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Introduction to mpw2133 Malaysian Studies


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  1. Introduction to MPW2133 Malaysian Studies


This course will go down memory lane with its earliest history of the development, birth and growth of the Federation of Malaysia. It also includes the discussion on the ruling structure and the system of our government. This is to make an analysis on the main issues pertaining to the development and social issues of the country that also involve international participation. This course will end with the discussion of important happenings as well as the future challenges.

  1. Objectives


The course aims at:

  • Developing citizens who are loyal to the country, love the nation, are vision minded, proud to be Malaysian, able to face challenges in life and introduce Malaysia in the international arena.

  • Giving a clear understanding on the history of the nation and its people together with community development in respect of culture, economy and politics.

  • Inculcating the sense of awareness for getting involved in the struggle to defend the sovereignty and the development of this nation.

  • Acknowledging and appreciating the contributions and the struggle of those great figures that have struggled for the independence and sovereignty of Malaysia.

  • Appreciating nation’s identity and be proud of being a Malaysian.

  • Understanding and appreciating the Malaysia’s roles and contributions at the international level.



  1. Synopsis


  • The course is designed to give a clear understanding of historical events in Malaysia and discussed the important issues of the country in term of economy, education, government administration system, politics, socio culture and international affairs.

  • At the beginning of the syllabus, the course is stressed more on historical events, which is going to take students on a nostalgic journey through the history of this country. It would be interesting to see how we learn and have not learnt lessons from history to help us face the challenges of the future.

  • The students also learn about the structure of the Malaysian government, which comprise of the Yang Di-pertuan Agong, and the legislative, executive and judicial authority.

  • Education and economy in Malaysia also among the interesting chapters, which are the students, will expose to the scenarios of education and economy from the day before independence until present day.

  • Many programs also introduced by the government to maintain the social and political stability, thus may help students to get a clear picture of government policies.


LESSON 1
TRADITIONAL MALAY KINGDOM
1.0 Introduction
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Do you know what does traditional Malay refer to? Traditional Malay kingdoms refers to the kingdoms that existed before the colonialism era in which socio-political and socio-economic activities were on their terms and free from Western influences. From 13th to 16th centuries, these kingdoms were famous and well-known in the Malay Archipelago. Among them were the kingdom of Malacca, Johor, Perak, Pahang, Negri Sembilan and Kelantan.

Do you aware that some aspects of our current socio-economic and socio-political are inherited from the earlier generations? We should appreciate the roles and contributions of the earlier kingdoms towards our nation’s development today. Thus, this topic will bring you to look back the history of the emergence of the famous Malay kingdom or Malay Sultanate in the Malay world. The focus of the topic is on the factors that contributed to the success of the kingdoms as well as the factors of their downfalls. The topic will revisit the political, economical and the social structures of the traditional Malay societies.


2.0 Learning Outcomes
By the end of the topics, you should be able to:


  1. Identify the great Traditional Malay Kingdoms

  2. Discuss the factors of their glory and downfall as well relate the relevancy of those factors to the today’s situation

  3. Elaborate the ruling system of the kingdoms

  4. Compare the governance and socio-economic of the kingdoms with the current system



  1. List of Topics




    1. The Malay Malacca Kingdom




    1. Other Malay Kingdoms




    1. The Politic, Economic and Social System




    1. Achievements in Technology



4.0 Terminologies
4.1 Malay Archipelago

The chain Malay islands South East Asia region


4.2 Golden Age

The era of glory and great achievement


4.3 Excessive taxation


High rate of taxes imposed on people that rate beyond the people’s capability to pay
4.4 Hierarchical Ruling System
A ruling system with hierarchy of position form the highest to the lowest


    1. Self-sustaining

To sustain the need of one’s own self




    1. Socialization

A process of educating people on how to socialize with society members




5.0 Topics
5.1 The Malay Malacca Kingdom
5.1.1 Presentation
Do you know still remember who the founder of Malacca is? Malacca used to be a great empire but then experienced its downfall. Do you know the factors that contributed to its glory and its downfall? Would you believe that those factors are still relevant today?
The kingdom of Malacca was founded by Parameswara, a prince of Palembang, in the 15th century. He developed Malacca to be a very supreme and outstanding kingdom and made Malacca as the world trade center, center for spreading the teaching of Islam and knowledge. His glorious achievement was continued by his successors after him. Malacca achieved its golden age and became a great kingdom as well as very strong empire in the Malay Archipelago during the reign of Sultan Mansur Syah (1456-1477). Among the factors that contributed to its supreme and outstanding during the time are:


