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Malaysiais a federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia. It consists of thirteen states and three federal territories and has a total landmass of 329,847 square kilometres (127,350 sq mi). It is separated by the South China Sea into two regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. HP 586006-321 Battery

Land borders are shared with Thailand, Indonesia, and Brunei, and maritime borders exist withSingapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Peninsular Malaysia is connected to Singapore via two bridges, one which transports traffic and water and asecond link just for traffic. HP 586006-361 Battery

The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. The population is over 27.5 million.

Malaysia has its origins in the Malay Kingdoms present in the area which, from the 18th century, became subject to the British Empire. HP 586028-341 Battery

The first British territories were known as the Straits Settlements, with the other states forming protectorates. The states on Peninsular Malaysia, then known as Malaya, was first unified as the Malayan Union in 1946. Malaya was restructured as the Federation of Malaya in 1948, and achieved independence on 31 August 1957. HP h588178-141 Battery

Malaya united with Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore to form Malaysia on 16 September 1963. However, less than two years later in 1965, Singapore was expelled from the federation, and became an independent city state. Since independence, Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with GDP growing an average 6.5% for almost 50 years.HP 593553-001 Battery

The economy has traditionally been fuelled by its natural resources, but is now expanding in the sectors of science, tourism, commerce and medical tourism.

The head of state is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, an elected monarch chosen from the hereditary rulers of the nine Malay states every five years. HP 593554-001 Battery

The head of government is the Prime Minister. The government system is closely modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system and the legal system is based on English Common Law. The country is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, factors that influence its culture and play a large role in politics.HP HSTNN-CB0W Battery

Malaysia contains the southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, and is located near the equator and has a tropical climate. It has abiodiverse range of flora and fauna, and is considered a megadiverse country. It is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, HP HSTNN-CB0X Battery

and a member of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Non-Aligned Movement.

Etymolog

The word Melayu is thought to derive from the Sanskrit term Malaiur or Malayadvipa which can be translated as "land of mountains", the word used by ancient Indian traders when referring to the Malay Peninsula.HP HSTNN-I79C Battery

Other theories propose it originates from the Tamil word "Malai".  The term was later used as the name of the Melayu Kingdom, which existed between the 7th and the 13th centuries onSumatra.

In 1850, the English ethnologist George Samuel Windsor Earl, writing in the Journal of the Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia, proposed naming the islands of Southeast Asia as Melayunesia or Indunesia, favouring the former.HP HSTNN-I81C Battery

Following his 1826 expedition in Oceania, the French Navigator Jules Dumont d'Urville invented the terms Malaysia, Micronesiaand Melanesia, distinguishing these Pacific cultures and island groups from the already existing term Polynesia. In 1831, he proposed these terms to The Société de Géographie. HP HSTNN-IB0N Battery

Dumont d'Urville described Malaysia as "an area commonly known as the East Indies".

At that time, it was thought that the inhabitants of this region could be designated by the encompassing term "Malay" in line with that era's concept of aMalay race,HP HSTNN-IB0X Battery

which contrasts with contemporary definitions in which "Malay" refers to an ethnic group of similar culture who speak the Malay language and live on the east coast of Sumatra, the Riau Islands, the Malay Peninsula and the coastline of the island of Borneo. The related term "Malay world" is used to refer to this extended geographical area.HP HSTNN-LB0W Battery

In 1957, the Federation of Malaya was declared as an independent federation of the Malay states on the Malay peninsula. The name "Malaysia" was adopted in 1963 when the existing states of the Federation of Malaya, plus Singapore, North Borneo and Sarawak formed a new federation, with "si" being added to Malaya in honour of the three joining states.HP HSTNN-OB0X Battery

Prior to that, the name itself had been used to refer to the whole Malay Archipelago. Politicians in the Philippines once contemplated naming their state "Malaysia", but in 1963 Malaysia adopted the name first. At the time of the 1963 federation, other names were considered: among them was Langkasuka,HP HSTNN-OB0Y Battery

after the historic kingdom located at the upper section of the Malay Peninsula in the first millennium of the common era.

