommon, though Malays will accept
a foreigner into the family if he or she is a muslim.
Chinese population makes up only 35 percent of the country's total,
yet their presence in and control of major industries such a rubber
and import and export companies would seem to make their numbers
far greater. Most of the Chinese are taoist buddhist, and
splendidly colourful temples display their curled and embellished
roofs and walls in town and city.
Indians make up less than 10 percent of the population of Malaysia
today, but their culture is pervasive in towns and cities. With few
exceptions they all come from south india, and approximately 80
percent are tamils and hindus. There are small numbers of sikhs,
Malayees, telugus and parsis. Indian muslims came to Malaysia and
opened restaurants,textile and Other businesses.some of them
married Malay women, especially in Penang. The majority of the
Indian population is concentrated in the States of Selangor, Perak
The population of the country is 19 million comprising Malays,
Chinese, Indians, ibans, kadazans and Other races. In Sabah, the
largest group comprises the dusun or kadazan tribes, follwed by the
muruts, the bajau (muslims and famous cowboys and seafarers of
Sabah ), the rungus, and bisaya, suluk, lundayehand kedayan in
smaller number. In Sarawak, the dayak include ibans, who make up
the majority of the Sarawak population. With its cultures so
different from that of the Malays, Chinese and Indians.
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