The history of Malaysia is a kind of black hole in Asian history, with its past as something shrouded in mystery. It is true that there are no archaeological evidences in that country, but it is believed that such pre-historic evidences are lying along the coasts and in the jungles and hills. It is Malaysia’s abundance vegetation that hides the truth. The evidence of the presence of Homo sapiens comes from recovery of a skull from the Niah Caves in Sarawk, which was dated 35,000 years before Christ. Stone Age tools and implements from about 10,000 BC have been found in Malaysia and it is believed that it was left there by the ancient inhabitants of the predecessors of the Negrito aborigines.
About 2,500 years before Christ, a group from China migrated to Malaysia, who were more technologically advanced, and pushed the Negritos into the hills and jungles. This group was called the Proto-Malays, who were mainly seafarers and farmers. As time passed, in the wave of the cultural evolution, another group was created, the Deutero-Malays, who were made up of the combination of Indians, Chinese, Siamese, Arabs, and Proto-Malays. It is this group that combined with the people of Indonesia, to form the present Malays.
The ancient writing from India, mentions about a place called Savarnadvipa, a land of Gold. The mythology says that this over wealthy Kingdom, which lay far away in an unknown land, was sought out by the Indians and that is how the first Indians were lured to this land of the Malays in 100 BC. From that point onwards Malaysia had a stream of Indians coming to the land in search of gold, aromatic wood, and spices. The Indians brought in their culture and Hindu temples started to appear, with Hinduism and Buddhism sweeping through the country. Today, the Malay wedding resembles that one of the Indians, confirming the great influence of the Indian culture within the Malays.
Hindu Kingdoms were set up and until the 15th century, these Hindu Kingdoms were largely over-shadowed by the neighbouring Kingdoms of Cambodia and Indonesia. The strongest Hindu Kingdom of Srivijaya is said to have the best trading port in the region. Amongst the islands of Malaysia, Srivijaya proved to be the first great maritime Kingdom and this led to the other ports in the group emulate its success. As the other ports, capable of importing and exporting merchandise, started to emerge, at sometime round about the 13th century, the influence of Srivijaya started to decline.
Malacca was found in the year 1400 and grew to a wealthy Kingdom and within 50 years it became the most influential port in Southeast Asia. Trade boomed and ships of all sizes were seen in the Malacca harbour. With this trade Islam came into the land and the rulers of Malacca called themselves ‘Sultans’. The highly organised municipal government was headed by these Sultans, whose main purpose was to facilitate trade. The success and power made Malacca come into the control of the entire west coast of the Malay Peninsula, the Kingdom of Pahang, and much of Sumatra. This height of power did not last long. The Portuguese arrived and set up colonies which lasted well into the 20th century.
All the trade routes, such as, the eastern spice trade, were routed through Egypt, and the Arab ports did not allow any non-Muslim vessel to be parked at the port. The European powers were painfully aware of this and they were trying to find an opportunity to establish their own trade route to India and the Far East. The Portuguese, in 1511, sent their fleet under the command of Alfonso de Albuquerque, which sailed into Malacca’s harbour, and opened fire with cannons and captured the city. That is how Malacca’s golden age came to an end.
A massive fort was constructed at Malacca, which the Dutch captured in 1641. This put the Dutch in the spice trade picture until 1785. At that time the British East India Company was able to convince the Sultan to allow them to build a fort on the island of Penang. The British were interested to set up a port at Penang for a safe trade route to China.
When Malaya gained independence in 1957, with Tunku Abdul Rahman as the first Prime Minister of Malaya, new situations cropped up and difficult decisions lay ahead of the country. It was required to be determined as to which territories are to be included in the newly formed state. Prime Minister Tunku convinced Singapore, Sabah, and Sarawak to join Malaya in a federal union and Malaya was then onwards come to be known as Malaysia. Singapore opted out of this federation peacefully in 1965.
The other immediate requirement was to create a national identity. With multi-cultural population existing in Malaysia, it was difficult to bring them all under one flag. Since the Malays are the majority in the country, the constitution gave them permanent places in the government, made Islam the national religion and made Malay the national language. The country has made tremendous progress in the last two decades, undergoing admirable growth and prosperity and made significant progress in race relations.