History

Evidence of human habitation in Malaysia dates back 40,000 years, with the first inhabitants of the Malay Peninsula probably being Negritos.HP HSTNN-Q61C Battery

Traders and settlers from India and China arrived as early as the 1st century AD, establishing trading ports and towns in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Both had a strong influence on the local culture. Around this time, the people of the Malay Peninsula adopted the religions of Hinduism and Buddhism, and Sanskritinscriptions appear as early as the 4th or 5th century.HP HSTNN-Q62C Battery

Between the 7th and the 13th century, much of the Malay Peninsula was under the Srivijayaempire. After the fall of Srivijaya, the Java-based Majapahit empire had influence over most of Peninsular Malaysia and the Malay Archipelago.In the early 15th century,HP HSTNN-YB0X Battery

Parameswara, a prince of the former Srivijayan empire, founded what would become the Malacca Sultanate, commonly considered the first independent state in the peninsula.Parameswara became a Muslim, and due to this the conversion of Malays to Islam accelerated in the 15th century.HP NBP6A174B1 Battery

Malacca was an important commercial centre during this time, attracting trade from around the region.

In 1511 Malacca was conquered by Portugal, after which it was taken from Portugal by the Dutch.In 1786 the British Empire set foot in Malaya,HP HSTNN-YB0X Battery

with the lease of the island of Penang to the British East India Company by the sultan of Kedah,which was followed by the gaining of Singapore. In 1824, the British took control of Malacca following the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824. By 1826 the British controlled Penang, Malacca, HP NBP6A174 Battery

Singapore, and the island of Labuan, which they established as the crown colony of the Straits Settlements. By the 20th century, the states ofPahang, Selangor, Perak, and Negeri Sembilan, known together as the Federated Malay States, had British Residents appointed to advise the Malay rulers, whom the rulers were bound by treaty to defer to.HP NBP6A174B1 Battery

The remaining five states in the peninsula, known as the Unfederated Malay States, while not directly under British rule, also accepted British advisers around the turn of the 20th century. Development on the Peninsula and Borneo were generally separate until the 19th century.HP NBP6A175 Battery

Sabah was governed as the crown colony of British North Borneo. In 1842, Sarawak was ceded by the Sultan of Brunei to James Brooke, whose successors ruled as the White Rajahs over an independent kingdom until 1946, when it became a British colony.HP NBP6A175B1 Battery

In the Second World War the Japanese army invaded and subsequently occupied Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore for over three years. During this time, ethnic tensions were raised and nationalism grew. Popular support for independence increased after Malaya was reconquered by Allied Forces.HP WD548AA Battery

Post-war British plans to unite the administration of Malaya under a single crown colony called the Malayan Union met with strong opposition from theMalays, who opposed the weakening of the Malay rulers and the granting of citizenship to the ethnic Chinese.HP WD549AA Battery

The Malayan Union, established in 1946 and consisting of all the British possessions in the Malay peninsula with the exception of Singapore, was dissolved in 1948 and replaced by the Federation of Malaya, which restored the autonomy of the rulers of the Malay states under British protection. HP Envy 17 Notebook PC Battery

During this time, rebels under the leadership of the Malayan Communist Party launched guerrilla operations designed to force the British out of Malaya. The Malayan Emergency lasted from 1948 to 1960, and involved a long anti-insurgency campaign by Commonwealth troops in Malaya. HP Envy 17T Battery

In 1963 Malaya, along with the then British crown colonies of Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore, federated to form Malaysia. The proposed date of federation was 31 August 1963, however, the date was delayed until 16 September 1963 due to opposition from Indonesia's Sukarno and the Sarawak United Peoples' Party.HP HSTNN-Q61C Battery

Independence brought heightened tensions including a conflict with Indonesia over the formation of Malaysia, Singapore's eventual exit in 1965, and racial strife which caused the 13 May race riots in 1969.  After the riots, the controversial New Economic Policy was launched by Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak, trying to increase the share of the economy held by the bumiputra.HP GSTNN-Q62C Battery

The country has since maintained a delicate ethno-political balance, with a system of government that has attempted to combine overall economic development with political and economic policies that promote equitable participation of all races. HP HSTNN-IB1E Battery

Under Mahathir bin Mohamad there was a period of rapid economic growth and urbanisation beginning in the 1980s. This period saw a shift from an agriculture-based economy to one based on manufacturing and industry. The physical landscape of the country changed with the emergence of numerous mega-projects, HP HSTNN-IB0X Battery

such as the Petronas Towers, the North-South Expressway, the Multimedia Super Corridor, and the new federal administrative capital ofPutrajaya.In the late 1990s, Malaysia was shaken by the Asian financial crisis as well as political unrest caused by the sacking of the deputy prime minister Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim.HP HSTNN-OB0X Battery

In November 2007, the country was rocked by two anti-government rallies. They were precipitated by allegations of corruption and discrepancies in the election system that heavily favoured the ruling political party, National Front, which had been in power since Malaysia achieved its independence in 1957.HP HSTNN-YB0X Battery

Governance

Malaysia is a federal constitutional elective monarchy. The head of state is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, commonly referred to as the "King". The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected to a five-year term by and from amongst the nine hereditary rulers of the Malay states;HP 586006-361 Battery

the other four states, which have titular Governors, do not participate in the selection. By informal agreement the position is systematically rotated between the nine. The system of government is closely modelled on that of the Westminster parliamentary system, a legacy of British colonial rule.HP NBP6A174 Battery

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong's role has been mostly ceremonial since changes to the constitution in 1994. 

