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Istana Negara, the National Palace in Kuala Lumpur
Istana Negara, the National Palace in Segambut, is a sub-district of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital city. The palace is the official residence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the ruling monarch of Malaysia.
Image: kk

Location map of Malaysia. Where in the world is Malaysia?
Location map of Malaysia
Malaysia Flag
Flag of Malaysia

Malaysia in brief

Destination Malaysia, a Nationsonline country profile of the nation in Southeast Asia, formerly known as British Malaya and later as the Federation of Malaya.

Malaysia consists of two geographical regions separated by the South China Sea.

Peninsular Malaysia (or West Malaysia) on the Malay Peninsula borders Thailand in the north and Singapore in the south.
Malaysian Borneo (or East Malaysia) is located on the northern part of the island of Borneo, a huge, rugged island in the Malay Archipelago (Greater Sunda Islands) and the third largest island in the world. East Malaysia borders Indonesia and surrounds the Sultanate of Brunei. Malaysia shares maritime borders with the Philippines and Vietnam.

The country's combined area of 329,847 km², making it slightly larger than Norway or somewhat larger than the U.S. state of New Mexico. The highest mountain is Mount Kinabalu (4,095 m) in Sabah state on the island of Borneo. Mt. Kinabalu and surrounding Kinabalu Park official website are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Malaysia has a population of about 33 million people (in 2021). The largest city and national capital is Kuala Lumpur. Spoken languages are Malay (official), English, Tamil, and Chinese (Cantonese). Malaysia's official religion is Islam; about 60 % of the population are Muslim, 20% are Buddhist.

What is Malaysia known for?
Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur.
Image: kk.

It is a divided country; Western Malaysia occupies the southern part of the Malay Peninsula and is bordered by the Strait of Malacca to the west, the South China Sea to the east, and the Johore Strait separates it from Singapore. East Malaysia (or Malaysian Borneo) is located in the northern part of the island of Borneo. It shares the island with Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo. Malaysian Borneo features coastlines on the South China Sea, the Sulu Sea and the Celebes Sea.

Malaysia's population is a mix of three major ethnic groups, each with its own heritage, culture and tradition. 60% of the population are Bumiputera, a term that describes the traditional inhabitants of the country and includes Malays, Orang Asli and other indigenous peoples. Minorities are Chinese, about 20%, and Indians (6%). Malaysia has more than 130 living languages; the official language is Bahasa Malaysia (Melayu).

What is Malaysia famous for?
The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the 88-floor building is the 21st-century icon for Malaysia.

Mosques, the country is home to several Muslim places of worship that are prominent landmarks. Famous examples are the Masjid Jamek Mosque and the National Mosque of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, the Iron Mosque and the pink Putra Mosque in Putrajaya, the futuristic Cyberjaya Mosque in Selangor, and the state mosque of Selangor, the Blue Mosque in Shah Alam.

Popular Malaysian dishes like the omelet sandwich Roti john, Penang's Nasi kandar, Rendang from Sumatra, spicy Laksa soup, meat on a stick known as Satay and the classic rice noodle dish Char kway teow.

Malaysia Truly Asia (the advertising slogan was introduced worldwide in 1999).

Malaysia's wildlife is famous for big cats, such as tigers and leopards, the Malayan tapir and the endangered Borneo pygmy elephants and Borneo orangutans.

The Cameron Highlands in Pahang state is one of the oldest tourist spots in Malaysia.
The Langkawi archipelago, the Jewel of Kedah, is a popular tourist destination.

Mount Kinabalu on Borneo is the highest mountain in Malaysia.
The Taman Negara, a national park in Peninsular Malaysia and one of the oldest deciduous forests in the world, is estimated to be more than 130 million years old. Mount Tahan (at 2,187 m) is located within the Taman Negara National Forest and is the highest point in Peninsular Malaysia.

Malaysia | Federation of Malaysia | Persekutuan Malaysia


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 Singapore, Sabah (formerly British North Borneo) and Sarawak. The name "Malaysia" was adopted from that date. Singapore left the federation on 9 August 1965.


