Malaysia Facts

Malaysia Facts and History


Malaysia has been the traditional gateway for immigrants from the north to Southeast Asia. Hence it became a melting pot of Malay, Indian and Chinese cultures. The name Malaysia refers to the Malay ethnic group.

The country has consisted of two parts since 1963:

The peninsula Malaysia, also known as West Malaysia, which lies on the southern “tip” of the Asian mainland, to the south of Thailand and

East Malaysia, which consists of two provinces on the island of Borneo.

Both parts are separated by the South China Sea over a distance of around 600 km. Even today, large parts of the country are covered by dense jungle.

Economically, Malaysia is one of the leading so-called tiger states. The standard of living in Malaysia is much higher than that in neighboring countries. The country is a Muslim state, so women should keep this in mind when choosing their wardrobe, especially if they intend to visit rural areas.

Name of the country Malaysia
Form of government constitutional elective monarchy, parliamentary democracy with authoritarian elements
Geographical location Western Malaysia:100 ° – 114 ° east longitude

1 ° – 7 ° north latitude

East Malaysia:

109 ° – 119 ° east longitude

1 ° – 7 ° north latitude

National anthem Negara ku
Population approx. 32 million (Credit: Countryaah: Malaysia Population)
Ethnicities Malaysians 54%Bumiputeras (indigenous people) 11%

Chinese-born Malaysians 24%

Indian-born Malaysians 8%

  • The state religion is Islam, to which around 60% of the population profess. In total, there are also around 2.5 million Christians living in the country.
  • The Malaysians of Chinese descent are Buddhists, Confucians or Christians.
  • The Malaysians of Indian origin are Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs or Christians.
  • Animism (natural religion) or Christianity is widespread among the indigenous tribes.
Languages Malaysian (Bahasa Malaysia). English, Chinese and Indian are also spoken.
Capital Kuala Lumpur with 1.5 million residents, the seat of government is Putrajaya with 68,000 residents.
Surface 329,750 km²
Highest mountain Gunung Kinabalu with a height of 4,095 m
Longest river Rajang with a length of around 563 km
Largest lake Tasik Chini with an area of 700 km²
International license plate TIMES
National currency Malay Ringgit (MYR)This has been pegged to the US dollar since September 2nd, 1998.

The exchange rate is: 1 USD = 3.80 RM

Difference to CET + 7 h (there is no time change)
International phone code +60
Mains voltage, frequency 240 volts and 50 hertz
Internet TLD (Top Level Domain) .my

Malaysia: history

The peninsula of Malaysia has always served the northern peoples from China and India as a gateway to Southeast Asia and the Pacific region. Indian traders arrived in the region even before our era, bringing scriptures, other religions such as Buddhism and Brahamanism, and a calendar system with them to the region.

According to Abbreviationfinder website, with the increase in international trade from the 5th century in Southeast Asia, which stretched from India to Europe, the peninsula and the Strait of Malacca became an area of strategic importance for global trade at the time.

Until 1800

Malacca developed into the ruling place in the region, which was increasingly Islamized.

Almost all trading nations tried to gain a foothold in the region.

In 1511 Malacca was occupied by the Portuguese. The Dutch took over Malacca in 1641. The English founded Georgetown on the island of Penang in 1786.

In the 18th and 19th centuries

In 1824 the Dutch ceded Malacca to the English. Since 1826 Malacca has been administered together with Singapore and Penang as “Straits settlements” (Settlements of the Strait of Malacca). All three later became English colonies in 1867.

In 1841 the Englishman Brook was installed as ruler of Sarawak by the then Sultan of Brunei. The Brook Dynasty ruled here until 1947. In

1881 the British founded the British North Borneo Chartered Company.

In 1895, the Federated Malaysian States, which were under British protection, were formed from the following sultanates: Negri Sembilan, Perak, Selangor, Sembilan and Pahang. The seat of government has been in Kuala Lumpur since then.

20th century until today

Malaya and Singapore were occupied by the Japanese in 1941/42.

However, Malaya was taken back by the British in 1945.

In the following years from 1948-1960 there were repeated communist uprisings in the north.

In 1957 Malaysia gained independence from England. The then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, also known as the father of Malaysia, remained in office until 1970. The state of Malaysia was officially founded in 1963 as a federation of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore, which, however, left the federation two years later.

In 1969 riots broke out because a Chinese minority controlled the majority of the economy.

As mentioned, the government reacted with the New Economy Policy (NEP), which had been in place since 1971. This policy stipulated, for example, that most positions in the administration and government had to be filled by Malaysians.

The quotas in favor of the Malay population also exist in other areas. For example, 30% of company shares should be in Malay hands. In universities, too, Malaysians are given priority, even if Indians or Chinese have better grades.

They are therefore increasingly going to study abroad, where they can find better universities, among other things.

The NEP was originally limited in time. It should expire in 1990. It is still being pursued. This has meanwhile led to former supporters becoming opponents of politics. Because the preference of the Malaysians led to a culture of dependence and laziness in the Malaysian part of the population.

Today, however, around 40% of the company’s shares are still in Chinese hands.

With this policy, however, Malaysia was able to avoid racial unrest, as it happened again and again in neighboring Indonesia. In 1998 there were real racial pogroms there against the Chinese population.

Datuk Tun Hussein Onn became Prime Minister in 1976.

Dato Seri Dr. Mahathir b. Mohamad became the 4th Prime Minister in 1981, who was re-elected as President in 1986, 1990, 1995, and 1999.

In 1998, Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim was removed from office and even tried and sentenced.

In the election the following year, Prime Minister Mahathir lost a large proportion of his votes.

He resigned on October 31, 2003. He was succeeded by his deputy, Abdullah Badawi.

In the 2004 elections he won two thirds of the vote and the governing coalition 90% of the seats in parliament.

Malaysia Facts