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Malaysian culture is the mix of multiple cultures: Malay, Chinese and Indian culture

- The animistic base through Hinduism and Buddhism, Islam and Western-style
modernization. Muslims Malay, Hindus Indian, and Buddhists Chinese (with more
than 60% of population is Muslim)
- According to the 2010 population census:

(Sunni) Muslims 61.3%

Buddhists 19.8%
Christians 9.2%
Hindus 6.3%
Other Chinese philosophies, Taoism and Confucianism 1.3%
Other beliefs 1.3%
Atheism and agnostic 0.8%

+ Muslims: arriving from Arabia, China and the Indian subcontinent; firmly
established in the 15th century and becoming the dominant religion; country's
official language and religion; supported by the government; Public schools
mostly offering Islamic religious teachings; ruled against ghosts and other
supernatural beings,
+ Buddhism: the most practiced and is the second largest religion; carring by
Indian traders and priests traveling; many Buddhist temples and organisations
over the past 20 years; many young and educated Malaysian Chinese are also
rediscovering Buddhism rather than relying on traditional customs and beliefs
practiced by the older generation => all the major traditions of Buddhism are
thriving in happy coexistence in Malaysia.
+ Christians: The main denominations include Roman Catholic, Anglican, and
Methodist; being restricted in the country since Malaysia has become more
Islamic; no official school subjects; strictly supervised by state.
=> The separate religious communities create a generally tolerant relationship.
- The influence of animism is ubiquitous, serving as a basis for traditional Malay
culture, its inherent taboos and superstitions such as those connected with the
presence of negative influences (kuwong, cending, bala seroka), as well as many of
the ritual practices.
- Similarly the contributions of Hinduism and Islam are strong in the Malays way of
life. Often, as in the case of beliefs related to sacred places and persons (keramat),
religious syncretism is evident.
- Death and the Afterlife belief.
- Malaysia is a quite conservative country <= the belief to the majority Islam
- Ancestors cultural customs
- Fatalistic worldview.
HOFSTEDE cultural dimensions:
Power distance: 100
Individualism: 26
Masculinity: 50
Uncertainty avoidance: 36
Longterm orientation: 41
Indulgence: 57
- Values are the mix of Indian, Chinese, Malays cutural values:
1. Obeydience and loyalty
2. Respects for the elder and high level of self-respect
3. Strong spiritual bond and group orientation. Collectivism.
4. Humility and perseverance
5. Courtesy and friendliness, respect: principal moral values that should
take precedence over others.
6. family-oriented people: choosing not to work overseas as much as
other ethnicities, living within close proximity of their family networks.
7. Face and Shame: to do something inapproariate brings
Malu( shame, shyness and embarassment). Face is the quality
embedded in most Asian cultures that indicates a person's reputation,
influence, dignity and honour. By complimenting people, showing them
respect or doing something to increase their self-esteem, you give them
face. Therefore, individuals in Malaysia usually act deliberately and with
restraint to protect their self-worth and peer perception. Conservative
conduct is the norm, as people dont want to stand out and/or risk losing
face by doing something inappropriate.

+ Muslim: encourage tolerance, inclusivity, and a balanced approach towards

life. It values a number of qualities such as good administration, honesty,
efficiency, hard work and knowledge.
+ Buddhism: promote self-respect, giving and sharing, develops one's spiritual
qualities, lead people to non-harming or non-violence to all living creatures
from the lowest insect to humans, work towards the salvation of all living
beings, avoid conflicts. Buddhism seeks to reduce desires and hence Buddhist
economics promote a sense of Anti-consumerism and simple living. It values
good qualities such as generousity, kindness, endurance, loyalty, cultivation of
good will and compassion.
+ Christianity: Above all, Christian values promote love and harmony among
all men. They respects Gods believers, equality, humanity, being faithful, hope,
righteousness, love, humility, charity, goodness, honesty, integrity, respecting
elders and parents.