Country Profile

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

ISO Country Code: my

Local Time = UTC +8h: Wed-June-22  19:55

Country Calling Code: +60

Capital City: Kuala Lumpur (pop. 7.5 million in the metropolitan area)
Seat of Government: Putrajaya more


Official Sites of Malaysia

The Perdana Putra in Putrajaya the capital city of Malaysia
The Perdana Putra in the Federal Territory of Putrajaya. The building is part of the Prime Minister's Department Complex.
Image: Stefan Fussan

Malaysia is a federation of 13 states and three federal territories. The country's political system is a constitutional monarchy based on the British Westminster parliamentary system.
Nine of Malaysia's states, known as the Malay States, are constitutionally run by traditional Malay rulers of royal descent (sultans).
The representative head of state is the sultan (king); the sultan is chosen every five years from the ranks of the rulers of the nine Sultanates (according to the principle of rotation). The executive power of Malaysia is vested in the cabinet led by the prime minister, who is the head of government.


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

royal National Palace Malaysia
Official website of the ruler of Malaysia (Yang di-Pertuan Agong).

Conference of Rulers (Majlis Raja-Raja)
Official website of the Council of Rulers of Malaysia, the council consists of the nine rulers of the Malay states, and the (ceremonial) governors, or Yang di-Pertua Negeri, of the other four states. One of the duties of the council is to elect the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (the Paramount Ruler) and his deputy every five years.

Federal Government of Malaysia (Kerajaan Persekutuan Malaysia)
Malaysia's government official website.

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

Parlimen Malaysia
Official Website of the national assembly of Malaysia. The bicameral parliament consists of the lower house, the House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat) and the upper house, the Senate (Dewan Negara).

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 abroad.
Foreign Missions in Malaysia
List of addresses of Foreign Missions in Malaysia.

Visa Information
Visa Malaysia
Visa Requirement for Foreigners.

Department of Statistics Malaysia

Federal States of Malaysia
The principal administrative divisions of Malaysia are the 13 federal states (negeri-negeri) and three federal territories (wilayah-wilayah persekutuan).

The federal territories are
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital.

Putrajaya, the planned city was founded in 1995 and is located about 25 km south of Kuala Lumpur; it serves as the new administrative center of the federation.

Labuan, the territory consists of the island of Pulau Labuan and six smaller islands off the coast of Borneo in East Malaysia.

Map showing the States of Malaysia
The map shows the 13 States of Malaysia.


List of the federal states of Malaysia with links to the official state website.

The State of Johor (Johore) occupies the southern part of the south of the Malay Peninsula. The capital is Johor Bahru. The Johor–Singapore Causeway links the city of Johor Bahru across the Straits of Johor to Singapore.

Kedah State
The State of Kedah is located in the northwest of Peninsular Malaysia; it borders Thailand and includes the Langkawi Archipelago. The capital is Alor Setar. The royal capital is Anak Bukit.

The State of Kelantan is located in the north-eastern corner of Peninsular Malaysia; it borders Thailand in the north. The capital is Kota Bharu.

The historic city-state of Malaysia is located in the southwestern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Strait of Malacca.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building in front of the Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur
The Sultan Abdul Samad Building in Kuala Lumpur. The building originally housed the offices of the British colonial administration.
Image: kk.

Negeri Sembilan
The State of Negeri Sembilan is located on the Malay Peninsula's southwest coast. The capital is Seremban.

The State of Pahang is a sultanate and a federal state of Malaysia located in the center of the peninsula. The capital is Kuantan. Kuantan Port is a major maritime gateway to the east coast region of the peninsula.

Penang is located on the northwest coast of Western Malaysia and includes Penang Island. The state capital is George Town on the Island. Two bridges link Penang Island to the mainland.

The State of Perak is located on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. The capital city is Ipoh.

The smallest state in Malaysia is Perlis. It shares an international border with Thailand. The capital is Kangar.

View of the Central Business District of Kuching, Sarawak, from Fort Margherita. In the background Riverside Suites (center) and Riverside Majestic Hotel on the Sarawak River.
View of the Central Business District of Kuching, Sarawak, from Fort Margherita. In the background Riverside Suites (center) and Riverside Majestic Hotel on the Sarawak River.
Image: Sasha India

The State of Sabah occupies the northern part of the island of Borneo. The capital and largest city is Kota Kinabalu.

