Capital Kuala Lumpur
Largest City Kuala Lumpur
Land Area 127,355 mi2
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Listing in Malaysia
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Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia. It consists of thirteen states and three federal territories and has a total landmass of 127,355 square miles. It is separated by the South China Sea into two regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo (also known as West and East Malaysia respectively). Land borders are shared with Thailand, Indonesia, and Brunei, and maritime borders exist with Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Peninsular Malaysia is connected to Singapore via two bridges, one which transports water and one just for traffic. 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. 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. Malaya united with Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore to form Malaysia on 16 September 1963. However, less than two years later in 1965, Singapore withdrew 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. The economy has traditionally been fueled 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. The head of government is the Prime Minister. The government system is closely modeled 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.
Malaysia contains the southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, and is located near the equator and has a tropical climate. It has a biodiverse 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, and a member of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Non-Aligned Movement.
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