WWF Malaysia The World Wide Fund For Nature in Malaysia.
|Background: Malaysia was created in 1963 through the merging of
Malaya (independent in 1957) and the former British Singapore, both of
which formed West Malaysia, and Sabah and Sarawak in north Borneo, which
composed East Malaysia. The first three years of independence were marred
by hostilities with Indonesia. Singapore separated from the union in 1965.
Government type: constitutional monarchy
note: Malaya (what is now Peninsular Malaysia) formed 31 August 1957; Federation of Malaysia (Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore) formed 9 July 1963 (Singapore left the federation on 9 August 1965); nominally headed by the paramount ruler and a bicameral Parliament consisting of a nonelected upper house and an elected lower house; Peninsular Malaysian states - hereditary rulers in all but Melaka, Penang, Sabah, and Sarawak, where governors are appointed by the Malaysian Government; powers of state governments are limited by the federal constitution; under terms of the federation, Sabah and Sarawak retain certain constitutional prerogatives (e.g., the right to maintain their own immigration controls); Sabah - holds 20 seats in House of Representatives, with foreign affairs, defense, internal security, and other powers delegated to federal government; Sarawak - holds 28 seats in House of Representatives, with foreign affairs, defense, internal security, and other powers delegated to federal government.
Capital: Kuala Lumpur
Currency: 1 ringgit (M$) = 100 sen
Geography of Malaysia
Location: Southeastern Asia, peninsula and northern one-third of the island of
Borneo, bordering Indonesia and the South China Sea, south of Vietnam
People of Malaysia
Malaysia's population of 22.2 million continues to grow at a rate of 2.4% per annum; about 33% of the population is under the age of 15. Malaysia's population comprises many ethnic groups, with the politically dominant Malays comprising a plurality. By constitutional definition, all Malays are Muslim. About a quarter of the population is Chinese who have historically played an important role in trade and business.
Malaysians of Indian descent comprise about 7% of the population and include Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and Christians. About 85% of the Indian community is Tamil.
Non-Malay indigenous groups make up more than half of the Borneo state of Sarawak's population and about 66% of the Borneo state of Sabah's population. They are divided into dozens of ethnic groups, but they share some general patterns of living and culture. Until the 20th century, most practiced traditional beliefs, but many have become Christian or Muslim. The "other" category includes Malaysians of, inter alia, European and Middle Eastern descent. Population distribution is uneven, with some 15 million residents concentrated in the lowlands of Peninsular Malaysia, an area slightly smaller than the State of Michigan.
Population: 23,953,136 (July 2005 est.)
SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State
Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Malaysia > Map Economy History