Legislative power is divided between federal and state legislatures. The bicameral federal parliament consists of the lower house, the House of Representativesand the upper house, the Senate.HP NBP6A174B1 Battery

The 222-member House of Representatives is elected for a maximum term of five years from single-member constituencies, which are defined based on population. All 70 Senators sit for three-year terms; 26 are elected by the 13 state assemblies, with the remaining 44 appointed by the king upon the Prime Minister's recommendation.HP 588178-141 Battery

The parliament follows a multi-party system and the government is elected through a first-past-the-post system. Since independence Malaysia has been governed by a multi-party coalition known as the Barisan Nasional.

Each state has a unicameral State Legislative Assembly whose members are elected from single-member constituencies.HP Pavilion dv5 Adapter

State governments are led by Chief Ministers, who are state assembly members from the majority party in the assembly. In each of the states with a hereditary ruler, the Chief Minister is required to be a Malay, appointed by the Sultan upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister.Sony NP-F330 Battery

Parliamentary elections are held at least once every five years, the most recent of which took place in March 2008.Registered voters of age 21 and above may vote for the members of the House of Representatives and, in most of the states, for the state legislative chamber. Voting is not mandatory.Asus Eee PC 904HA Adapter

Federal elections are held concurrently with the elections of every state except Sarawak.

Executive power is vested in the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister; the Constitution stipulates that the prime minister must be a member of the lower house of parliament who, in the opinion of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, commands a majority in parliament.Nikon D80  Battery

The cabinet is chosen from among members of both houses of Parliament and is responsible to that body. The Prime Minister is both the head of cabinet and the head of government.

Malaysia's legal system is based on English Common Law.Sony PCGA-AC19V9 Adapter

The judiciary is theoretically independent of the executive and the legislature, although supporters of the government hold many judicial positions. The highest court in the judicial system is the Federal Court, followed by the Court of Appeal and two High Courts, one for Peninsular Malaysia and one for East Malaysia. Dell T555C Battery

Malaysia also has a Special Court to hear cases brought by or against Royalty.Separate from the civil courts are the Syariah Courts, which decide on cases which involve Malaysian Muslims and run parallel to the normal court system. The Internal Security Act allows detention without trial, and the death penalty is in use for crimes such as drug trafficking.HP Pavilion DV6-3013SL Battery

Race is a significant force in politics, and many of the political parties are ethnically based. Actions such as the New Economic Policyand the National Development Policy which superseded it, were implemented to advance the standing of Bumiputera.HP Pavilion DV7-2085EL Battery

These policies provide preferential treatment to Malays over non-Malays in employment, education, scholarships, business, and access to cheaper housing and assisted savings. While it improved the economic position of Bumiputras, it is a source of resentment amongst others.HP Pavilion DV9700 Battery

Debate exists over whether the country should be secular or islamic. Some state governments controlled by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, including that of Terengganu, have passed Islamic laws, but these have not gone into effect due to opposition from the federal government. HP Mini 702EA Battery

Foreign relations and military

Malaysia's foreign policy is based on the principle of neutrality and maintaining peaceful relations with all countries, regardless of their political system. It seeks to further develop relations with other countries in the region and portray itself as a progressive Islamic nation.HP Pavilion DV7-1120EO Battery

The government attaches a high priority to the security and stability of Southeast Asia, and has tried to strengthen relations with other Islamic states. A strong tenant of Malaysia's policy is national sovereignty and the right of a country to control its domestic affairs.HP Compaq 491278-001 Battery

Malaysia is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. The country participates in many international organisations such as the United Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation,the Developing 8 Countries, and the Non-Aligned Movement.HP Pavilion DV6-1030US Battery

It has chaired ASEAN, the OIC, and the NAM in the past. A former British colony, it is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Kuala Lumpur was the site of the first East Asia Summit in 2005.

The policy towards territorial disputes by the government is one of pragmatism, with the government solving disputes in a number of ways, such as bringing the case to the International Court of Justice.HP Compaq 490306-001 Battery

The Spratly Islands are disputed by many states in the area, although tensions have eased since the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. Brunei and Malaysia in 2008 announced an end to claims of each other's land, and to resolve issues related to their maritime borders. HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM Battery

The Philippines has a dormant claim to Sabah. Singapore's land reclamation has caused tensions between the two countries, and maritime border disputes exist with Indonesia.