The State of Sarawak stretches along Borneo's northwest coast. The capital and largest city is Kuching.

The State of Selangor is located on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia on the Strait of Malacca.
The capital is Shah Alam. The royal capital is Klang.

The State of Terengganu (Trengganu) is a sultanate located on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The royal capital is Kuala Terengganu.

Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia
Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur.
Image: Uwe Aranas



Maps of Malaysia

Malaysia Political Map
Map of Malaysia (click map to enlarge)
Image: ©


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 the South China Sea
Map of the South China Sea region.
Map of Southeast Asia
Map of the Southeast Asia region.
profile Map of Asia
Reference Map of Asia.


News of Malaysia

Malaysia Newspaper cover

Online News from Malaysia

Freedom of Press Malaysia
When Malaysia first saw a transition of power through elections in May 2018, the environment for journalists became much more favorable, and the country rose dramatically in the RSF's Press Freedom Index. But all this has been reversed since the former governing coalition returned to power in March 2020. [1]

The same political coalition ruled Malaysia from independence in 1957 until 2018, holding on to power by manipulating electoral districts, appealing to ethnic nationalism, and suppressing criticism through restrictive speech laws and the persecution of opposition leaders. [2]

English language newspaper
Daily Express
English-language newspaper in Sabah (East Malaysia) and the sister newspaper of the Overseas Chinese Daily News.

DayakDaily is a news portal based in Kuching, Sarawak.

Free Malaysia Today (FMT)
Independent, bilingual news online portal in English and Bahasa Malaysia, focusing on current Malaysian affairs.

New Straits Times
Tabloid-style online news.

The Star
Malaysian news for the world.

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

Malaysia Today
Malaysia magazine by Raja Petra Kamaruddin providing news and commentary critical of the administration.

Malay language newspaper
Berita Harian
Malay News.
Harian Metro
Malaysia's largest circulating newspaper.
Utusan Malaysia
Malay language newspaper.

Chinese language newspaper
Overseas Chinese Daily News
A Chinese language newspaper in Malaysia.

International News sources



Arts & Culture of Malaysia

overexposed film - Sailingboat-Melaka, Malaysia
Great! i did light leak because i dropped my sprocket rocket on the floor at Melaka!

Replica of the Flor de la Mar (Flower of the Sea), a Portuguese ocean-going sailing ship (carrack) that sank off the coast of Melaka. Malacca Maritime Museum.

Image: 134340

Arts & Culture

Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia
MOTAC is responsible for tourism and culture-related facilities; its headquarters is located in Putrajaya.

Jabatan Muzium Malaysia
The Department of Museums Malaysia, JMM provides some information about Malaysia's museums such as the Perak Museum in Taiping (Malaysia's oldest museum), the Malay World Ethnological Museum, the Museum of Aboriginal Arts and Crafts (Muzium Seni Kraf Orang Asli), the National Automobile Museum (Muzium Automobil Nasional) and the Labuan Marine Museum.

Muzium Negara
Official website of the National Museum of Malaysia.

Lomography Malaysia
Lomos from Malaysia.

Online platform for handicrafts from Malaysia.

Floating Mosque of Klang, the royal capital of Selangor, Malaysia
Floating Mosque of Klang, the royal capital of Selangor.
Image: Ahmad Rithauddin




Business & Economy of Malaysia

Floating Mosque of Klang, the royal capital of Selangor, Malaysia
Religion meets commerce. Jamek Mosque, Kuala Lumpur's oldest mosque, at the confluence of Gombak (left) and Klang rivers, is surrounded by banks and insurance skyscrapers. To the right behind the mosque is the Masjid Jamek rapid transit station.
Image: Marcin Konsek

Economy of Malaysia
Malaysia, a middle-income country, it has transformed itself since the 1970s from a mainly agricultural producer of raw materials into an emerging multi-sector economy. Malaysia is attempting to achieve high-income status by 2020 and move farther up the value-added production chain by attracting investment in Islamic finance, high technology industries, biotechnology, and services. Export goods, especially electronics, oil and gas, palm oil and rubber, are a major driver of the economy.

