Malaysia is a special place for its natural geography and its human history, but most importantly of all, because of its demographic complexity.
The peninsula is on the western receiving end of the wind systems of the Bay of Bengal, placed between huge and influential civilizations, and endowed as one of the world’s few archipelagic regions where the climate is kind, the seas generous and where coastal cultures developed separately from but knowledgeable of each other, isolated populations traded with each other and were quietly cosmopolitan in ways that were – and are – very different from the metropolitan complexity of civilizational centres elsewhere in the world.
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