"Malaysia - Land of Flowers" Malaysia by bwk_michael
Malaysia Travel Guide: 27,837 reviews and 69,537 photos
Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia consisting of thirteen states and three Federal Territories, with a total landmass of 329,845 square kilometres (127,354 sq mi). The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. The population stands at over 28 million. The country is separated by the South China Sea into two regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo (also known as East Malaysia). Malaysia borders Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, and Brunei. It is near the equator and has a tropical climate. Malaysia's head of state is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, an elected monarch, and the head of government is the Prime Minister. The government is closely modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system.
Malaysia as a unified state did not exist until 1963. Previously, the United Kingdom had established influence in colonies in the territory from the late 18th century. The western half of modern Malaysia was composed of several separate kingdoms. This group of colonies was known as British Malaya until its dissolution in 1946, when it was reorganized as the Malayan Union. Due to widespread opposition, it was reorganized again as the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and later gained independence on 31 August 1957. Singapore, Sarawak, British North Borneo, and the Federation of Malaya merged to form Malaysia on 16 September 1963. Tensions in the early years of the new union sparked an armed conflict with Indonesia, and the expulsion of Singapore on 9 August 1965.
During the late 20th century, Malaysia experienced an economic boom and underwent rapid development. It borders the Strait of Malacca, an important international shipping crossroad, and international trade is integral to its economy. Manufacturing makes up a major sector of the country's economy.Malaysia has a biodiverse range of flora and fauna, and is also considered one of the 17 megadiverse countries.
The name Malaysia was adopted in 1963 when the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo and Sarawak formed a 14-state federation.However the name itself had been vaguely used to refer to areas in Southeast Asia prior to that. A map published in 1914 in Chicago has the word Malaysia printed on it referring to certain territories within the 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, after the historic kingdom located at the upper section of the Malay Peninsula in the first millennium of the common era.
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 Indonesia as Melayunesia or Indunesia. He favoured the former.
There are several theories regarding the origin of the word Melayu or Malay. The most commonly accepted holds that it is a combination of two Tamil/Sanskrit words,Malai (hill) and Ur (town), meaning hilltown. The name came into use when Indian travelers and traders began to identify the geographic area in and around present-day Malaysia.This word is said to be the origin of the Melayu Kingdom, a classical kingdom that existed between the 7th and the 13th century and was established around present-day Dharmasraya on Sumatera. It was founded by society in Batanghari river and the gold trader from Minangkabau hinterland. Hence, the Latin/Greek suffix -óßá -sia, makes the name Malaysia, literally meaning Land of the Malay people.The continental part of the country bore the name Malaya (without the "-si-") until 1963, when it federated with the territories of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore on the northern part of the island of Borneo. Singapore was expelled in 1965. The name change indicated the change of the country's boundaries beyond Malay Peninsula. Malaysian refers to Malaysians of all races, while Malay refers to the native Malay people, who are about half the population.
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 over 320,000 km2 respectively. It is comparable in population to Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, and is roughly similar in size to Norway and Vietnam, along with the U.S. state of New Mexico.
The two distinct parts of Malaysia, separated from each other by the South China Sea, share a largely similar landscape in that both West and East Malaysia feature coastal plains rising to often densely forested hills and mountains, the highest of which is Mount Kinabalu at 4,095.2 metres (13,436 ft) on the island of Borneo. The local climate is equatorial and characterised by the annual southwest (April to October) and northeast (October to February) monsoons.
Kota Kinabalu, capital of East Malaysian state of Sabah is located 1,600 kilometres (990 mi) east across the South China Sea from Kuala Lumpur.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.
Kuala Lumpur is the official capital and largest city of Malaysia. Putrajaya is the federal administrative capital. Although many executive and judicial branches of the federal government have moved there (to ease growing congestion within Kuala Lumpur), Kuala Lumpur is still recognised as the legislative capital of Malaysia since it houses the seat of the Parliament of Malaysia. It is also the main commercial and financial centre of the country.
Other major cities include George Town, Ipoh, Johor Bahru, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Miri, Alor Star, Malacca Town, Kuala Terengganu, Kota Bharu, Kuantan and Petaling Jaya.
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