Malaysia

Flag of Malaysia

Capital - Kuala Lumpur
Area - 329,758 sq km
Population - 27,014,000
Time zone - GMT +08:00
Currency - Ringgit Malaysia (RM)
Life expectancy – 74 years

Trade

Exports include electronic equipment, petroleum and liquefied natural gas, wood and wood products, palm oil, rubber, textiles and chemicals.

Imports include electronics, machinery, petroleum products, plastics, vehicles, iron and steel products and chemicals.

GDP per capita (PPP) – $16200 (in 2011)

Cultural aspects/religion

Religion - 55% Muslim, 17% Buddhist, 12% Taoist, 7% Christian, 7% Hindu, 2% Other.

Languages - Bahasa Malaysia (Malay) is the national language. Other languages include Chinese, Tamil and Iban. English is widely used.

Biosphere

Terrain - coastal plains rising to hills and mountains.

Mountains - The highest point is Gunung Kinabalu at 4100m.

Ecology/Wildlife - The majority of the country is covered in rainforest, which hosts a huge diversity of plant and animal species. There are approximately 210 mammal species, 620 bird species, 250 reptile species, and 150 frog species found in Malaysia. Its large marine territory also holds a great diversity of life, with the country's coastal waters comprising part of the Coral Triangle.

Natural resources - Tin, petroleum, timber, copper, iron ore, natural gas and bauxite.

Natural hazards - Flooding, landslides and forest fires.

Famous personalities

Jimmy Choo (fashion designer) is from Malaysia. 

Sport

Main sports – Football, badminton and hockey.

Key historic events

In 1948, the British-ruled territories on the Malay Peninsula (except Singapore) formed the Federation of Malaya, which became independent in 1957. Malaysia was formed in 1963 when the former British colonies of Singapore as well as Sabah and Sarawak on the northern coast of Borneo joined the Federation.

Connections with Britain

During the late 18th and 19th centuries, Great Britain established colonies and protectorates in the area of current Malaysia.

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