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Malaysia - Facts At A Glance

Friday, October 29, 2010

Official Name -The Federation of Malaysia
Malaysia's Land Area - Malaysia consists of two areas of mainland, separated by the South China Sea, namely West Malaysia (or more popularly known as Peninsular Malaysia) and East Malaysia. The country has a total land area of 329,758 square km made up of 13 states and three Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur (the capital), Putrajaya and Labuan.

Location -Malaysia is situated in South-eastern Asia, between 2 and 7 degrees north of the Equator. To the north of Peninsular Malaysia is Thailand while to the south is Singapore.

Government-Malaysia practises a system of government based on parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy at the federal and state levels. At the federal level, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong is the head of the state and the federal government is governed by the Prime Minister and his cabinet of ministers who report to the Parliament which comprises two houses, namely a house of Representatives and a Senate. At the State level, the head (Ruler) of state is either the Sultan, Raja or Yang Di-Pertua Besar, while Yang Di-Pertua Negeri is the head of the state where there is no ruler.

In keeping with the concept of Parliamentary Democracy which forms the basis of the government administration in Malaysia, the Federal Constitution (the supreme law of the nation) underlines the distribution of governing powers among the Executive, Judicial and Legislative Authorities. The Executive branch is headed by the Prime Minister, Honourable Datuk Seri Abdullah bin Ahmad Badawi.

Parliamentary general elections are held every five years to elect the members of Parliament or the people's representatives.

Supreme Head of State - In this system of constitutional monarchy The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the King or Supreme Head of State as provided by the Constitution. The King performs his official duties with the advice of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet as provided for by the Constitution. His Majesty also holds the position of the Islamic Religious Head for the States of Penang, Malacca,Sabah, Sarawak, and the Federal Territories. As Malaysia's Supreme Head of State, the King is also the Supreme Commander of the Malaysian Armed Forces.

His Majesty, The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, is elected out of nine hereditary rulers (or Sultans) every five years by the Conference of Rulers. Malaysia is the only country in the world to have a rotating system of Kings.
Independence - 31st August 1957
Population -Estimated 26.1 million (in 2005)
Capital -Kuala Lumpur
People -Dubbed as "Mini Asia", Malaysia is a multi-racial and multi-ethnic country where the majorities are the Malays, Chinese and Indian. In addition, there are some 29 ethnic groups including the majority groups of Dayaks (in Sarawak) and Kadazans (in Sabah).

(It is estimated that 66.2% of the population are made up of Malays, Malay related and aboriginal people; 25.1% are Chinese; while Indians make up 7.4% and another 1.3% comprises other races).
Language - Bahasa Melayu is the national language, although English is widely used and spoken. The Mandarin language and Chinese dialects, particularly Cantonese and Hokkien, as well as Indian dialects like Tamil and Hindi are common among the Chinese and Indian communities respectively.
Religion - Islam is the official religion of the nation. However, the Malaysian Constitution guarantees freedom of worship and as such, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism make up the other primary religions embraced by the Malaysian society.
Currency & Exchange Rate-All transactions in Malaysia are carried out using the official Malaysian currency of Ringgit (RM), which is in the form of notes, in the denominations of RM1, RM2, RM5, RM10, RM50 and RM100, and Sen, which is in the form of coins that include 1 sen, 5 sen, 10 sen, 20 sen and 50 sen. As at 16th of August 2006, the exchange rate is US$1 = RM3.71 and all major currencies can be exchanged for the Ringgit.
Country Code +60
Time Difference The standard Malaysian time is 8 hours ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) time and 16 hours ahead of the United State Pacific Standard time.
Climate Malaysia has a pleasant tropical climate and is generally warm all the year round with temperatures ranging from 21°C to 32°C. The general weather is humid with annual rainfall varying from 2,000mm to 2,500mm.
Natural Resources Tin, petroleum, timber, copper, iron ore, natural gas, bauxite.
Trade & Economy Malaysia is today the leading producer and exporter of manufactured products such as semiconductors, audio-visual products, electrical & electronics goods, palm oil-based products, timber-based products and rubber-dipped products in the world. Malaysia also stands out as one of the largest producers of palm oil, natural rubber, tin, timber, cocoa beans, pepper and liquefied natural gas in the world.

Malaysia is ranked the 26th most competitive economy in the world according to the Global Competitive Report 2006-2007, released by the World Economic Forum.

In the just released World Bank report entitled "Doing Business 2007", Malaysia emerged as the 25th most business-friendly nation in the world out of the 175 economies surveyed.

The Globalisation Index 2006 undertaken by the US-based Foreign Policy Magazine and A.T.Kearney has ranked Malaysia as the world's 19th most globalised country.

Kuala Lumpur city is being rated as the least expensive city in the world on food, electronic goods, clothes, public transport, hotel rates and entertainment for Western visitors, in a recent surveyed of 71 cities worldwide by Swiss banking giant, UBS The per capital GNP for the year 2005 is RM18,891 (US$5,105and is projected to exceed RM20,000 by year 2007.


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