Malaysia has never recognised Israel and has no diplomatic ties with it. HP EliteBook 2530P Battery

It has remained a strong supporter of the State of Palestine, and has called for Israel to be taken to the International Criminal Court over the Gaza flotilla raid. Malaysian peacekeeping forces are present in Lebanon and have contributed to many other UN peacekeeping missions.HP Pavilion DV4385EA Battery

Malaysian defence requirements are assigned to the Malaysian Armed Forces (Angkatan Tentera Malaysia – ATM). The armed forces has three branches, the Royal Malaysian Navy (Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia – TLDM), the Malaysian Army (Tentera Darat Malaysia – TD), and the Royal Malaysian Air Force(Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia – TUDM).Compaq PP2100 Battery

There is no conscription, and the required age for voluntary military service is 18. 1.9% of the country's GDP is spent on the military, which hires 1.23% of Malaysia's manpower.

The Five Power Defence Arrangements between Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, is a regional security initiative which has been in place for almost 40 years.HP Compaq KU532AA Battery

It involves joint military exercises held between the five countries. Joint exercises and war games have been held with Indonesia for years. Malaysia and the Philippines have agreed to host joint exercises between their security forces, in order to secure their maritime border and tackle issues such as illegal immigration.HP Pavilion DV6-1270EQ Battery

There are fears that unrest in the Muslim areas of the southern Philippines and southernThailand could spill over into Malaysia.

Subdivisions

Malaysia is made up of 13 states and 3 federal territories. HP Pavilion DV4385EA Battery

These are divided between two regions, with 11 states and two federal territories on Peninsular Malaysia and the other two states and one federal territory in East Malaysia. As Malaysia is a federation, the governance of the states is divided between the federal and the state governments, while the Federal government has direct administration of the federal territories. HP Compaq Business  NC4400 Battery

The 13 states are based on historical Malay Kingdoms, and 9 of the 13 states, known as the Malay states, retain their royal families. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected by and from the nine rulers to serve a five-year term. Each state has a unicameral legislature known as the State Legislative Assembly. HP Pavilion ZD8227 Battery

The states of East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak) have separate immigration policies and controls, and a unique residency status.Visas are required for travel between these two states or between either state and peninsular Malaysia. For some, the other areas of Malaysia are considered foreign countries under immigration laws.Nikon D200 Battery

Each state is further divided into districts, which are then divided into mukim. In Sabah and Sarawak districts are grouped into "Divisions".

The federal parliament is permitted to legislate on issues of land, the Islamic religion and local government, in order to provide for a uniform law between different states, Acer PA-1650-02 Adapter

or on the request of the state assembly concerned. The law in question must also be passed by the state assembly as well, except in the case of certain land law-related subjects. Non-Islamic issues that fall under the purview of the state may also be legislated at the federal level for the purpose of conforming with Malaysian treaty obligations.Sony CYBER-SHOT DSC-T10  Battery

Geography

Malaysia is the 43rd most populated country and the 66th largest country by total land area in the world, with a population of about 28 million and a land area of around 329,847 square kilometres (127,355 sq mi). It has land borders with Thailand in West Malaysia, and Indonesia and Brunei in East Malaysia.HP Compaq Business 6715b Battery

It is linked to Singapore by a narrow causeway, and also has maritime boundaries with Vietnam and the Philippines. The land borders are defined in large part by geological features such as the Perlis River, Golok River and the Pagalayan Canal, whilst some of the maritime boundaries are the subject of ongoing contention.Kodak KLIC-7004 Battery

Malaysia is the only country with territory on both the Asian mainland and the Malay archipelago,and Tanjung Piai, located in the southern state of Johor, is the southernmost tip of continental Asia.The Strait of Malacca, lying between Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia, is arguably the most important shipping lane in the world.Acer Aspire 5920G Adapter

The two parts of Malaysia, separated from each other by the South China Sea, share a largely similar landscape in that both West (Peninsula) and East Malaysia feature coastal plains rising to hills and mountains. Peninsular Malaysia, containing 40% of Malaysia's land area,Canon Digital IXUS 90 IS Battery

extends 740 kilometres (460 mi) from north to south, and its maximum width is 322 kilometres (200 mi). It is divided between its east and west coasts by the Titiwangsa Mountains, part of a series of mountain ranges running down the centre of the peninsula.HP 2133 Mini-Note PC Adapter

These mountains are heavily forested, and mainly composed of granite and other igneous rocks. Much of it has been eroded, creating a karst landscape. The range is the origin of some of Peninsular Malaysia's river systems.The coastal plains surrounding the peninsula reach a maximum width of 50 kilometres (31 mi), Toshiba PA3536U-1BRS Battery

and the peninsula's coastline is nearly 1,931 kilometres (1,200 mi) long, although harbours are only available on the western side.

