Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Facilitating Policy: Redefining Terraced Housing in Malaysia

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posted on 2021-11-16, 00:03 authored by Bala Kumar, Suraj Khumar

The multi-ethnic tension among the three main ethnics in Malaysia has a great impact on tolerance and political unity. The Bumiputera Policy gives privileges to the Malay ethnicity, which further strains this issue, dividing the nation. Recognising this, the government introduced the 1Malaysia Policy as a possible solution to mitigate this issue to promote equality and attaining unity in diversity. This ultimate purpose is to integrate Malaysians to cooperate in a mutually respectful manner, towards the development of Malaysia.  The inevitable consequences of short sighted government policy, development and westernisation in Malaysia have negatively affected the cultural uniqueness of the three main ethnic communities. In domestic architecture, terraced houses have been a direct translation of western terraced housing. The influences from the West have diverted Malaysia’s sense of Asian culture. The objective of this study is to support the aims of this current 1Malaysia Policy, by finding a solution to terraced housing, through the design of the 1Malaysia Home.  This thesis looks at an adaptable home for multi-cultural families to live and practise their unique cultures in a multi-ethnic community. The implementation of this design, is through research on case studies of the respective traditional houses of Malaysia’s three main ethnic groups. The main design consideration of this flexible home is through a negotiated spatial organisation, in regards to the aims of the theories that informed the traditional houses.  This study further explores the cluster design of terraced housing in a multi-ethnic neighbourhood community. The traditional programmes of shop house and other multi-cultural activities in Malaysia are reinstated for a common sense of belonging in the neighbourhood, which ultimately preserves Malaysia’s unique Asian culture and supports its international branding as ‘Malaysia Truly Asia’.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

1 Pure Basic Research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


de Sylva, Shenuka