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Malaysians are indeed a lucky lot. The country is rich in mineral resources and the soil is fertile. Despite the floods during monsoon seasons, they are never the devastating kind that is seen in other parts of the world. There are no volcanoes and there hardly has ever been a serious earthquake. The geographical position meant even that the tsunami that struck 14 countries and claimed over 300,000 lives in a matter of hours gave the country a miss.

The able leadership that the country has seen has helped Malaysia move away from the sole dependence on primary commodities and agriculture. Where rubber used to mean Malaya, today, the master-stroke that led to the development of oil palm estates has made her one of the major exporters of the commodity palm oil. Scientific approaches have helped her move to the forefront of palm oil production, research and development. In fact, today she is sought after for the knowledge and know-how in this field.

The policy of Foreign Direct Investment has helped the country grow richer. Political and social stability and an educated workforce make her more desirable for the investor. Investment in infrastructure, including a network of modern highways, airports, ports and railway lines have made travel and transportation nicely efficient. Investments in telecommunications and information technology have successfully erased the isolation of rural communities.

Manufactured exports such as electronics, electrical machinery and appliances, chemicals and chemical products, wood products, textiles and cloth highlight the producer friendly atmosphere that has successfully been established for the investor. Non-manufactured exports such as palm oil, crude petroleum, Liquefied Natural Gas, timber, cocoa and rubber show the diversified opportunities made prevalent.

It is the manufacturing sector that has helped the Malaysian economy grow. In fact, manufactured goods make up almost four-fifths of all exports. Investments in downstream activities have meant that the palm oil, timber and rubber industries have seen a growth in oleo-chemicals, latex catheters, surgical gloves and wooden furniture.

The nation's own petroleum giant has moved beyond developing just the country's oil and gas reserves to be an active participant in oil field activities around the globe. Logically enough, the brand promotion of Petronas has given it recognition throughout the business world.

Malaysia's own car industry has seen her transformation from importer to exporter. From the modest start with a single model which was a rehashed version of a Japanese model, the country has now forged ahead with the potential to expand all over the world. The greatest testimony of her success is the dedication and seriousness with which this industry is approached.

The greatest strength of Malaysia is the respect and tolerance with which the populace treat each other and each day. Malays, Chinese and Indians make the major colours of the country's diaspora. The peace with which they live brings up many lessons for the international community. The major festivals of three religions are celebrated in a free spirit of inter-religious appreciation. The localised ethnic communities also get their due recognition.
   

Answer the following questions using complete sentences

 

1.

From paragraph 1, what natural disaster gave Malaysia a wide berth ?

 

2.

(a) Which commodity was Malaya famous for ?

(b) What commodity is Malaysia famous for ?

 

3.

(a) From paragraph 4, what does the export of manufactured products point to ?

(b) To your own knowledge, what are the two greatest manufactured products from Malaysia ?

 

4.

(a) From paragraph 7, in your own words explain the phrase "from importer to exporter."

(b) What are the three main festivals celebrated by the three main communities in Malaysia ?

 

5.

What characteristic among Malaysians is worthy of emulation by the international community ?

Characteristic : ____________

Reason : ____________

 

6.

Based on the passage, write a summary of :

The factors that make Malaysia a successful country.

The good benefits that peaceful co-existence means for the world.

 

 

 

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Answers
 

1.

The tsunami that killed over 300,000 people in 14 countries.

 

2.

(a) Rubber   (b) Palm Oil

 

3.

(a) The business-friendly atmosphere created to attract foreign investors.

(b) (i) Any suitable answer. (ii) Any suitable answer

 

4.

(a) Malaysia used to import all its cars. When it started to manufacture its own cars with Proton Holdings Berhad, it became an exporter. Proton cars are exported to many countries.

(b) They are Hari Raya Puasa, Chinese New Year and Deepavali.

 

5.

Characteristic : The characteristic that is worthy of emulation by everybody else is the mutual respect and acceptance that underscores Malaysian life.

Reason : In Malaysia, the racial and religious diversity ahs proven to be a happy mix of peaceful co-existence. If this were emulated by the international community, there would be more peace in the world.

  6.

The greatest factors that make Malaysia a successful country is political and economic stability. The political stability is the mark of mature politicians who lead with honour and respect that is emulated by the rest. Economic and developmental policies established over the years of cooperative consultation have resulted in an amenable atmosphere for investments by foreign companies. A scientific approach to the industries of manufactured and unmanufactured goods has led to the expansion of opportunities for everybody. The peaceful coexistence of Islam, Christianity, Taoism and Hinduism is one that is worthy of emulation everywhere because Malaysia becomes that microcosm that represents what the global macrocosm should really be. the custom of 'open house' during major festivals is a clear indication of the peace and harmony in the country.

 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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