Where Malaysia on the world map. Map of Malaysia
Map of Malaysia with cities. Where Malaysia is on the world map. The main geographical facts about Malaysia - population, country area, capital, official language, religions, industry and culture.
Malaysia Fact File
Official name Malaysia
Form of government Federal constitutional monarchy with two legislative bodies (Senate and House of Representatives)
Capital Kuala Lumpur
Area 329,750 sq km (127,316 sq miles)
Time zone GMT +8 hours
Projected population 2015 27,911,000
Population density 68.7 per sq km (178.0 per sq mile)
Life expectancy 71.4
Infant mortality (per 1,000) 19.7
Official language Malay (Bahasa Malaysia)
Other languages Austronesian languages, Aslian, Chinese languages, Tamil, English
Literacy rate 83%
Religions Muslim 53 %, Buddhist 1 7.3 %, Confucian and Taoist 11.6%, Christian 8.6%, Hindu 7%, other 2.5%
Ethnic groups Malay 59%, Chinese 32%, Indian 9C Currency Ringgit (Malaysian dollar)
Economy Agriculture 42%, services 39%, industry 19%
GNP per capita US$ 9,000
Climate Tropical, with northeast monsoon October to February and southwest monsoon May to September
Highest point Gunung Kinabalu 4,100 m (1 3,450 ft) Map reference Pages 200-01
Malaysia consists of the southern part of the Malay Peninsula, with Thailand to its north, plus the regions of Sarawak and Sabah in northern Borneo. Like Singapore, which lies at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, Malaysia has enjoyed an impressive record of economic growth in recent times that was, however, severely hit by the 1998 economic crisis.
In the fifteenth century a part of Malaysia was famous as the Kingdom of Malacca (now Melaka), a state that became powerful through its control of local sea routes and shipping. In 1414 the ruler of Malacca adopted Islam, which is still the religion of Malaysia today. Seized by the Portuguese to serve as a base for the lucrative spice trade in 1511, and held by the Dutch from 1641, Malacca was captured by the British in 1795.
In 1819, the British took control of Singapore, as well, and in 1867 they established the Straits Settlements, which consisted of Penang Island (Pinang) in the northeast, Malacca, and Singapore, as a crown colony.
During the Second World War Malaysia was occupied by the Japanese. In 1945, Great Britain resumed control over what was then called Malaya, but an alliance led by Tunku Abdul Rahman finally gained Malaysia's independence from the British. A guerrilla war then broke out, led by communists who were sympathetic to the Chinese Revolution. This insurgency was defeated after a four-year military campaign, after which the country evolved into the modern state it is today.
Ethnic tensions continue to exist, principally between the Malays, who are the most