  1. Wise leadership

    • Parameswara converted to Islam as to attract traders from surrounding Muslim states such Pasai

    • Established political ties with the supreme power of the world i.e China to protect Malacca from its enemies




  1. Geographical factors

    • The sea was deep, which was good for big ships

    • Fresh waters supplies from nearby river

    • Located in the middle of international trading route between the east and the west

    • Two monsoon winds to all directions




  1. Economic factors

    • Center of the world trade (almost all merchandises & goods could be found there)

    • Economic ties with China




  1. Political and good administration

    • diplomatic tie with the supreme power of the world i.e China

    • Creation of Administrative Posts (Sultan, Bendahara, Penghulu Bendahari, Temenggung, Syah Bandar, Laksamana)

    • Laws that governed its citizens i.e Hukum Kanun Melaka & Undang-Undang Laut Melaka

After experiencing its golden age, Malacca finally reached at its downfall. Do you know the factors contributed to its downfall? The factors are categorized into internal (the main factors) and external factors.



Internal factors


  1. Lack of wise and able leaders



Example:



          1. Bendahara Tun Perak was a weak and not capable to administer the government affairs

          2. Bendahara Tun Perpatih (after Tun Perak) was a spendrift

          3. Bendahara Tun Mutahir who replaced Tun Perpatih focused more on personal gains



  1. Oppressive Administration

    • Some officials oppressed and did injustice to the citizens and foreign traders

    • Corruption in administration and bribery to gain personal wealth

    • Excessive taxation system on the citizens and traders




  1. People were divided and disunited




  1. Lack of Military Might and Weak Defences

  • Lack of brave and strong warriors

  • No progress in weaponry and war strategy (still using keris and swords)


External Factors


  1. The discovery of the Cape of Good Hope (Tanjung Pengharapan), a naval passage in Southern Africa by Bartholomew Diaz in 1488

    • It made easier to sail from the West to the East

    • Western powers were eager to locate sites in trading in the East

    • Portuguese attacked Malacca in 1511, thus brought to its downfall



  1. Emergence of other trade centers

  • Due to the oppressive administration

5.1.2 Activities


  1. Have you ever visited any website on the Kingdom of Malacca? If you don’t, take your time to serf this website:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malacca_Sultanate



  1. A point to ponder: Can you relate the significance of the glory and the downfalls factors to our modern government? Do you agree that those factors will affect the hegemony of our country?

5.2 Other Malay Kingdoms


5.2.1 Presentation
Besides Malacca, there were several other significant Malay kingdoms that existed at the same period with Malacca and in the centuries that followed. Although they were not as great as Malacca kingdom, we should not forget their contributions towards the development of the region. Among the kingdoms were Kedah, Perak, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Terengganu, Kelantan, Johore and Selangor.
Those kingdoms practised a hierarchical ruling system, the same system practiced by Malacca kingdom. Sultans (rulers) were sovereign and possessed the highest position with absolute administrative power. They were assisted by some officials such as Bendahara (Prime Minister), Penghulu Bendahari (Minister of Finance), Temenggung (Chief Police Officer), Syahbandar (Port Administrator) and Laksamana (Chief Navy). The system adopted by Perak, Pahang and Kedah. Negri Sembilan, however, named the ruler with Yam Dipertuan Negri. After the Malacca’s downfall, Johore emerged as the most important kingdom in the region.

5.2.2 Activities


Why don’t you visit the following website to get more information about those kingdoms?
http://www.sabrizain.org/malaya/early.htm

5.3 The Politic, Economic and Social System

5.3.1 Presentation


            1. Political System

The governance system was heavily influenced by beliefs, customs and religion. The system was hierarchical in nature. The system created a gap among rulers, aristocrats and the public people (commoners). The governance system is illustrated as follow:


Sultan (King)


Aristocrats (Royal family)


Officials


Headman


Commoners


Slaves

The system above is called ‘monarchy system’. Do you know what the system is all about? It is a system where a country is ruled by a monarch (king/sultan). The king became the symbol of the sovereignty of the country. In the system, aristocrats possessed the political, economic and social powers. The officials acted as the advisors to the kings and majority of them worked in palace. They were elected by the king and were given power to collect taxes and to have their own armies and servants. The headman became the intermediary between the king and the commoners. They were the leaders at their villages. The commoners were the common people and did not have opportunity to get involved in the administration of the country.





