Malaysia, formerly known as Malaya, is like two countries in one, separated by the South China Sea. There is the Malaysian Peninsula located between Thailand in the North and Singapore in the South and two provinces of Sabah and Sarawak on the Island of Borneo with its wild jungle, orang-utans, granite peaks and remote tribes. There is a third territory the Island of Labuan. Malaysia is a beautiful country with lots of highlights. There are many different regions each with their unique characteristics and features. Its people are very friendly and hospitable, “Selemat Dateng”, welcome to Malaysia.
In 1948 the British ruled territories of the Malay Peninsula formed the Federation of Malaya which became independent in 1957. Malaysia was formed when the former British colonies of Singapore and the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak on the Northern coast of Borneo joined the federation. Due to political differences Singapore withdrew from the federation in 1965. Because of the British influence the system of government adopted by Malaysia is similar to that of the UK. The Prime Minister is the elected head of government. This is currently Mahathir Bin Mohamad since 2018.
Malaysia is home to a multicultural society which has attracted business and tourists alike. It is renown for its high levels of service and hospitality not to mention wonderful cuisine. The country is a melting pot of nationalities, cultures and religions with a population made up of Malays, Chinese, Indians and several other ethnic groups and is home to hundreds of colourful festivals.
It has so much to offer from natural wonders including 130 million years old rainforests, the biggest cave chamber, the largest flower, picture perfect beaches to the smallest elephant.
At a Glance Facts
- Population 32,042,458 (2018)
- Languages Bahasa Malaysian, English
- International Dialling code 60
- Time 8 hours ahead of GMT