Bank Negara Malaysia
The Central Bank of Malaysia is wholly owned by the Federal Government.

Bursa Malaysia
Formerly known as Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, Bursa Malaysia is the stock exchange of Malaysia.

Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce & Industry
The Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI) serves Malaysian businesses with international interests and international employees.

Malaysian Brands

Malaysian multinational telecommunications conglomerate with subsidiary holdings in many Asian countries.

A large Malaysian universal bank headquartered in Kuala Lumpur.

FGV Holdings Berhad
A government-linked global agribusiness based in Malaysia, which produces oil palm and rubber plantation products, oleochemicals and sugar products.

Giant Hypermarket
The largest supermarket chain in Malaysia.

Marrybrown is a halal-certified fast food restaurant chain.

Maxis Communications
Maxis is a communications service provider based in Malaysia.

Media Prima
Media Prima is Malaysia's largest media and entertainment company. It operates four TV and four radio channels and publishes three national newspapers - New Straits Times, Berita Harian and Harian Metro.

Malayan Banking Berhad. Maybank is Malaysia's largest bank.

Permodalan Nasional Berhad
PNB is a government-linked investment group and one of the largest fund management companies in Malaysia.

State-owned multinational oil and gas company.

Tenaga Nasional
TNB is a multinational electricity company based in Kuala Lumpur.

Wikipedia W List of major companies in Malaysia
Wikipedia list of companies of Malaysia.

Car manufacturers

A Bufori Geneva car
A Bufori Geneva car.
Image: Bufori

Hand-built automobiles.

Malaysia's first national car manufacturer.

Perodua is Malaysia's largest car manufacturer. Perodua is manufactured by Daihatsu, which is owned (in parts) by Toyota.



Malaysia-based low-cost airline. AirAsia Group operates scheduled domestic and international flights to more than 165 destinations.

Malaysia Airlines
Serves over 100 destinations in Asia, Australia, the 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 that manages most of the airports in Malaysia.

KTMB - Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad
Malaysia railway network system.
Prasarana Malaysia Berhad owns and operates the country's urban rail services, including three LRT networks and the Kuala Lumpur Monorail, and will run the planned MRT line in Greater Kuala Lumpur.

The Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge crossing the Penang Strait in Malaysia
The Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge crossing the Penang Strait. The bridge is also known as the Second Penang Bridge and is one of two bridges that link Penang Island to the mainland of Peninsular Malaysia. It is Malaysia's longest bridge, with a total length of 24 km (15 mi.).
Image: Christopher Harriot




Tourism in Malaysia

Cenang beach Langkawi, Malaysia
Popular Cenang beach on Langkawi island.
Image: Jutta M. Jenning

Destination Malaysia - Travel and Tour Guides


Discover Malaysia:

Malaysia Truly Asia
Official Website of Tourism Malaysia by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture.

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

Johor Tourism
Official tourism guide to Johor state.

The official tourism site of the Langkawi archipelago.

Negeri Sembilan Tourism
Travel and tourism guide to Negeri Sembilan state.

Penang State tourism promotion website.

Perak - The Land of Grace
Tourism Perak website.

Sabah Tourism
Travel and tourism guide to Sabah state.

Sarawak Tourism
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.

Wikivoyage Malaysia
The free worldwide travel guide to Malaysia in many languages.

Kuala Lumpur
Government of the City of Kuala Lumpur.

Theme parks
Genting SkyWorlds
The upcoming movie-inspired theme park at Resorts World Genting in Genting Highlands.

Lost World of Tambun
Lost World of Tambun is an action-adventure theme park in Ipoh.

Legoland Malaysia
Colorful Danish interlocking plastic toy bricks also in Southeast Asia.

Sunway Lagoon
The Sunway Lagoon is a theme park in Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya, Selangor.

BOH Tea Plantation in the Cameron Highlands in Pahang, Malaysia
The BOH Tea Plantation, established in 1929, is located in the Cameron Highlands in the northwest corner of Pahang state; it is the largest tea plantation in Malaysia.
Image: Tinu711




UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Penang City Hall in George Town, Malaysia
Penang City Hall in George Town.
Image: Cmglee

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Malaysia
There are four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Malaysia, two cultural and two natural sites. Additionally, six properties are listed in UNESCO's Tentative List (see the List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Malaysia).
The following links lead to a detailed description of the respective World Heritage Site at UNESCO.

