This is a very difficult question to ask in the local setting of USJ, the Kuala Lumpur suburb where I did the research, because it's a fairly new suburb in which most people and technologies arrived during the same historical period, i.e. from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. So there is no local before-and-after personal media.
My hunch is that this collectivism is a distinctly suburban phenomenon with strong similarities to that found in other new middle-class suburbs that are geographically remote from Kuala Lumpur, as suggested by the studies I've seen of suburbs in Melbourne, Toronto and Tel Aviv (see refs in Postill 2008). In all these cases we find suburban settlers pursuing middle-class, nuclear family dreams under conditions that are not as ideal as they first envisaged.
< Significance of "weak ties" reminded me Brad Shore's "marginal play". He explains three types of it in Culture and Mind, marginal play is for him “spilling over of play in games or sport beyond the normal regulatory boundaries that constitute them as play frames”. Inspiration comes from Bateson.