East Malaysia, on the island of Borneo, has a coastline of 2,607 kilometres (1,620 mi).It is divided between coastal regions, hills and valleys, and a mountainous interior.HP Compaq Business NX6110 Battery

The Crocker Rangeextends northwards from Sarawak, dividing the state of Sabah. It is the location of Mount Kinabalu.[100] Mount Kinabalu, at 4,095.2 metres (13,436 ft), is the tallest mountain in Malaysia and is protected as Kinabalu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.HP Pavilion DV9000 Adapter

The highest mountain ranges form the border between Malaysia and Indonesia. Sarawak contains the Mulu Caves, the largest cave system in the world.

Around these two halves of Malaysia are numerous islands, the largest of which is Labuan.Dell Studio 1537 Battery

The local climate is equatorial and characterised by the annual southwest (April to October) and northeast (October to February) monsoons. The temperature is moderated by the presence of the surrounding oceans. Humidity is usually high, and the average rainfall is 250 centimetres (98 in).HP PPP009H Adapter

Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the largest city in Malaysia, as well as its main commercial and financial centre. Putrajaya is the seat of government, as many executive and judicial branches of the federal government were moved there to ease growing congestion within Kuala Lumpur.Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery

Flora and fauna

Malaysia is a megadiverse country with a high number of species and high levels of endemism.Its wildlife are some of the most diverse on earth,and it being a Megadiverse country,and the country includes some of the most biodiverse areas on the planet. It is estimated to contain 20% of the world's animal species.Dell PA-12 Adapter

There are about 210 mammal species in the country.High levels of endemism are found on the diverse forests of Borneo's mountains, as species are isolated from each other by lowland forest.Over 620 species of birds have been recorded just on the Peninsular.Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T7/B  Battery

Many are endemic to the mountains of the peninsular, and Bornean forests show high levels of endemism among bird species  with 38 species found nowhere else. 250 reptile species have been recorded, with about 150 species of snakes and 80 species of lizards.Dell LATITUDE M65 Battery

There are about 150 species of frogs, and thousands of insect species. Malaysia's Exclusive economic zone is 1.5 times larger than its land area, and some of its waters are in the Coral Triangle, a biodiversity hotspot.The waters around Sipadan island are the most biodiverse in the world. HP Compaq 6720s Adapter

Bordering East Malaysia, the Sulu Sea is a biodiversity hotspot, with around 600 coral species and 1200 fish species.

About two thirds of Malaysia is covered in forest  which is believed to be 130 million years old.It is composed of a variety of types, although they are mainly dipterocarp forests.Acer AS07B41 Battery

Lowland forest occurs below 760 metres (2,493 ft), and formerly East Malaysia was covered in such rainforest, which is supported by its hot wet climate. There are around 14,500 species of flowering plants and trees. Besides rainforests, there are over 1,425 square kilometres (550 sq mi) of mangroves in Malaysia, and a large amount of peat forest. Dell Vostro 1310 Battery

Coastal land of the peninsular is fringed by Mangroves. At higher altitudes, oaks, chestnuts, and rhododendrons replace dipterocarps. There are an estimated 8,500 species of vascular plants in Peninsular Malaysia, with another 15,000 in the East.Sony VGP-BPL13 Battery

The forests of East Malaysia are estimated to be the habitat of around 2,000 tree species, and are one of the most biodiverse areas in the world, with 240 different species of trees every hectare. These forests host many members of the Rafflesia genus, the largest flowers in the world, with a maximum diameter of 1 metre (3 ft).Sony VGP-BPS13 Battery

Logging, along with cultivation practices has devastated tree cover, causing severe environmental degradation in the country. Over 80% of Sarawak has been cleared. Floods in East Malaysia have been worsened by the loss of trees, and over 60% of the Peninsular's forest have been cleared.Sony VGP-BPS13/B Battery

With current rates of deforestation, the forests are predicted to be extinct by 2020. Deforestation is a major problem for fauna, as the forest is cut to make room for plantations. Most remaining forest is found inside national parks. Habitat destruction has proved a threat for marine life.Sony VGP-BPS13/S Battery

