Malaysia: a Microcosm of Southeast Asia

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by gwennjt
Last updated 4 years ago

Social Studies

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Malaysia: a Microcosm of Southeast Asia

The definition of “microsom” is “a community, place, or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristics of something much larger.” As a part of Southeast Asia, an area that is much bigger than that of Malaysia, Malaysia has been able to capture a multitude of similarities to that of Southeast Asia and here, we have included some: physical landscape, religion and colonization. With so many similarities between them, Malaysia is unarguably a microcosm of Southeast Asia. Don’t believe us? Read on.




How is that similar to SEA?

How is that similar to SEA?

Southeast Asia does not have a uniform race or religion, but a variety of them, which is a quality Malaysia possesses. People from different racial groups and different religions also do not bicker or altercate with each other, instead, they have mutual respect, similar to how despite differences within ourselves, we rarely spout racial discrimination against others in Southeast Asia. This gives a clear representation that Malaysia is indeed a microcosm of Southeast Asia.

Just like Southeast Asia, there is a good mix of racial groups, which leads to a variety of festivals and religions one can experience in Malaysia. Even though the official religion of Malaysia is Islam, Thaipusam, Deepavali and even Christmas are celebrated here. With the perfect blend of respected religions, many places of worship can be seen in Malaysia: churches, mosques, shrines and temples all co-exist peacefully. The National Mosque that we visited provides a perfect example of the Cultural Diversity in Malaysia

MALAYSIAa microcosm of Southeast Asia

Gwenn Tong, Theresa Lam, Andre Liang, Lionel Low JH207


Malaysia seems to emulate strong the diversity of landscapes of the different countries in Southeast Asia. Just as Southeast Asia is such a wide spectacle of different landscapes, views and areas, Malaysia does so too, seeing that there are city area and agricultural towns, just as how countries in Southeast Asia can have a bustling city environment, more rural areas, or even a mix of both Malaysia This enables Southeast Asia to attract all kinds of tourists as there is always something for everyone, regardless of their preferences, similar to Malaysia.

From bustling cities such as Kuala Lumpur, to port towns such as Port Klang, to the fields of Tanjung Karang as far as the eye can see, Malaysia presents a wide diversity of places to visit, sights to see, to both tourists and visitors. City areas provide tourists and visitors with modern architecture an example which includes the Islamic Art Museum Malaysia that we visited, with other famous examples being the Petronas Twin Towers. For the adventurous, places such as FRIM (Forest Research Institute of Malaysia) and the Tanjung Karang paddy fields, shows the other, more natural side of Malaysian culture and life. These two landscapes offer tourists a variety of options to choose from, but together they help make visiting Malaysia such a unique experience.

CULTUREconsists of many aspects

Ways that colonisation hasinfluenced Malaysia:1. Improved the education system2. Spread Christianity3. Improved the Economy4. Improvements on security5. Influences architecture and constructionAs you can see, Malaysia hasbeen influenced greatly by colonization.

Malaysia too, has been colonizedjust like most of the countries inSoutheast Asia. The Portuguese, then the Dutch, captured Malacca, but it Britain who ultimately secured their hegemony across the territorythat is now Malaysia.

All the countries in Southeast Asia, except for Thailand, haveall been colonized and influenced by their Western rule. Thailand was used as a buffer state. While being colonized, those countries have also been influenced, be it through language, education, architecture or government. Thailand, even if it was not colonized, have visible Western influences.


How is that similar to SEA?

(Left) Taken during the FRIMtrek, showcasing Malaysia'slush forestry.(Bottom) Malaysia's visibleskyline, showing off itsconstantly busy cityscape.

(Top) Taken during the visit to the Mosque.


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