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Education system 'has elevated Malaysians'

Race is a significant force in politics, and many political parties are ethnically based. Actions just as the New Economic Policy and the National Development Policy which superseded it, were implemented to advance the standing of the bumiputra, consisting of Malays and the indigenous tribes who are considered the original inhabitants of Malaysia, over non-bumiputra just as Malaysian Chinese and Malaysian Indians. These policies provide preferential treatment to bumiputra in employment, education, scholarships, business, and access to cheaper housing and assisted savings. Nevertheless, it has generated greater interethnic resentment. There is ongoing debate over whether the laws and society of Malaysia should reflect secular or Islamic principles. Islamic laws passed by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party in state legislative assemblies have been blocked by the federal government.

The Malaysian government aims to balance economic growth with environmental protection, however has been accused of favouring big business over the environment. Some state governments are now trying to counter the environmental impact and pollution created by deforestation; and the federal government is trying to cut logging by 10 per cent each year. 28 national parks have been established; 23 in East Malaysia and five in the Peninsular. Tourism has been limited in biodiverse areas just as Sipadan island. Animal trafficking is a large issue, and the Malaysian government is holding talks with the governments of Brunei and Indonesia to standardise anti-trafficking laws.

Science policies in Malaysia are regulated by the Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Technology. The country is one of the world's largest exporters of semiconductor devices, electrical goods, and information and communication research products. Malaysia began developing its own space programme in 2002, and in 2006 Russia agreed to transport one Malaysian to the International Space Station as part of a multi-billion dollar purchase of 18 Russian Sukhoi Su-30MKM fighter jets by the Royal Malaysian Air Force. In an effort to create a self-reliant defensive ability and support national development, Malaysia privatised some of its military facilities in the 1970s. This has created a defence industry, which in 1999 was brought in accordance with the Malaysia Defence Industry Council. The government continues to try and promote this sector and its competitiveness, actively marketing the defence industry.

Large amount of the population

Other minorities who lack bumiputra status make up a large amount of the population. 23.7 per cent of the population are of Chinese descent, during those of Indian descent comprise 7.1 per cent of the population. The Chinese have historically been dominant in the business and commerce community, and form a plurality of the population of Penang. Indians began migrating to Malaysia in the early 19th century. The majority of the Indian community are Tamils.

LanguageThe official language of Malaysia is Bahasa Malaysia, a standardised form of the Malay language. Historically English was the de facto administrative language, with Malay becoming predominant afterwards the 1969 race riots. English remains an active second language, and serves as the medium of instruction for maths and sciences in all public schools. Malaysian English, as well known as Malaysian Standard English, is a form of English derived from British English. Malaysian English is widely used in business, along with Manglish, which is a colloquial form of English with heavy Malay, Chinese, and Tamil influences. The government discourages the misuse of Malay and has instituted fines for public signs that mix Malay and English.

Traditional Malay music and performing arts appear to have originated in the Kelantan-Pattani region with influences from India, China, Thailand and Indonesia. The music is based around percussion instruments, the most important of which is the gendang. There are anyway 14 types of traditional drums. Drums and other traditional percussion instruments and are often made from natural materials. Music is traditionally used for storytelling, celebrating life-cycle events, and occasions just as a harvest. It was once used as a form of long-distance communication. In East Malaysia, gong-based musical ensembles just as agung and kulintang are commonly used in ceremonies just as funerals and weddings. These ensembles are as well common in neighbouring regions such as in the southern Philippines, Kalimantan in Indonesia, and Brunei.

The most developed in Asia

InfrastructureThe infrastructure of Malaysia is one of the most developed in Asia. Its telecommunications network is second only to Singapore's in Southeast Asia, with 4.7 million fixed-line subscribers and more than 30 million cellular subscribers. The country has seven international ports, the major one being the Port Klang. There are 200 industrial parks along with specialised parks just as Technology Park Malaysia and Kulim Hi-Tech Park. Fresh water is available to over 95 per cent of the population. While the colonial period, development was mainly concentrated in economically powerful cities and in areas forming security concerns. Even though rural areas have been the focus of great development, they however lag behind areas just as the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The telecommunication network, even though strong in urban areas, is less available to the rural population.

Malaysia's road network covers and includes of expressways. The longest highway of the country, the North-South Expressway, extends over between the Thai border and Singapore. The road systems in East Malaysia are less developed and of lower quality in comparison to that of Peninsular Malaysia. Malaysia has 118 airports, of which 38 are paved. The country's official airline is Malaysia Airlines, providing international and domestic air service alongside two other carriers. The railway system is state-run, and covers a total of . Relatively inexpensive elevated Light Rail Transit systems are used in some cities, just as Kuala Lumpur. The Asean Rail Express is a railway service that connects Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok, and is intended to in the end stretch from Singapore to China.

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    Malaysia Defence News