Illegal fishing is another major threat, with fishing methods such as dynamite fishing and poisoning depleting marine ecosystems. Leatherback Turtle numbers have dropped 98% since the 1950s.  Hunting has also been an issue for some animals, with overconsumption and the use of animal parts for profit endangering many animals, from marine life to Tigers.Sony VGP-BPS13A/B Battery

Marine life is also detrimentally affected by uncontrolled tourism. The Malaysian government aims to balance economic growth with environmental protection, but has been accused of favouring big business over the environment. Some state governments are now trying to counter the environmental impact and pollution created by deforestation;Sony VGP-BPS13A/S Battery

and the federal government is trying to cut logging by 10% per year. 28 national parks have been created, 23 on East Malaysia and 7 on the Peninsular. Tourism has been limited in biodiverse areas such as Sipadan Island. Animal trafficking is a large issue, and the Malaysian government is holding talks with the governments of Brunei and Indonesia to standardize anti-trafficking laws.Sony VGP-BPS13AS Battery

Economy

Malaysia is a relatively open state-oriented and newly industrialised market economy. The state plays a significant but declining role in guiding economic activity through macroeconomic plans. Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with GDP growing an average 6.5% from 1957 to 2005.Sony VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

In 2007, the economy of Malaysia was the 3rd largest economy in Southeast Asia and 29th largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity with gross domestic product for 2008 of $222 billion, with a growth rate of 5% to 7% since 2007.Sony VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery

In 2009 the GDP per capita (PPP) of Malaysia stood at US$14,900,the nominal GDP was US$383.6 billion, and the nominal per capita GDP was US$8,100.

In the 1970s, the predominantly mining and agricultural-based Malaysian economy began a transition towards a more multi-sector economy.Sony VGP-BPS13B/S Battery

Since the 1980s the industrial sector has led Malaysia's growth.  High levels of investment played a significant role in this. The Malaysian economy recovered from the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis sooner than neighbouring countries, and has since recovered to the levels of the pre-crisis era with a GDP per capita of $14,800.Sony VGP-BPS13Q Battery

Inequalities exist between different ethnic groups, with a major issue being that the Chinese minority accounts for 70% of the country's market capitalisation, even though it only makes up about one-third of it.

International trade, facilitated by the adjacent Strait of Malacca shipping route and manufacturing are both key sectors of the country's economy.Sony VGP-BPS13S Battery

Malaysia is an exporter of natural and agricultural resources, the most valuable exported resource being petroleum. At one time, it was the largest producer oftin , rubber and palm oil in the world. Manufacturing has a large influence in the country's economy, although Malaysia’s economic structure has been moving away from it.Sony VGP-BPL21 Battery

In an effort to diversify the economy and make Malaysia’s economy less dependent on exported goods, the government has pushed to increase tourism in Malaysia. As a result, tourism has become Malaysia’s third largest source of income from foreign exchange,Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery

although it is threatened by the negative effects of the growing industrial economy, with large amounts of air and water pollution along with deforestation affecting tourism.  The country has developed itself into a centre of Islamic banking, and is the country with the highest numbers of female workers in Islamic banking.Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery

Knowledge-based services are also expanding.

Science policies in Malaysia are regulated by the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation. The country is one of the world's largest exporters of semiconductor devices, electrical goods, and information and communication technology products.Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery

Malaysia is developing its own space programme and in 2006 Russia agreed to transport one Malaysian to the International Space Station as part of a multi-billion dollar purchase of 18 Russian Sukhoi Su-30MKM fighter jets by the Royal Malaysian Air Force.Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Battery

In an effort to create a self-reliant defensive ability and support national development, Malaysia privatised some of its military facilities in the 1970s. This has created a defence industry, which in 1999 was brought under the Malaysia Defence Industry Council. The government continues to try and promote this sector and its competitiveness, actively marketing the defence industry.Sony VGP-BPS21B Battery

Demographics

The population of Malaysia consists of many ethnic groups. Malays make up 50.4% of the population, while other bumiputra make up another 11%. According to constitutional definition, Malays areMuslims who practice Malay customs and culture. They play a dominant role politically.Sony VGP-BPL8 Battery

Bumiputra status is also accorded to certain non-Malay indigenous peoples, including ethnic Thais, Khmers,Chams and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak. Non-Malay bumiputra make up more than half of Sarawak's population and over two thirds of Sabah's population.Sony VGP-BPL8A Battery

There also exist aboriginal groups in much smaller numbers on the peninsula, where they are collectively known as Orang Asli. Laws over who gets Bumiputra status vary between states.

