Cultural and Religious Tolerance and Acceptance in Urban Housing: A Study of Multi-Ethnic Malaysia

  •  Azrina Husin    
  •  Nor Malina Malek    
  •  Salfarina Abdul Gapor    


This paper attempts to describe some housing issues pertaining to religious and cultural practices in Malaysia. As a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society, residential arrangements are used as a tool to achieve greater social and ethnic mix as envisioned by the government under the New Economic Policy and its Housing Policy. While the aim is for social integration among its population, living with people who do not share similar cultural and religious practices may cause problems too, especially that related to the use of space. This is especially true in urban housing areas where space is scarce and thus does not always cater to the residents’ needs. Using a sample of 400 respondents from four urbanized areas of Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Johor Bahru, we try to understand the respondents’ views about their neighbours’ religious and cultural practices that differ from theirs. Our findings will be discussed within the framework of cultural acceptance and tolerance as well as to gauge whether the government’s policy is translated well by the population.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.