As a country, Malaysia offers a variety of beaches. From the powdery stretches of white sand beaches which characterises the eastern coastline, to the black sand beach of Pantai Pasir Hitam and the wonderful pebble strewn beach of Pantai Batu Keriki. In addition to these beaches, one finds hundreds of tropical islands along the the peninsula and the coast of Eastern Malaysia. The Malaysian beaches are different from the others in many ways. The colour combination of golden sands and emerald waters diffuses through the Malaysian beaches with such ecstasy that is not found in the beaches of the cool white sand and blue seas in many western beaches.
While you are in Malaysia, a visit to the rain forest has to be on top of your agenda. It is unique in the world and the oldest on the planet. You would take a trip to one of the national parks, where you would take guided jungle treks both day and night. It could be an experience which will provide you with profound experience of the jungles in Malaysia. You will find the largest flower in the world, the insects and mammals who have adapted to the conditions, and trees that have raised tall, which make you look at them with amazement. You may comfortably stay in the resort-like headquarters within the park or, if you think that you are fit enough to do so, opt to take the long guided trek deep into the jungle.
If you are keen on scuba diving, the waters of both, Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo, offer some of the world’s best environment for such activity. It offers one of the world’s most beautiful under-water environments, where you can dive with whale sharks, float over the beautiful under-water coral gardens or dive deeper to explore shipwrecks lying beneath. Malaysia has become increasingly aware of the protection of its marine heritage, which offers the most wonderful experience in scuba diving in this part of the world. There are many options offered in scuba diving by the hundreds of islands of Malaysia. The various cultural mixes in Malaysia have made the country renown for its unique original creative cuisine, which is prepared lovingly by the Malays. Food is prepared with sincerity and it is taken very seriously by the people of the country and right from the five-star restaurants right down to the hawker’s booths, food is prepared with every sense of quality in mind. You will get seafood dishes, matching up to your expectation from a country almost entirely surrounded by ocean. The sauce is an innovative preparation, often incorporated with local fruits and spices.
Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, is the focus point in today’s Malaysia. The past is still seen in the city’s present, with the British colonial buildings of the Dataran Merdeka and the midnight lamps of the Petaling Street night market, still remaining as before. The modern Kuala Lumpur, with its tall office buildings and cosmopolitan environment, is taking an unhesitating leap into the future.
You will need to take your cell phone with you when you visit Malaysia, which will help you to get in touch with your business associates, friends and with your family back home. Cell phones have become a part of our lives today and it has become a tool for us to be available always to the people who would want to get in touch with us.
In previous days, at the time when mobile telephony was not available, you had to use the telephone in your hotel room to get in touch with the concerned people, locally and abroad.. The bills for the calls that you made were quite expensive. You had no other choice but to use that phone.
When cell phones were made available, you had taken your phone, on roaming, to the countries that you visited. You had used your cell phone to call locally and internationally. You had to pay roaming charges on all those calls, including the ones that you received. Again, you did not have any choice other than taking your cell phone on roaming.
http://www.planetomni.com has a solution to offer. A pre-paid SIM card for Malaysia saves up to 80% of your expenses while you use your cell phone. When you buy a pre-paid SIM card for Malaysia, you get a local number and you pay for your calls as the locals do. All your incoming calls are free, no matter where they generate from, and there are no roaming charges for you to pay. You do not have to enter into any contract with any service provider and you do not receive any bill at the end of the month.