Other minorities who lack Bumiputra status make up a large amount of the population. 23.7% of the population are of Chinese descent, while those of Indian descent comprise 7.1% of the population.Sony VGP-BPL8B Battery

The Chinese have historically been dominant in the business and commerce community, and form the majority of the population of Penang. Indians began migrating to Malaysia in the early 19th century. The majority of the Indian community are Tamils.Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery

Many Europeans and Middle Easterners assimilated through inter-marriage into the Christian and Muslim communities respectively. Most Eurasian Malaysians trace their ancestry to British, Dutch or Portuguese colonists.

Citizenship is usually granted by lex soli.Sony VGP-BPS8A Battery

Citizenship in the states of Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo are distinct from citizenship in Peninsular Malaysia for immigration purposes. Every citizen is issued a biometric smart chip identity card known asMyKad at the age of 12, and must carry the card at all times.Sony VGP-BPS8B Battery

Life expectancy is 73.79 years, and is higher for females than for males. Only 5 percent of the population is over the age of 65, and about 29.6 percent are under 15.  The population distribution between the two halves of the country is highly uneven. It is concentrated on Peninsular Malaysia  where 20 million of approximately 28 million Malaysians live.HP Compaq Business 6910p Battery

70% of the population is urban. Due to the rise in labour intensive industries,the country is estimated to have over 3 million migrant workers, which is about 10% of the population. Sabah-based NGOs estimate that out of the 3 million that make up the population of Sabah, 2 million are illegal immigrants.Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ4S Battery

Malaysia hosts a population of refugees and asylum seekers numbering approximately 171,500. Of this population, approximately 79,000 are from Burma, 72,400 from the Philippines, and 17,700 from Indonesia. Malaysian officials are reported to have turned deportees directly over to human smugglers in 2007, Sony NP-FH100 Battery

and Malaysia employs RELA, a volunteer militia with a history of controversies, to enforce its immigration law.

Religion

The Malaysian constitution guarantees freedom of religion and makes Islam the state religion. According to the Population and Housing Census 2000 figures, approximately 60.4% of the population are practicing Islam. Toshiba Equium M50-192 Battery

19.2% Buddhism; 9.1% Christianity; 6.3% Hinduism; and 2.6% practiceConfucianism, Taoism and other traditional Chinese religions. The remainder was accounted for by other faiths, including animism, folk religion, andSikhism while 0.8% either reported having no religion or did not provide any information.Apple MacBook Pro Battery

All ethnic Malays are considered Muslim by Article 160 of the Constitution. Statistics from the 2000 Census indicate that 75.9% of the Chinese population identify as Buddhist, with significant numbers of adherents following Taoism (10.6%) and Christianity (9.6%), along with small Hui-Muslimpopulations in areas like Penang.Apple PowerBook G4 Battery

The majority of the Indian population follow Hinduism (84.5%), with a significant minority identifying as Christians (7.7%), Muslims (3.8%), over 150,000 Sikhs, and 1,000 Jains. Christianity is the predominant religion of the non-Malay Bumiputracommunity (50.1%) with an additional 36.3% identifying as Muslims and 7.3% follow folk religion.Acer BATBL50L6 Battery

Muslims are obliged to follow the decisions of Syariah courts in matters concerning their religion. The Islamic judges are expected to follow theShafi`i legal school of Islam, which is the main madh'hab of Malaysia. The jurisdiction of Shariah courts is limited only to Muslims in matters such as marriage, inheritance, divorce, apostasy,Canon EOS 450D Battery

religious conversion, and custody among others. No other criminal or civil offences are under the jurisdiction of the Shariah courts, which have a similar hierarchy to the Civil Courts. Despite being the supreme courts of the land, the Civil Courts (including the Federal Court) do not hear matters related to Islamic practices.Acer Travelmate 2400 Battery

Language

The official language of Malaysia is Bahasa Malaysia, a standardised form of the Malay language. Historically English was the de facto administrative language, with Malay becoming predominant after the 1969 race riots. English remains an active second language, and serves as the medium of instruction for maths and sciences in all public schools.Dell Inspiron 1525 Adapter

Malaysian English, also known as Malaysian Standard English (MySE), is a form of Englishderived from British English. Malaysian English sees wide use in business, along with Manglish, which is a colloquial form of English with heavy Malay,Chinese, and Tamil influences.Compaq Presario 2100 Adapter

The government discourages the misuse of Malay and has established fines for public signs that mix Malay and English.

