Aug 11, 2009
Malay houses are a highly evolved form of traditional dwelling, originating before the arrival of foreign or modern influences, constructed by the indigenous Malay and Orang Asli peoples of the Malay Peninsula and their related Bumiputra tribes of Sabah and Sarawak.
Whereas peninsular Malays have single extended-family houses, many of the Borneo people built rumah panjang or 'long-houses' hosting many families, each in its own 'apartment' with a common wide veranda linking the front.
Traditional architectural forms, such as tropically-suited roofs and harmonious proportions with decorative elements are considered by traditionalists to still have relevance. However traditional buildings require significant maintenance compared to modern construction. These traditional skills are gradually being lost as Malaysia continues to the process of industrialisation.