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By Barbara Watson Andaya, Leonard Y. Andaya

This fresh variation of A background of Malaysia brings the tale of this attention-grabbing state modern, incorporating the most recent scholarship on each interval of Malaysian historical past. a brand new bankruptcy presents insights into Malaysian heritage of the final 15 years, together with the growing to be impact of the net and social media within the political sphere. clean research of Islam's historic position within the Malay global and the way it hyperlinks with the transforming into Islamization of Malaysia this day makes this a well timed study.

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Wolters thus suggests that when the Maharaja of Srivijaya styled himself 'King of the Ocean Lands', it was no meaningless honorific. 20 Srivijaya's prestige in the area would also have been due to the fact that its rulers had succeeded in creating a society which, by the standards of the time, was cultured and civilized. As a result of its trading connections Srivijaya had become a centre of learning that could hold its own against far older kingdoms. A Chinese source mentions that the people there were skilled mathematicians and were able to calculate the eclipses of the sun and moon.

There are no Indian navigational guides, lists of products or travellers' itineraries like those from China. Before the extension of maritime communications to China, Indian traders may have been drawn to the Malay region principally in search of gold, aromatic woods like sandalwood, and spices such as cloves. For indisputable evidence of Malaya's centuries-old relationship with India, which trade initiated and sustained, one must look at the influence of the sub-continent on Malay culture. The growth of trade with India brought the coastal peoples in much of the Malay world into contact with two major religions, Buddhism and Hinduism, and with concepts of political power well established in India.

Several seemingly unconnected pieces of evidence suggest a kingdom undergoing severe tensions. Srivijaya's prestige and wealth did not go unopposed by the growing ambitions of Javanese kings. Historians believe that in the mid-ninth century a marriage alliance joined the royal family of Srivijaya with the Sailendra dynasty of central Java. An inscription from Nalanda in India dated about 860 refers to a younger son of the Sailendras who was then ruling in Srivijaya. These ties, however, did not make for continued harmony.

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