Many other languages are used in Malaysia, which contains speakers of 137 living languages. Peninsular Malaysia contains speakers of 41 of these languages.Acer Aspire 1362 Battery

The native tribes of East Malaysia have their own languages which are related to, but easily distinguishable from, Malay. The Iban is the main tribal language in Sarawak while Dusunic languages are spoken by the natives inSabah. Chinese Malaysians predominately speak Chinese dialects from the southern provinces of China.Toshiba Equium M50-192 Battery

The more common dialects in the country are Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka,Hainanese, and Fuzhou. Tamil is used predominantly by Tamils, who form a majority of Malaysian Indians. Other south Asian languages are also widely spoken in Malaysia,Dell XPS M1330 Battery

a>as well as Thai  A small number of Malaysians have Caucasian ancestry and speak creole languages, such as the Portuguese based Malaccan Creoles, and the Spanish based Chavacano language.

Education

Education in Malaysia is monitored by the federal government Ministry of Education.Acer Travelmate 2200 Adapter

The education system features a non-compulsive kindergarteneducation, followed by six years of compulsory primary education, and five years of non-compulsive secondary education.  Schools in the primary education system are divided into two categories: national primary schools and vernacular schools.HP Compaq 6735b Adapter

Vernacular schools use either Chinese or Tamil as the medium of instruction, whereas national primary schools use Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction for all subjects except English, Science and Mathematics. Before progressing to the secondary level of education, pupils in Year Six are required to sit for the Primary School Achievement Test.Dell Vostro 1000 Battery

Secondary education is conducted in secondary schools for five years. National secondary schools also use Bahasa Malaysia as the language of instruction except in Mathematics, Science, and language classes. At the end of Form Three students are evaluated in the Lower Secondary Assessment, although this is set to be abolished by 2016.HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

In the final year of secondary education, students sit for the Malaysian Certificate of Education examination. The government has decided to abandon the use of English in teaching maths and science and revert to Bahasa Malaysia, starting in 2012. Asus f82 Battery

Before the introduction of the matriculation system, students aiming to enter public universities had to complete an additional 18 months of secondary schooling in Form Six and sit the Malaysian Higher School Certificate. Since the introduction of the matriculation programme as an alternative in 1999,Dell XPS M1330 Battery

students who completed the 12-month programme in matriculation colleges can enroll in local universities. However, in the matriculation system, only 10% of places are open to non-Bumiputra students.

Health care

The Malaysian government places importance on the expansion and development of public health care, HP Compaq Business 6910p Battery

with 5% of the government social sector development budget spent in this area. Since 2009, the Malaysian Health Ministry has increased its efforts to overhaul the system and attract more foreign investment. The government has also been trying to promote the country as a health care destination, regionally and internationally.Compaq PRESARIO R3000 Battery

The government implements a universal health care system, which co-exists with the private health care system. Infant mortality rate in 2009 was 6 deaths per 1000 births, and life expectancy at birth in 2009 was 75 years.The country's health care system requires doctors to perform a compulsory three years service with public hospitals to ensure that manpower in these hospitals are maintained.HP Compaq Business NX6110 Battery

A major problem with the health care sector is the lack of medical centres for rural areas, which the government is trying to counter through the development and expansion of a system called "tele-primary care". Another issue is the over-prescription of drugs, although this has decreased in recent years.Dell Latitude D610 Adapter

Culture

Malaysia is a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multilingual society. The original culture of the area stemmed from indigenous tribes that lived there, along with theMalays who later moved there. Substantial influence exists from Chinese and Indian culture, dating back to when foreign trade began in the area. Asus Eee PC 701 Adapter

Other cultures that heavily influenced the culture of Malaysia include Persian, Arabic, and British culture. Due to the political structure of the government, coupled with the social contract theory, there has been minimal cultural assimilation of ethnic minorities. HP Compaq Business NX6325 Battery

In 1971, the government created a "National Cultural Policy". This policy defined Malaysian culture, stating that it must be based on the culture of the indigenous peoples of Malaysia, it may incorporate suitable elements from other cultures, and that Islam must play a part in Malaysian culture.Dell Studio XPS 16 Battery

It also promoted the Malay language above others. This government intervention into culture has caused resentment among non-Malays who feel their cultural freedom was lessened. Both Chinese and Indian associations have submitted memorandums to the government, accusing it of formulating an undemocratic culture policy.Acer Aspire 5520 Battery

Some cultural disputes exist between Malaysia and neighbouring countries, notably Indonesia. The two countries share a similar cultural heritage, sharing many traditions and items. However, disputes have arisen over things ranging from culinary dishes to Malaysia's national anthem. Acer TravelMate 5720 Adapter

Strong feelings exist in Indonesia about protecting their national heritage.  The Malaysian government and the Indonesian government have met to defuse some of the tensions resulting from the overlaps in culture. Feelings are not as strong in Malaysia, where most recognise that many cultural values are shared.HP Compaq 6735s Adapter

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