World Heritage Site Archaeological Heritage of the Lenggong Valley
The property includes four archaeological sites in two clusters spanning nearly 2 million years, one of the longest records of early man in a single location and the oldest outside the African continent. Situated in the lush Lenggong Valley in upper Perak, the property features open-air and cave sites, cave drawings, and Palaeolithic tool workshops, evidence of early technology. In many of the caves in the Lenggong area, there have been finds of jewelry, pottery, weapons and stone tools, evidence that early humans lived and hunted here. Gua Gunung Runtuh cave was the burial place of the Perak Man; the skeleton has been dated to around 11,000 years old. It is South-East Asia's oldest and most complete human skeleton.

World Heritage Site Melaka and George Town, Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca
Melaka (Malacca) and George Town, the historic cities on the Strait of Malacca, developed during 500 years of trade and cultural exchange between East and West on the Strait of Malacca. Influences from Asia and Europe gave the towns a specific multicultural heritage. With its government buildings, churches, squares and fortifications, Malacca shows the beginnings of this history, which has its origins in the Malay Sultanate of the 15th century and the Portuguese and Dutch periods from the early 16th century. In contrast, George Town, with its residential and commercial buildings, represents the British era from the late 18th century.

World Heritage Site Gunung Mulu National Park
Gunung Mulu National Park, on the island of Borneo in the state of Sarawak, is the best-studied tropical karst area in the world. The park is important for its high biodiversity and its karst features; it contains seventeen vegetation zones, where about 3,500 species of vascular plants are found.

Pinnacles in Gunung Mulu National Park, Malaysia.
The karst formation, known as the Pinnacles in Gunung Mulu National Park, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Image: Gurazuru


Education in Malaysia

Building of the Faculty of Business and Administration of the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The new building of the Faculty of Business and Administration of the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur.
Image: ZLonLon

University of Malaya
Universiti Malaya (UM) is the oldest and most prestigious university in the country; the public research university is located in Kuala Lumpur.

Universiti Teknologi (UTM)
Official web portal of the University of Technology, the public research University in Johor Bahru.

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
The University of Science is a public research university and one of the oldest institutes of higher learning in Northern Malaysia, founded in 1969.

List of universities in Malaysia
Wikipedia list of universities in Malaysia.

Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia
The National Library of Malaysia.
Wikipedia W Education in Malaysia 
Wikipedia about Education in Malaysia.



Environment & Nature

Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in Borneo, Malaysia and in Southeast Asia
The snow-free Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak (4,094 m) in both Borneo and Malaysia.
Image: Cccefalon

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


Malaysia History

Weld Quay in the Port of Penang, George Townin the 1910s
Weld Quay in the Port of Penang, George Town in the 1910s.
Image: Kleingrothe, Carl Josef (1864-1925)

History of Malaysia

"Malaysia" is a concept created in the second half of the 20th century. The British Empire, which ruled Malaya from 1826 to 1957, wanted a clean exit from its possessions in Southeast Asia and to ensure that its former colonies did not turn to communism. To achieve this, Britain developed the idea of a "Federation of Malaysia" in which their former territories on the Malay Peninsula, Singapore, North Borneo (Eastern Sabah), Brunei and Sarawak would form a single political entity.

So the British convinced local leaders in Sabah, Sarawak, and Brunei of the big idea, and they (half-heartedly) agreed to the creation of the new state of Malaysia.

On 16 September 1963, the Federation of Malaysia was launched in a tense, turbulent and threatening atmosphere. The new state's two neighbors, Indonesia and the Philippines, opposed its creation and consequently withheld recognition. [3]

Pre-colonial period
The region of the Malay Peninsula was part of various early Siamese, Khmer, Chams and Malay kingdoms which became part of the historic Indosphere, the cultural influence zone of Greater India. Indian influence in the region dates back to at least the 3rd century BC.
As early as the 1st century BC, the peninsula's ports and trading centers had trade relations with China and India.
By the 6th and 7th centuries, a sophisticated trading system had developed on the Malay Peninsula.

