General Introduction

Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy consisting of thirteen states and three federal territories and has a total landmass of 330,803 square kilometers separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia (Malaysian Borneo). 11 of its 13 states are in Peninsular Malaysia, bordering Thailand and Singapore. Sabah and Sarawak, as well as the federal territory of Labuan, form East Malaysia on the north of the island of Borneo, bordering Indonesia and Brunei.


Country Name:                   


Capital City:

Kuala Lumpur; Putrajaya (Administrative Capital)




Malay 50.1%, Chinese 22.6%, indigenous 11.8%, Indian 6.7%, other 0.7%, non-citizens 8.2%


Bahasa Malaysia is the national language. English is widely used. Other languages include Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, and Foochow), Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Punjabi, Thai. There are several indigenous languages spoken in East Malaysia, including Iban and Kadazan.


Muslim (official) 61.3%, Buddhist 19.8%, Christian 9.2%, Hindu 6.3%, Confucianism, Taoism, other traditional Chinese religions 1.3%, other 0.4%, none 0.8%, unspecified 1%


Ringgit (MYR)

Major Political Parties:

Malaysian political parties are distinguished more by their differing racial compositions than by their competing political philosophies. The government has been dominated since independence by the Barisan Nasional (BN), a coalition of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), and a series of smaller parties (mainly from the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, reflecting their complex and ethnically mixed populations).

The main opposition parties are the Democratic Action Party (DAP), the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), and the People’s Justice Party (PKR - Parti Keadilan Rakyat).


Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy. The king (Yang di-Pertuan Agong) is drawn on a rotating five-year basis from the sultans and hereditary rulers of the states of the Malay Peninsula.

Head of State (Agong):

Ke Bawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Al-Sultan Almu'tasimu Billahi Muhibbuddin Tuanku Alhaj Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah

Prime Minister:

Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak

Legal System

Mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law, and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Federal Court at request of supreme head of the federation.



Malaysia is a rapidly developing country which has worked since the 1970s to transform itself from a producer of raw materials into an emerging multi-sector economy. Malaysia is attempting to achieve high-income status by 2020 and to improve its position in the global economy by attracting investments in Islamic finance, high technology industries, biotechnology, and services.



US$313.5 billion

Annual per Capita GDP:


Annual Growth:




GDP - Composition By Sector

agriculture: 8.9%

industry: 35%

services: 56.1%

Agriculture - Products


Peninsular Malaysia – rubber, palm oil, cocoa, rice

Sabah – palm oil, subsistence crops, rubber, timber

Sarawak – palm oil, rubber, timber, pepper



Peninsular Malaysia – rubber and oil palm processing and manufacturing, light manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, medical technology, electronics, tin mining and smelting, logging, timber processing

Sabah – logging, petroleum production

Sarawak - agriculture processing, petroleum production and refining, logging

Exports - Commodities

Semiconductors and electronic equipment, palm oil, petroleum and liquefied natural gas, wood and wood products, palm oil, rubber, textiles, chemicals, solar panels

Imports – Commodities

Electronics, machinery, petroleum products, plastics, vehicles, iron and steel products, chemicals

Major Trading Partners

Singapore, China, Japan, USA, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia

Exchange Rates


ringgits (MYR) per US dollar -

3.902 (2015 est.)