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NEGERI SEMBILAN.

Ben van Wijnen


Minangkabau Architecture

Negeri Sembilan lies between Kuala Limpur and Melaka. The name is believed to derive from the nine (sembilan) villages or nagari in the Minangkabau, who settled here in the 15th century. The Minangkabau came originally from West Sumatra and crossed the Straits of Melaka. Minangkabau features are still visible today in traditional architecture and the dialect, which the people speak. They settled under the protection of the Malacca Sultanate, and later under the protection of its successor, the Sultanate of Johor.

The capital of Negeri Sembilan is Seremban. The royal capital is Seri Menanti (lose to Kuala Pilah). Seremban is an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur (40km).
Unlike the hereditary monarchs of the other royal Malay states, the ruler of Negeri Sembilan is known as Yang di-Pertuan Besar instead of Sultan. The election of the Ruler is also unique. He is selected by a council, which is led by the leaders of the four biggest territories. This makes it one of the more democratic monarchies, although their choice of ruler is limited to a male Muslim who is Malay.
The ethnic composition consisting of Malay 56% (mostly are Minangkabau descent), Chinese 22%, Indian 14% and others. The state has the highest percentage of Indians when compared to other Malaysian states.
Negeri Sembilan is mainly an agricultural state. However, the establishment of several industrial estates enhanced the manufacturing sector as a major contributor towards the state economy. Agricultural activity includes rubber and oil palm plantations, livestock, fruit orchards and vegetable farming.
The state's manufacturing sector contributing almost half of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP), followed by services and tourism, agriculture, construction and mining. Manufacturing activity includes electrical and electronics, textiles, furniture, chemicals, machinery, metal works and rubber products.
The main industrial areas are Senawang, Sungai Gadut, Tuanku Jaafar Industrial Park, Nilai and Tanah Merah in Port Dickson. Coca-Cola has set up its billion ringgit bottling plant in Bandar Enstek.
 


Seremban

The towns are dominated by Chinese and Indians. Negeri Sembilan contains part of the west coast “tin and rubber” belt road network, one of the few east–west peninsular routes, and there is a junction of railway lines on either side of the mountains at Gemas. The main towns are Seremban (q.v.; the capital), Kuala Pilah, and Port Dickson.
Traditional Negeri Sembilan food is hot and spicy, as one of the ingredients used is the chili padi, the hottest of chili peppers. Popular dishes includes rendang, (pieces of beef cooked in coconut milk and chillies). One should experience the unique Minangkabau style of cooking, which sees generous portions of 'chili padi' (small and extremely hot chilies) being used. Try the "Masak Lemak Cili Padi - fish, meat, or vegetables cooked in coconut milk blended with turmeric and ground chili padi.The difference of "Masak Lemak Cili Padi" or the people often called it as "Gulai" in Negeri Sembilan with other state is there is no onions nor garlic used in making "Gulai".
Another Negeri Sembilan specialty is "Lemang", glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk in a bamboo stem over an open fire. This is normally served with Rendang, a deliciously thick and dry meat curry.

 


Port Dickson (PD)

The coastal resort of Port Dickson or PD is a popular weekend retreat on Peninsular Malaysia’s southwestern coast. Its sunny beaches, lined by tall coconut trees and shady casuarinas, are perfect for a short beach holiday. There are numerous locations here for family outings and picnics. Its famous beaches, Teluk Kemang and Blue Lagoon, abound with watersports and beach activities.

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    Ben van Wijnen

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