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Country of Malaysia Flag

Capital: Kuala Lumpur

Population: 31,949,777

Brief History of Malaysia:

One of the early civilizations that ruled Malaysia was the Buddhist kingdom of Srivijaya which ruled from the 9th to the 13th centuries. After the Srivijaya, the Hindu kingdom of Majapahit took control. Next to arrive was the state of Malacca which was ruled by a Muslim prince and began the spread of Islam in the area.

The first Europeans to arrive were the Portuguese. They conquered Malacca in 1511 and would control the area for over 100 years. The area would change hands to the Dutch in 1641 and then to the British in 1795. While the British were in control, they developed the industries of rubber and tin production.

Malaysia was occupied by Japan during World War II. Soon after the war the country began to move toward independence. In 1957 several of the British territories on the Malay Peninsula formed the Federation of Malaya. Malaysia was formed and became a separate independent country in 1963.

Country of Malaysia Map

The Geography of Malaysia

Total Size: 329,750 square km

Size Comparison: slightly larger than New Mexico

Geographical Coordinates: 2 30 N, 112 30 E

World Region or Continent: Southeast Asia

General Terrain: coastal plains rising to hills and mountains

Geographical Low Point: Indian Ocean 0 m

Geographical High Point: Gunung Kinabalu 4,100 m

Climate: tropical; annual southwest (April to October) and northeast (October to February) monsoons

Major cities: KUALA LUMPUR (capital) 1.493 million; Klang 1.071 million; Johor Bahru 958,000 (2009)

The People of Malaysia

Type of Government: constitutional monarchy

Languages Spoken: Bahasa Melayu (official), English, Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow), Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Panjabi, Thai

Independence: 31 August 1957 (from UK)

National Holiday: Independence Day/Malaysia Day, 31 August (1957)

Nationality: Malaysian(s)

Religions: Muslim, Buddhist, Daoist, Hindu, Christian, Sikh; note - in addition, Shamanism is practiced in East Malaysia

National Symbol: tiger

National Anthem or Song: Negaraku (My Country)

Economy of Malaysia

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

Agricultural Products: Peninsular Malaysia - rubber, palm oil, cocoa, rice; Sabah - subsistence crops, rubber, timber, coconuts, rice; Sarawak - rubber, pepper, timber

Natural Resources: tin, petroleum, timber, copper, iron ore, natural gas, bauxite

Major Exports: electronic equipment, petroleum and liquefied natural gas, wood and wood products, palm oil, rubber, textiles, chemicals

Major Imports: electronics, machinery, petroleum products, plastics, vehicles, iron and steel products, chemicals

Currency: ringgit (MYR)

National GDP: $463,700,000,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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