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By Virginia Matheson Hooker

In coaching for a visit to Malaysia, this helped me comprehend the historical past and present outlook and matters. probably not a enjoyable learn, however it appears to be like well-written and valuable to knowing the rustic. yet i am not a professional.

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

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58587 History Malaysia F2 8/27/03 5:54 PM Page 33 3 NETWORKS OF POWER AND EXCHANGE ‘Merchants from distant places congregate there. This country is therefore considered to be very prosperous. Extract from the P’ing-chou k’o-t’an, referring to the port of Srivijaya in the early 12th century1 This quotation, from a Chinese source of the early 12th century, reveals three things: that a place called Srivijaya was well-known to Chinese merchants, that it attracted traders from beyond the immediate region and that it was regarded as commercially very successful.

Because swidden farming depends on allowing the land to lie fallow after several seasons it is necessary to move regularly, even if the group returns after many years to lands worked previously. While there are many variations in religious systems among these peoples, the common practice of swidden farming makes it possible to make some very general points about their social systems. They respect individual autonomy and the nuclear family is the basic unit of society, but household units often consist of extended families who live together, work together and share child raising.

58587 History Malaysia F2 8/27/03 5:54 PM Page 30 A Short History of Malaysia In the section describing patterns of sociocultural organisation, it was noted that those groups following a fairly self-sufficient lifestyle (for example, the Semang and Senoi patterns) had a high degree of personal autonomy, used consensus to reach decisions and worked in very small groups (sometimes only two or three people) to accomplish tasks. In this kind of group, power was linked with mastery of special skills in those areas that were useful to the group.

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