Western coastal settlements of Borneo had become trading ports in the first millennium AD. Popular merchandise were gold, camphor, tortoise shells, hornbill ivory, rhinoceros horn, crane crest, beeswax, lakawood and spices.

Islam came to the Malay Archipelago through the Arab and Indian traders in the 13th century, ending the age of Hinduism and Buddhism.

Timeline of Malaysian history
Timeline of Malaysian history at Wikipedia.

Malaysia profile - Timeline
A chronology of key events by the BBC.

Ancient Trading Centres in the Malay Peninsula
UNESCO article on ancient trading centers in the Malay Peninsula.

Wikipedia W History of Malaysia
Wikipedia article on Malaysia's history.

National Archives of Malaysia
Custodian of the Nation's Heritage. Registration is needed.



Indigenous People of Malaysia

The Nunuk Ragang (the red Banyan tree) Heritage Building, Sabah, Borneo
The Nunuk Ragang (the red Banyan tree) Heritage Building in Sabah resembles the trunk of the legendary giant banyan tree. The site is traditionally considered as the location of the original home of the ancestors of the Kadazan-Dusun natives who inhabit most of northern Borneo.
Image: CEphoto

The Indigenous People of Malaysia

In the multi-ethnic country, several terms describe members of the various population groups in Malaysia. These terms are often used interchangeably.

Three major ethnic groups make up the population of Malaysia: Malays, Chinese, and Indians.

The most diverse group are the Malays, also known as Bumiputera (or 'son of the soil').

Malaysia's constitution defines a Malay (not the Bumiputera) as a person who professes the religion of Islam, habitually speaks Malay, conforms to Malay customs and is the child of a Malaysian parent.
This regulation excludes people who practice a religion other than Islam, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Animism.

The Indigenous Peoples of Peninsular Malaysia
The Orang Asli are indigenous peoples and the oldest inhabitants of Peninsular Malaysia.
They consist of several ethnic groups:

The Semang or Negritos, who mostly live as hunter-gatherers,
The Senoi, who cultivate rice and millet in the highlands, and
The Jakun (or aboriginal Malays) farm in the lowlands and trade as forest gatherers.

Wikipedia W Orang Asli
Wikipedia article about the Orang Asli, the "Original People," a collective term used in Malaysia for various indigenous peoples in the interior of the Malay Peninsula.

The Indigenous Peoples of Sarawak and Sabah

The indigenous peoples of Sarawak include Ibans, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu, Melanaus, Penans and Malays.

The indigenous peoples of Sabah include Kadazan-Dusuns, Bajaus, Murut, Bruneian Malays and Suluks.

Wikipedia W Demographics of Sarawak
Wikipedia article about the many races and ethnic groups in Sarawak.

Wikipedia W Demographics of Sabah
Wikipedia article about the many races and ethnic groups in Sabah and Labuan.



Additional Information

Selected country profiles and data of Malaysia published by international organizations.


Amnesty International: Malaysia
Amnesty International is a non-governmental organization focused on human rights.

BBC Country Profile: Malaysia
Country profiles by the British public service broadcaster.

BTI Transformation Index Malaysia
Malaysia Country Report 2020 by Bertelsmann Stiftung.

Freedom House: Malaysia
The U.S. government-funded non-profit organization whose goal is to promote liberal democracies worldwide.

GlobalEDGE: Malaysia
Malaysia ranking by the Global business knowledge portal.

The Heritage Foundation: Malaysia
Index of Economic Freedom by The Heritage Foundation, an American conservative think tank.

Human Rights Watch: Malaysia
HRW conducts research and advocacy on human rights.

OEC: Malaysia
The Observatory of Economic Complexity provides the latest international trade data.

Reporters Without Borders: Malaysia
RSF (Reporters sans frontières) is an international NGO that defends and promotes media freedom.

Wikipedia: Malaysia
Wikipedia's Malaysia page in many languages.

Worldbank Data: Malaysia
World Development Indicators database.

The CIA World Factbook -- Malaysia
CIA World Factbook Malaysia Page.


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