When you buy a pre-paid SIM card for Malaysia, you receive a small talk time credit along with it. This provides you with the opportunity to use your cell phone immediately when you reach your destination in Malaysia. To replenish your talk time credit, you simply buy recharge coupons, available in practically any shop in the Malaysian cities. These coupons are offered in various denominations for you to choose the right value that you need for your talk time credit. Since you pre-pay for your air time usage, you are in complete control of your expenses, there-by remaining within the budget set by you for that purpose. For more information and prices of a pre-paid SIM card for Malaysia, visit http://www.planetomni.com/FAQ_sim.shtml
A SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card is a printed circuit board, a little smaller than a postage stamp. The module goes into a slot at the back of your cell phone as you take off the back cover. The SIM card is the module which renders your cell phone intelligent, and enables you to make and receive calls and send SMS messages to your friends, associates and family back home. It has a microprocessor circuitry with memories and holds your unique information, such as, identifying you as a cell phone service subscriber. It holds your subscription information, your SIM card number, the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) of your mobile phone and other security details. As you switch on your cell phone, the information is transmitted to the local network of the city that you are visiting abroad. This is then matched with the database information of the Foreign Service provider and matched. If the information matches, your cell phone is logged in the network and you are now ready to use your cell phone to make and receive calls. The SIM card also holds your address book, where you can store the names and telephone numbers of the people you often get in touch with. All your incoming and outgoing call numbers are logged in the memory of the SIM card, which are displayed to you along with the respective time and date of the calls.
You will need a GSM cell phone when you visit Malaysia. If you have a GSM handset, it is unlikely that it will work in that country, unless you have a multiple frequency bandwidth cell phone. Networks in Malaysia work on 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands, where-as, the ones in North America, Canada and a few other countries in the Americas, including Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands, operate on 850MHz and 1900MHz GSM frequency bands. These do not match with any of those used in Malaysia. This is the reason why your GSM phone would not work in that country, unless your cell phone responds to multiple GSM bandwidths.
Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) is an open structure digital mobile telephony technology and is called the second generation (2G) system. It replaces the old analog first generation (1G) technology. GSM was developed in Europe and is in use in over 214 countries in the world. Globally, out of the total number of mobile users, GSM has 80% subscribers. GSM presently works on four frequency bands, and these are 850 MHz, 900 MHz, and 1800 MHz and 1900 MHz, which are distributed to the different regions in the world. Some of these are commonly used by certain countries. However, the networks in North America, Canada and a few other countries, including Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands, operate on the exclusive frequency bands, very rarely used in any other part of the world.
In order to facilitate the use of cell phones universally, there are three types of such phones available in the world market. The Quad-band phone complies with all GSM bandwidths and would work in any of the GSM country in the world. The Tri-band is compatible with 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands, and operates in most part of the GSM region, while the Dual-band responds to 800MHz and 1900MHz GSM frequency bands.
If you are a frequent traveller, you may consider buying a compatible cell phone which would work in the countries that you visit. If you are not so frequent a traveller, it is economical for you to rent a phone which will match the frequency bands with the networks of the country that you are visiting. For more information on buying or renting a phone, you may visit http://www.planetomni.com/FAQ_gsm.shtml for more details.
Whether you take your phone, buy or rent one, you must ensure that the cell phone which you are taking with you to Malaysia is SIM unlocked, for, you will not be able to use your pre-paid SIM card for Malaysia or any other SIM card for that matter, if your cell phone is SIM locked. To give an instance as to why cell phones are SIM locked, consider that you have signed a contract with a certain service provider. One of the clauses in the contract mentions that you will be required to remain with the services of that provider for a definite period of time, which is generally one year. After you sign the contract you receive a cell phone and a SIM card from the service provider. The cell phone has been given to you free from any cost. This cell phone is SIM locked and would work with only the SIM card that you have received from the service provider. This is done to ensure that you use that particular SIM card only and do not shift your services to another provider before the contract duration is over. At the end of the contract period, the service provider helps you to SIM unlock your phone, when you are at liberty to use any SIM card that you want.
Therefore, there are two things which you should look into before you take your cell phone with you to Malaysia. One that your cell phone is compatible with the frequency bands of Malaysia and two, that your cell phone is not SIM locked.
A pre-paid SIM card for Malaysia is affordable and it saves substantially on your phone bills. All your incoming calls are free and you do not pay any roaming charges. Since you pre-pay for your calls, you are in complete control of your expenses. You do not sign any contract and you do not receive any bill at the end of the month.