Malay cultures architecture

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Building construction and dwellings can reflect the culture of its occupants. Being lavishly unique and picturesque, Seri Menanti which is known as the icon of the Negeri Sembilan royal family, and had symbolized as one of the important monumental Malay cultures architecture. Besides, it is also the living proof of the mastery of carpentry, craftsmanship and architectural skills belonging to Malay carpenters and craftsmen more than a century ago.

This palace was built in the early 20th century to replace the old palace, Istana Pulih that had been burned down by British soldiers. This Seri Menanti was an old wooden palace which was designed and built by two local craftsmen, KAHAR and TAIB. Malay traditional architectures normally are built by using timber-frame structure and raised on timber piles to serve as a source of natural ventilation and protect the building from floods.

Similar to other traditional Malay houses, the construction of this palace never use any nails and screws at all as they will use the grooves and pre-cut holes to fit the timber together. There are 99 pillars to support the whole structure of this palace, which were represent the 99 warriors of the various clans of Negeri Sembilan. Besides, it has approximated to a height of 67 feet although it only has five levels. The embellishment found in this palace such as mangosteen hilus, wave-like forms, semantung flower, drifting clouds, mountains, and others had shown that the ideas of the craftsmen been influenced strongly by nature. Lastly, it also signifies the richness of Malay ethics due to the carving inside the palace mall and balcony.

In 1992, the palace was changed to the Royal Museum, it attracted many tourists to visit and became a famous tourist attraction. This building is well preserved as a Malaysia cultural heritage for the future generation.


For centuries, Malay Peninsular attracted many immigrants from china who brought along with their culture and architecture. Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is one of the best examples of Chinese architecture which is located at No. 25 temple Street, Malacca. This architecture is important in Chinese culture as it is the oldest and the most exquisite functioning Chinese temple in Malaysia. It has withstood the test of time for almost 400 years until now. The structure is full of traditional Chinese art which can well display Chinese history as it well kept the cultural artifacts of every century.

In Chinese culture, they prefer to build their buildings based on the principles of feng shui where the complex is laid out to ensure the river in front of their view and high ground on their architecture backside which can bring them good lucks. This temple was built in the 15th century, functioned as a court of justice for the Chinese Kapitans and also an official administrative center. After the British abolished the Kapitan system, this temple still played the same role until 1911. Nowadays, this temple conscientious minister the spiritual needs of the Chinese community in Malacca such as prayers for the souls of the deceased and invination.

This temple practicing the Three Doctrinal Systems of Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. Based on history, this temple has undergone 6 restorations and 3 expansions for these 400 years to keep it in good and original condition. This temple successful got a UNESCO award for outstanding architectural restoration in 2003.

The appearance of this temple is majestic and dignified. The grace architecture of this Cheong Hoon Teng temple is reflected in the decoration techniques, including fine porcelain cut-and-paste shard work, golden phoenixes, and dragons which had been sculpted in the past hundred years and also the decorative wall paintings which had scenes from the 3 kingdoms. All the materials used by the craftsmen all import from china and all of these decorations easily seen in much Chinese traditional architecture in Malaysia.

This centennial building had silently display history and tell the long-standing past. It is a testimony to understand the Chinese ancestors crossing the ocean to Malaysia and carrying forward the traditional Chinese culture.


Cite this paper

Malay cultures architecture. (2020, Sep 16). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/malay-cultures-architecture/

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