National Geographic : 1963 Nov
Zoology students concentrate on a final examination in a new laboratory at the University of Singapore. Established in 1949, the school enrolls seventeen hundred students. "Don't say that the West won and the East "And we m lost," advised a Malayan journalist of Indian Abdul Rahl descent when I discussed the 12-year jungle ourselves. war against Communist guerrillas with him. Like the "Just say Malaya won." * bustling cal Malaya has a knack for coming out on - not just top. And by Malaya I don't mean Malays new Malay alone. For Malays constitute only about half buildings ji this peninsular nation's population of 71/2 "Before million. Most of the remainder are Chinese *See "Mala and Indians. Long, NATION 738 But that's by no means all. In the north are people of Thai ancestry. The thick central jun gles of Malaya are inhabited by Negrito aborigines, and in the jungles to the northwest live the Sakais. To the south, about historic Malacca, are dark-skinned de scendants of Dutch and Portu guese settlers who came here in the 16th and 17th centuries. "Unity in diversity" has been the vigorous young nation's slogan since it first won mer deka-independence-in 1957. I saw diversity as I traveled Malaya's 50,700 square miles -from Penang and Kelantan in the north to Johore in the south-and I also found unity. Take Lim, my student friend at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur. His grand father came from Canton, a starving coolie, but Lim's fam ily now prospers in the tin business. "Don't call me Chinese," Lim insisted as we talked one day. "Call me Malayan. This is where I belong. Indians, Chi nese, Ceylonese, or Arabs we're all Malayans now." While many other newly in dependent nations have been racked by communal strife, Malaya has remained a model of peaceful coexistence. In a land roughly the size of Eng land or Greece, Indian and Chinese live side by side in harmony, as their homelands recently have not. The result? Today the stand ard of living in Malaya is among the highest in Asia. ean to keep ahead," Prime Minister man told me. "We've done all this But we've a lot to do yet." Prime Minister, Kuala Lumpur, pital of Malaya, exudes confidence in itself, but in the future of the sia, whose gleaming new capital it from the city's skyline. World War II, this place was as ya Meets Its Emergency," by George W. [AL GEOGRAPHIC, February, 1953.