Malaysia

Languages: Bahasa Melayu (Malay, official), English, Chinese dialects (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow), Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Panjabi, Thai; several indigenous languages (including Iban, Kadazan) in East Malaysia
Ethnicity: Malay 50.4%, Chinese 23.7%, Indigenous 11%, Indian 7.1%, others 7.8% (2004 est.)
Religions: Muslim, Buddhist, Daoist, Hindu, Christian, Sikh; Shamanism (East Malaysia)
National Holiday: Independence Day/Malaysia Day, August 31
Literacy rate: 89% (2003 est.)
Head of State: Almu'tasimu Billahi Muhibbuddin Tuanku Alhaj Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah (2011)
Prime Minister: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (2009)
Capital and largest city: Kuala Lumpur
Currency: Ringgit
Economic summary

GDP/PPP (2009 est.): $381.1 billion; per capita $14,800. Real growth rate: –2.2%. Inflation: 0.4%. Unemployment: 5%. Arable land: 5%. Agriculture: Peninsular Malaysia—rubber, palm oil, cocoa, rice; Sabah—subsistence crops, rubber, timber, coconuts, rice; Sarawak—rubber, pepper, timber. Labor force: 10.67 million; agriculture 14.5%, industry 36%, services 49.5% (2000 est.). Industries: Peninsular Malaysia—rubber and oil-palm processing and manufacturing, light manufacturing industry, electronics, tin mining and smelting, logging, timber processing; Sabah—logging, petroleum production; Sarawak—agriculture processing, petroleum production and refining, logging. Natural resources: tin, petroleum, timber, copper, iron ore, natural gas, bauxite. Exports: $156.4 billion (2009 est.): electronic equipment, petroleum and liquefied natural gas, wood and wood products, palm oil, rubber, textiles, chemicals. Imports: $119.5 billion (2009 est.): electronics, machinery, petroleum products, plastics, vehicles, iron and steel products, chemicals. Major trading partners: U.S., Singapore, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany, Indonesia (2004).

Communications

Telephones: main lines in use: 4.6 million (2000); mobile cellular: 5 million (2000). Radio broadcast stations: AM 35, FM 391, shortwave 15 (2001). Radios: 10.9 million (1999). Television broadcast stations: 1 (plus 15 high-power repeaters) (2001). Televisions: 10.8 million (1999). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 7 (2000). Internet users: 5.7 million (2002).

Transportation

Railways: total: 2,418 km (2002). Highways: total: 65,877 km; paved: 49,935 km (including 1,192 km of expressways); unpaved: 15,942 km (1999). Waterways: 7,296 km (Peninsular Malaysia 3,209 km, Sabah 1,569 km, Sarawak 2,518 km). Ports and harbors: Bintulu, Kota Kinabalu, Kuantan, Kuching, Kudat, Labuan, Lahad Datu, Lumut, Miri, Pasir Gudang, Penang, Port Dickson, Port Kelang, Sandakan, Sibu, Tanjung Berhala, Tanjung Kidurong, Tawau. Airports: 114 (2002).

Geography

Malaysia is on the Malay Peninsula in southeast Asia. The nation also includes Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo to the east. Its area slightly exceeds that of New Mexico.
Most of Malaysia is covered by forest, with a mountain range running the length of the peninsula. Extensive forests provide ebony, sandalwood, teak, and other wood.

Government

Constitutional monarchy.