General Info

Malaysia has 13 states. 11 are located in Peninsula Malaysia – Perlis, Kedah, Penang/ Pulau Pinang, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Malacca/ Melaka, Johor, Pahang, Terengganu & Kelantan; while 2 others are part of Borneo Island – the states of Sabah & Sarawak.

Malaysia has 3 Federal Territories (Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya & Labuan).

Area
329,758 square km

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Population
27.17 million

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Capital
Kuala Lumpur

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People
Malays who make up about 57% of the total population are the predominant group with Chinese, Indians and other ethnic groups (eg. the Ibans, Kadazans & many othes) making up the rest.

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Language
Bahasa Melayu (Malay language) is the official language, but English is widely spoken. Ethnic groups also have their own languages and dialects as well.

In capital KL, the Chinese speak more Cantonese though Mandarin is the official Chinese language in Malaysia. Other dialects are Hokkien (widely used in Penang & other major cities), Teochew and Hakka.

The official Indian language here is Tamil.

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Religion
Islam is the country’s official religion, but other religions are widely practiced freely.

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Government
Malaysia is governed by a Parliamentary democracy with a bicameral legislative system. The Head of State is the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, a position that is awarded to a different State Monarch every five years and the Head of Government is the Prime Minister.

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Main Holidays
New Year*, Hari Raya Aidiladha*, Federal Territory Day**, Chinese New Year*, Awal Muharam*, Maulidur Rasul*, Labour Day*, Wesak Day*, DYMM Yang DiPertuan Agong’s Birthday*, National Day* Deepavali# Hari Raya Aidilfitri* Christmas*

Note:
(*) – National Holiday
(**) – Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur & Labuan only
(#) – Except Labuan & Sarawak

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Economic Profile
Manufacturing constitutes is the largest single component of Malaysia’s economy. Tourism and primary commodities such as petroleum, palm oil, natural rubber and timber are other major contributors to the economy.

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National Symbol
The flag of Malaysia, also known as the Jalur Gemilang (“Stripes of Glory”), comprises a field of 14 alternating red and white stripes along a blue canton bearing a crescent and a 14-point star known as the Bintang Persekutuan or Federal Star. The 14 stripes, of equal width, represent the equal status in the federation of the 13 member states and the federal government, while the 14 points of the star represent the unity between these entities. The crescent represents Islam, the country’s official religion; the blue canton symbolizes the unity of the Malaysian people; the yellow of the star and crescent is the royal colour of the Malay rulers.

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National Flower
The national flower of Malaysia is the Hibiscus or bunga raya (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis). Though it comes in many variations & colours, the official one is the simple yet elegant 5 petals red coloured hibiscus.

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National Anthem
Negaraku (translated as My Country in English) is the national anthem of Malaysia. “Negaraku” was selected as a national anthem at the time the Federation of Malaya gained independence from Britain in 1957. Apparently, it was originally used by state of Perak anthem.
negaraku