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Destination Malaysia, a virtual guide to the country in Southeast Asia that was formerly known as "Malaya".

Malaysia consists of two geographical regions divided by the South China Sea: the peninsular Malaysia (or West Malaysia) on the Malay Peninsula bordered by Thailand on the north and Singapore in south, and Malaysian Borneo (or East Malaysia) located on the northern part of the island of Borneo, bordering Indonesia and surrounding the Sultanate of Brunei.

Largest city and the national capital is Kuala Lumpur. Spoken languages are Malay (official), English, Tamil, and Chinese (Canton).

On this page you will find comprehensive information about the country in its diversity, its geography, economy, people, culture, environment, government and history.

You will have access to newspapers from Malaysia and you will find extensive travel and tourism information.

Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur
Image: ©

Federation of Malaysia | Persekutuan Malaysia

Country Profile

Malaysia Flag

Flag of Malaysia

Coat of arms of Malaysia
Coat of arms of Malaysia
where in the world is Malaysia?

Official Name:
Persekutuan Malaysia
short form: Malaysia
int'l long form: Federation of Malaysia

ISO Country Code: my

Local Time = UTC +8h: Tue-Dec-6  04:34

Country Calling Code: +60

Capital City: Kuala Lumpur (pop. 6.9 million in metropolitan area)
Seat of Government: Putrajaya

Other Cities:
Penang, Ipoh, Malacca, Johor Baru, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Alor Setar, Shah Alam.

Type: Federal parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch.
Independence: 31. August 1957. (Malaya, which is now peninsular Malaysia, became independent in 1957. In 1963 Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore formed Malaysia. Singapore became an independent country in 1965.). Constitution: 31 August 1957, amended 16 September 1963.

Location: Southeastern Asia, partly on Malay Peninsula south of Thailand and on the northern one-third of the island of Borneo, bordering Indonesia, Brunei, and the South China Sea, south of Vietnam.
Area: 330,000 km² (127,316 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Coastal plains and interior, jungle-covered mountains. The South China Sea separates peninsular Malaysia from East Malaysia on Borneo.

Climate: Tropical, annual southwest (Apr to Oct) and northeast (Oct to Feb) monsoons.

Nationality: Malaysian(s).
Population: 29 million (2012)
Ethnic groups: Malay 50%, Chinese 24%, Indigenous 11.0%, Indian 7%, non-Malaysian citizens 7 %.
Religions: Islam (60%), Buddhism (20%), Christianity (10%), Hinduism (6%),Confucianism (2.6%), Animism (1%), others (including Taoism, Sikhism, Baha'i faith).
Languages: Malay, Cantonese, Hokkien, Mandarin Chinese, English, Tamil, indigenous.
Literacy: 94%.

Natural resources: Tin, petroleum, timber, copper, iron ore, natural gas, bauxite.

Agriculture products: Peninsular Malaysia - rubber, palm oil, cocoa, rice; Sabah - subsistence crops, rubber, timber, coconuts, rice; Sarawak - rubber, pepper; timber.

Peninsular Malaysia - rubber and oil palm processing and manufacturing, light manufacturing industry, electronics, tin mining and smelting, logging and processing timber.
Sabah - logging, petroleum production.
Sarawak - agriculture processing, petroleum production and refining, logging.

Exports - commodities: semiconductors and electronic equipment, palm oil, petroleum and liquefied natural gas, wood and wood products, palm oil, rubber, textiles, chemicals, solar panels

Exports - partners: Singapore 13.6%, China 12.6%, Japan 11.8%, USA 8.7%, Thailand 5.4%, Hong Kong 4.3%, India 4.2%, Australia 4.1% (2012)

Imports - partners: China 15.1%, Singapore 13.3%, Japan 10.3%, USA 8.1%, Thailand 6%, Indonesia 5.1%, South Korea 4.1% (2012)

Currency: Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)

Malaysia in numbers
Malaysia Key Statistical Data.

Malaysia is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country in Southeast Asia and one of the wealthiest and most developed countries, outranked in GNP only by Singapore and oil-rich Brunei. The Federation of Malaya became an independent country on 31 August 1957.
On 16 September 1963 the federation was enlarged by the accession of the states of Singapore, Sabah (formerly British North Borneo) and Sarawak. The name "Malaysia" was adopted from that date. Singapore left the federation on 9 August 1965.

border countries: Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand

related countries: United Kingdom

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Official Sites of Malaysia

royal Malaysias Monarchy System
Malaysia practices a system of government based on Constitutional Monarchy
and Parliamentary Democracy at two levels, Federal and State levels.
At the Federal level the head of State is the King and the head of government is the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister's Office
Official website of the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Parlimen Malaysia
Official Website of the Parliament of Malaysia.

The Malaysia Government's Official Portal.

Kementerian Luar Negeri
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia.

