Location map of Malaysia
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 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?
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Official website of the National Museum of Malaysia.
Lomos from Malaysia.
Online platform for handicrafts from Malaysia.