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

A Short History of Malaysia

Linking East and West

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One of the last British colonies to achieve independence, Malaysia has been developed by its leaders as a model of rapid modernisation. From an earlier image as a romantic tropical backwater, it is now a self-conscious, rapidly developing, hi-tech nation-state stretching from Thailand to the sea boundaries of the Philippines. But the past remains a crucial part of Malaysia's present...In this concise history, Virginia Matheson Hooker takes the lives of individuals as examples of their times and describes how the peoples of Malaysia became masters of their extremely varied environments - not only by exploiting the rich natural advantages, but by linking into the complex patterns of trade in the region. Many of the skills of diplomacy, alliance and adaptation Malaysians developed over the centuries are used today as the country embraces globalisation while still participating in international life in distinctly Malaysian ways...From the origins of its aboriginal peoples, through the years of Western domination to the forceful culture politics of Dr Mahathir, this is a lively and very informative account of Malaysia's past and the major trends in its contemporary political life and the challenges it faces in the 21st century.