Diplomatic Missions
Permanent Mission of Malaysia to the United Nations
Malaysia's Permanent Mission to the UN.
High Commission of Malaysia
Official Website of High Commission of Malaysia, London
Malaysia's Missions Worldwide
List of addresses of Malaysia's Missions Worldwide.
Foreign Missions in Malaysia
List of addresses of Foreign Missions in Malaysia.

Visa Information
Visa Malaysia
Visa Requirement for Foreigners.

Malaysian States
The State of Johor (Johore).
Kedah State Government
The State of Kedah.
The State of Kelantan.
The Historic City State of Malaysia.
Negeri Sembilan
The State of Negeri Sembilan.
The State of Pahang.
Penag Government site (in Bahasa Melayu).
The State of Perak.
Kerajaan Negeri Perlis, the State of Perlis.
The State of Sabah.
The State of Sarawak.
The State of Selangor.
The State of Terengganu (Trengganu).


profile Map of Peninsular Malaysia
Map of West Malaysia showing the search area where Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370 is supposed to be found.
profile Political Map of Malaysia
Map of Malaysia showing Malaysia's 13 states (negeri).
Google Earth Google Map Malaysia
Searchable map and satellite view of Malaysia.
Google Earth Google Map Kuala Lumpur
Searchable map and satellite view of Malaysia's capital city.
Google Earth Google Map Johor Bahru
Searchable map and satellite view of Johor Bahru (JB), Malaysia's second largest city.

Map of Southeast Asia
Map of the Southeast Asia region.
profile Map of Asia
Reference Map of Asia.


Daily Express
Independent National Newspaper of East Malaysia.
New Malaysia Free Press (NMFP)
Malaysia related news agencies headlines.
New Straits Times
New Straits Times online news.
The Star
Malaysian News for the world.

Aliran online
Monthly magazin; Malaysia's first multi-ethnic reform movement dedicated to justice, freedom and solidarity.

Malay language newspaper
Berita Harian
Malay News.
Harian Metro
Most circulated Malay language newspaper.
Utusan Malaysia
Malay language newspaper.

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Arts & Culture

Dr. Mahadare
MahaDARE the Cartoon, Satire on Asian Politics & Social Issues.

Malay Films (
Films from Malaysia.

Malaysia Today
Malaysia blog by Raja Petra Kamaruddin providing news and commentary critical of the administration.
Dayak Dancer
Dayak cultural dancers with Mount Santubong in the background. © MTPB


Business & Economy

Malaysia, a middle-income country, has transformed itself since the 1970s from a producer of raw materials into an emerging multi-sector economy. Malaysia is attempting to achieve high-income status by 2020 and to move farther up the value-added production chain by attracting investments in Islamic finance, high technology industries, biotechnology, and services. Exports - particularly of electronics, oil and gas, palm oil and rubber - remain a significant driver of the economy.

Central Bank of Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange

Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Malaysian business information.

Malaysian Products
Malaysia's first car manufacturer.
Malaysia's second automobile manufacturer.



Malaysian low cost airline.
Malaysia Airlines
Serves over 100 destinations in Asia, Australia, USA and Europe.

Malaysia's International Airports with their IATA airport codes:

Kuala Lumpur International Airport
IATA code: KUL

Kota Kinabalu International Airport
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, second busiest airport in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur International Airport; IATA code: BKI

Kuching International Airport
Sarawak's main airport; IATA code: KCH

Langkawi International Airport
On the island of Langkawi; IATA code: LGK

Penang International Airport
On the island of Penang; IATA code: PEN

Senai International Airport
Sultan Ismail International Airport near Johor Bahru
IATA code: JHB.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad
Malaysian airport company who manages most of the airports in Malaysia.

KTMB - Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad
Malaysia railway network system.


Destination Malaysia - Country Guides

Tourism Malaysia
Official site of The Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB).

Malaysia Guide
by the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board New York.

Tourism Negeri Sembilan
Travel and tourism guide to Negeri Sembilan state.
Sabah Tourism Board
Travel and tourism guide to Sabah state.
Sarawak Tourism Board
Travel and tourism guide to Sarawak state.
Tourism Terengganu
A travel and tourism guide to the Malaysian state on the east coast of peninsular Malaysia.

City Guides
Kuala Lumpur
Government of the City of Kuala Lumpur.
Vision KL
Kuala Lumpur City Magazine.

Hotels in Malaysia
Find a Hotel in Malaysia.

Travel and Tour Consumer Information
Petronas Towers at night
Petronas Towers at night.



Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia
The National Library of Malaysia.
Malaysia's Student Network.
University of Malaya
The first university in the country, Kuala Lumpur.
Universiti Teknologi
Iban girls
Iban Women at Citrawarna (Colors, a festival of culture) © MTPB

Environment & Nature

Department of Environment
Official site of the Malaysian Department of Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment.


National Archives of Malaysia
Custodian of the Nation's Heritage.

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Other Countries in Southeast Asia:
Brunei | Cambodia | East Timor | Indonesia | Laos | Myanmar | Philippines | Singapore | Thailand | Vietnam