Lead: Assembled from various components of the British Empire, the nation of Malaysia has made great strides since achieving independence.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Malaysia occupies the severe southeastern point of the Eurasian continent and lies athwart some of the richest, most traveled shipping lanes in the world. The indigenous Malay population was supplemented through commercial connections with Indian and Chinese traders sometime around the first century CE. The result is that just over 20% of the population of 30,000,000 is of ethnic Chinese descent. Hinduism and Buddhism were adopted by the native population until the arrival of Islam in the 1300s and today, with Muslims constituting around 60% of the population, Islam is the official faith of Malaysia, though freedom of religion is a constitutionally protected right.