            1. Economic System

The first characteristic of the economic system is self-sustaining. The economic activities were very traditional in nature in which it aimed to sustain the need of one’s family. The family needs became the focus of the economy. However, trade activities were already in place as a tool for people to get their essential needs that cannot be produced. The trade had taken place with China, India and West Asia (Arab countries) at that time.


Beside the above characteristic, there was a separation between the ruling class (the king, aristocrats and officials) and the common people. The ruling class controlled the economy. They collected taxes from traders and the people. The people were mainly involved in farming as farmers and they rented lands from the aristocrats.



            1. Social System

The traditional Malay society had encountered series of external cultures like Hinduism, Islam and the West. The most influential culture is Islam that made the Malay culture steadily matured and more organized. Family ties were strongly emphasized and instituted in the society. Noble values were taught in family as the family became the agent of socialization. Besides, there were laws created as to govern behaviour in society land and naval laws. The examples are as below:




  1. Malacca Code of Law (Undang-Undang Qanun Malacca)

  2. Malacca Law of the Sea (Undang-Undang Laut Melaka)

  3. Pahang Laws. Perak Laws, Kedah Laws

5.3.2 Activities




  1. Do you want to get some more information about those kingdoms? Allocate your time to visit this website: http://www.sabrizain.org/malaya/early.htm




  1. Have you ever watched traditional Malay movies? If you have time, it is good if you can watch the following movies. Those movies will give you some ideas about the socio-politic and economic of the Malacca kingdom:




    1. Hang Tuah

    2. Sultan Mahmud Mangkat Dijulang

    3. Tun Fatimah

5.4 Achievement in Technology


5.4.1 Presentation
Among the technological achievement are:


  1. Malay architecture - Malay house of Kelantan, Pahang, Negri Sembilan and others with different features according to place




  1. Weaponry – the making of keris




  1. Making of transportation – boats, dinghies, sailboats




  1. Medicine – herbal medicine

5.4.2 Activities


Do you want to see some examples of the technological achievements? Please visit the following websites:
http://www.google.com.my/images?hl=en&q=keris%2Bpicture&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=H_jJS9OyHsKyrAfXp_jdBQ&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CA8QsAQwAA
http://www.google.com.my/images?um=1&hl=en&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=traditional+malay+house%2Bpicture&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=&start=0

http://www.google.com.my/images?um=1&hl=en&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=traditional+malay+dinghies&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=&start=0
6.0 Lesson Summary
Malacca Sultanate occupies a special position in Malaysian history, because it is considered to be the origin and the basis of the present sultanate of Malaysia (excepting that of Negeri Sembilan). Malacca was the crucible where Malay-ness got defined: speaking the Malay language, observing Malay adat, and worshipping God according to Islam. That’s why we have found some similarities in socio-politic and socio-economic of the kingdoms. As a result, Malacca had a profound effect on Malayan government and culture, then and now. However, do not ignore the factors of its downfall. Those factors are relevant in whatever time and place. Disunity, corruption, oppression, unwise and weak leaders as well as weak of defense must be avoided or otherwise, wait for our downfall one day.

7.0 Self Assessment
7.1 Which of the following is not one of the Malay kingdoms?

  1. Palembang

  2. Kedah

  3. Johor

  4. Malacca

Answer: Palembang


7.2 The old Malay kingdom that gave impact on our country until today is _________

  1. Johor

  2. Malacca

  3. Pahang

  4. Perak

Answer: Malacca


7.3 The Malacca kingdom became very supreme and great kingdom due to some factors.

Which of the following is not the factor?



  1. Wise leadership

  2. Strategic location

  3. Economic ties with the super power of the world

  4. Diplomatic ties with the West

Answer: D


7.4 Which of the following is not an internal factor of the downfall of Malacca?

  1. Lack of wise leaders

  2. Oppressive administration

  3. Attack by west country

  4. Disunity among the people

Answer: C


7.5 Below are among the external factors that contributed to the downfall of Malacca except ________

  1. The discovery of the Cape of Golden Hope

  2. Attack of the Portuguese

  3. Attack of Majapahit

  4. Emergence of other trade centers

Answer: C


7.6 Which of the following are true about the ruling system of the Malacca and the current ruling

system of Malaysia?


I Both systems practice the monarchy system in which the king is the highest authority

II Aristocrats are still in power in the current ruling system of Malaysia

III In both systems, the king is assisted by some officials

IV Bendahara is equivalent to the post of Prime Minister




  1. I and II only

  2. II and III only

  3. I, III and IV only

  4. II, III and IV only





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