Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Geography, People, and Economy of Malaysia

Malaysia is divided into two geographical regions: Peninsular Malaysia which shares borders with Thailand and Singapore; and Malaysian Borneo, which shares the island of Borneo with Brunei and part of Indonesia.

Malaysia is divided into three political regions: West (Peninsular) Malaysia, Sarawak, and Sabah. The last two are on the island of Borneo.


Area: 329,748 sq. km. (127,315 sq. mi.); slightly larger than New Mexico.

Cities: Capital--Kuala Lumpur. Other cities--Penang, Ipoh, Malacca, Johor Baru, Shah Alam, Klang, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Baru, Kuala Terengganu, Miri, Petaling Jaya.

Terrain: Coastal plains and interior, jungle-covered mountains. The South China Sea separates peninsular Malaysia from East Malaysia on Borneo.

Climate: Tropical.


Nationality: Noun and adjective--Malaysian(s).

Population (2008): 27.5 million.Annual growth rate: 2.0%.

Ethnic groups: Malay 53.3%, Chinese 26.0%, indigenous 11.8%, Indian 7.7%, others 1.2%.

Religions: Islam (60.4%), Buddhism (19.2%), Christianity (9.1%), Hinduism (6.3%), other/none (5.0%).

Languages: Bahasa Melayu (official), Chinese (various dialects), English, Tamil, indigenous.

Education: Years compulsory--6. Attendance--90.1% (primary), 60.0% (secondary). Literacy--93.5%.

Health: Infant mortality rate (2007)--6.7/1,000. Life expectancy (2007)--female 76.4 yrs., male 71.9 yrs.

Work force (10.89 million, 2007): Services--57%; industry--28% (manufacturing--19%, mining and construction--9%); agriculture--15%.


(2007) Nominal GDP: $154.3 billion.

Annual real GDP growth rate: 5.9% (2006); 6.3% (2007).

Per capita (GDP) income: $5,610.

Natural resources: petroleum, liquefied natural gas (LNG), tin, minerals.

Agricultural products: palm oil, rubber, timber, cocoa, rice, tropical fruit, fish, coconut.

Industry: Types--electronics, electrical products, chemicals, food and beverages, metal and machine products, apparel.Trade:

Merchandise exports--$185.0 billion: electronic products, manufactured goods, petroleum, palm oil, liquid natural gas, apparel, timber, rubber.

Major markets--U.S. 15.6%, Singapore 14.6%, Japan 9.1%, China 8.8%.

Merchandise imports--$154.0 billion: electronic products, machinery, chemicals, manufactured goods, petroleum products.

Major suppliers--Japan 13.0%, China 12.9%, Singapore 11.5%, U.S. 10.8%.

For more information from the US State Department: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2777.htm
-Teacher Karl

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