Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy located in Southeast Asia.
The official name of the country is Malaysia.
The official language is Malaysian.
As of 1 January 2017, the population of Malaysia was estimated to be 31,035,333 people.
It is the 66th largest country in the world by area with 330,803 square kilometers (127,720 square miles).
Kuala Lumpur is the national capital of Malaysia as well as its largest city. It is among the fastest growing metropolitan regions in South-East Asia, in terms of population and economy.
Comprising the territories of Malaya, Sarawak, and Sabah, Malaysia stretches from peninsular Malaysia to northeastern Borneo in Southeast Asia. Borneo is the third largest island in the world, after Greenland and New Guinea. Three countries share the island: Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
Most of Malaysia is covered by forest, with a mountain range running the length of the peninsula.
Mount Kinabalu at 4,095 meters (13,435 feet) above sea level is the highest mountain in Malaysia.
There are more than 30 national parks in Malaysia.
Kinabalu Park, established as one of the first national parks of Malaysia in 1964, is Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO in December 2000 for its “outstanding universal values” and the role as one of the most important biological sites in the world with more than 4,500 species of flora and fauna, including 326 bird and around 100 mammal species, and over 110 land snail species.
Malaysia has 4 UNESCO world heritage sites.
Melaka and George Town, Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca is a UNESCO World Heritage listing comprising the historic urban centers of two cities, Melaka [photo below] and George Town, that illustrate 500 years of cultural and trade exchange between East and West.
The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers, are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)’s official definition and ranking, they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world.
The Putra Mosque is the principal mosque of Putrajaya, Malaysia. Construction of the mosque began in 1997 and was completed two years later. It is located next to Perdana Putra which houses the Malaysian Prime Minister’s office and man-made Putrajaya Lake.
Kek Lok Si is the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia, and arguably one of the most famous in Penang. This entire complex of temples was built over a period from 1890 to 1930, an inspirational initiative of Beow Lean, the Abbot. The main draw in the complex is the striking seven-storey Pagoda of Rama VI (Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas) with 10,000 alabaster and bronze statues of Buddha, and the 30.2 metres (99 feet) tall bronze statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy.
Batu Caves is a limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temples in Gombak, Selangor. The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, and is dedicated to Lord Murugan. It is the focal point of Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia.
Malaysia’s best-known holiday destination, Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands. It is located on Malaysia’s west coast. Surrounded by turquoise sea, the interior of the main island is a mixture of picturesque paddy fields and jungle-clad hills.
The name “Malaysia” is a combination of the word “Malay” and the Latin-Greek suffix “-sia”/-σία. The word “melayu” in Malay may derive from the Tamil words “malai” and “ur” meaning “mountain” and “city, land”, respectively.
In the mid-19th century the United Kingdom began importing Chinese to work the tin mines of Muslim sultanates on the Malay Peninsula; by the turn of the century new rubber plantations employed transported Indian laborers. In 1957 the Federation of Malaya gained independence from Britain. Six years later the colonies of Sarawak and Sabah, on the island of Borneo, and Singapore joined Malaya to form the Federation of Malaysia; Singapore withdrew in 1965.
The economy of Malaysia is the fourth largest in Southeast Asia, after the much more populous Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, and 35th largest in the world.
Malaysia is one of the world’s largest exporters of semiconductor devices – electrical goods, and appliances, and the government has ambitious plans to make Malaysia a leading producer, and developer, of high-tech products, including software.
The national dish of Malaysia is Nasi Lemak, a rice-based dish cooked in coconut milk and served on a pandan leaf. The name translates to “rich” or “fatty” rice, a name derived from the cooking process: the rice is steamed and simmered in coconut milk, giving it a rich and creamy texture and flavor.
The national drink of Malaysia is a hot milk tea called Teh tari.
The national animal of Malaysia is the endangered Malayan tiger.
The world’s largest discovered cave chamber (single room) is the Sarawak Chamber, in the Gunung Mulu National Park, Malaysia.
The largest undivided leaf in the world, Alocasia macrorrhiza, comes from the Malaysian state of Sabah. A specimen found in 1966 measured 3.02 meters (9.9 feet) long by 1.92 meters (6.3 feet) wide.
The largest roundabout in the world is located in Putrajaya, Malaysia. It is 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) in diameter!
In August 1997, a model of the Malaysian flag was completed, made out of 10,430 floppy disks.
The Malaysian monarch is elected for a five-year term by the Conference of Rulers.