Background Note: Malaysia Women walk past a shop selling traditional Malaysian kites, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, February 5, 2007. 
- Background Note: Malaysia Women walk past a shop selling traditional Malaysian kites, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, February 5, 2007.(More...)
- Malaysia is one of the most pleasant, hassle-free countries to visit in southeast Asia.(More...)
- Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia We made our way via bus for the 3 1/2 highway drive.(More...)
Small bands of guerrillas remained in bases along the rugged border with southern Thailand, occasionally entering northern Malaysia. These guerrillas finally signed a peace accord with the Malaysian Government in December 1989.
Peninsular Malaysia and the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak each have a high court.
All Malaysians are Federal citizens with no formal citizenships within the individual states, except for the states of Sabah and Sarawak and the federal territory of Labuan in East Malaysia, where state citizenship is a privilege and distinguishable from the Peninsula.
All ethnic Malays are Muslim as defined in the Malaysian constitution. All non-Muslims who marry a Muslim must renounce their religion and convert to Islam. Non-Muslims experience restrictions in activities such as construction of religious buildings and the celebration of certain religious events in some states. Muslims are obliged to follow the decisions of Sharia courts when it comes to matters concerning their religion.
Kuala Lumpur was the capital of the Federated Malay States and is the current Malaysian capital.
As of December 2005, however, expectations of further appreciation were muted as capital flight exceeded USD 10 billion. In September 2005, Sir Howard J. Davies, director of the London School of Economics, at a meeting in Kuala Lumpur, cautioned Malaysian officials that if they want a flexible capital market, they will have to lift the ban on short-selling put into effect during the crisis.
Bank Negara imposed capital controls and pegged the Malaysian ringgit at 3.80 to the U.S. dollar.
Malaysians observe a number of holidays and festivities throughout the year.
With Japanese investment, heavy industries flourished and in a matter of years, Malaysian exports became the country's primary growth engine.
Malaysian traditional music is heavily influenced by Chinese and Islamic forms.
Chinese have historically been dominant in the Malaysian business community.
Instead of relying on the local Malays as a source of labour, the British brought in Chinese and Indians to work on the mines and plantations. Although many of them returned to their respective home countries after their agreed tenure ended, some remained in Malaysia and settled permanently.
The most celebrated holiday is the " Hari Merdeka " (Independence Day) on August 31 commemorating the independence of the Federation of Malaya in 1957, while Malaysia Day is only celebrated in the state of Sabah on September 16 to commemorate the formation of Malaysia in 1963.
In 1963, Malaya along with the then-British crown colonies of Sabah (British North Borneo), Sarawak and Singapore, formed Malaysia. The Sultanate of Brunei, though initially expressing interest in joining the Federation, withdrew from the planned merger due to opposition from certain segments of its population as well as arguments over the payment of oil royalties and the status of the Sultan in the planned merger.
Singapore, Sarawak, British North Borneo and the Federation of Malaya joined to form Malaysia on September 16, 1963.
The name "Malaysia" was adopted in 1963 when the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo and Sarawak formed a 14-state federation.
Previously, a set of colonies were established by the United Kingdom from the late eighteenth century, and 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 Federation of Malaya and later recognized as an independent nation in 1957.
There are also 60 Chinese Independent High Schools in Malaysia, where most subjects are taught in Chinese. Chinese Independent High Schools are monitored and standardised by the United Chinese School Committees' Association of Malaysia (UCSCAM, more commonly referred to by its Chinese name, Dong Zong ""), however, unlike government schools, every independent school is free to make its own decisions.
Chinese in Malaysia speak a variety of Chinese dialects including Mandarin Chinese, Hokkien, Cantonese, Hakka and Teochew. A large majority of Chinese in Malaysia, especially those from larger cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and Penang speak English as well. There has also been an increasing number of the present generation Chinese who consider English as their first language.
Malaysia is the home of the first low-cost carrier in the region, AirAsia. It has Kuala Lumpur as its hub and maintains flights to Southeast Asia and China as well.
Putrajaya is the newly created administrative capital for the federal government of Malaysia, aimed in part to ease growing congestion within Malaysia's capital city, Kuala Lumpur.
The government tried to eradicate poverty with the controversial New Economic Policy (NEP), after the May 13 Incident of racial rioting in 1969. Its main objective was the elimination of the association of race with economic function, and the first five-year plan to begin implementing the NEP was the Second Malaysia Plan.
Regardless of cause/effect claims, rejuvenation of the economy also coincided with massive government spending and budget deficits in the years that followed the crisis. Later, Malaysia enjoyed faster economic recovery compared to its neighbours.
Malaysia has since maintained a delicate ethno-political balance, with a system of government that has attempted to combine overall economic development with political and economic policies that promote equitable participation of all races.
In addition to traditional Chinese festivals, Buddhists Chinese also celebrate Vesak. The majority of Indians in Malaysia are Hindus and they celebrate Diwali, the festival of light, while Thaipusam is a celebration which pilgrims from all over the country flock to Batu Caves.
The Chinese population in Malaysia is mostly Buddhist (of Mahayana sect) or Taoist.
Chinese in Malaysia typically celebrate festivals that are observed by Chinese around the world.
The Malay language is the official language, the original script was Jawi and it was based on Arabic script. Malaysia is the founding member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations and participates in many international organizations such as the United Nations.
Administratively, Malaysia consists of 13 states (in Malay, Negeri) and 3 federal territories.
The federal head of state of Malaysia is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, commonly referred to as the King of Malaysia.
Malaysia (pronounced /m"'le""/ or /m"'le"zi"/ ) is a country that consists of thirteen states and three federal territories in Southeast Asia with a total landmass of 329,847 km".
Education in Malaysia is monitored by the federal government Ministry of Education.
The government estimates that at current production rates Malaysia will be able to produce oil up to 18 years and gas for 35 years.
Private hospitals have not generally been seen as an ideal investment"it has often taken up to ten years before companies have seen any profits. The situation has now changed and companies are now looking into this area again, particularly in view of the increasing interest by foreigners in coming to Malaysia for medical care and the recent government focus to develop the health tourism industry.
The early years of independence were marred by conflict with Indonesia ( Konfrontasi ) over the formation of Malaysia, Singapore's eventual exit in 1965, and racial strife in the form of racial riots in 1969. The Philippines also made an active claim on Sabah in that period based upon the Sultanate of Brunei's cession of its north-east territories to the Sulu Sultanate in 1704.
Since independence in 1957, Malaysia has been governed by a multi-party coalition known as the Barisan Nasional (formerly known as the Alliance).
In the late 1990s, Malaysia was shaken by the Asian financial crisis as well as political unrest caused by the sacking of the deputy prime minister Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim. In 2003, Dr Mahathir, Malaysia's longest serving prime minister, retired in favour of his deputy, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
In 1970s, Malaysia began to imitate Asian Tigers and committed itself to a transition from being reliant on mining and agriculture to an economy that depends more on manufacturing.
Train service in West Malaysia is operated by the Keretapi Tanah Melayu (Malayan Railways) and has extensive railroads that connect all major cities and towns on the peninsular, including Singapore.
In December 2004, Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik reported that only 0.85% or 218,004 people in Malaysia used broadband services. However these values are based on subscriber number, whilst household percentage can reflect the situation more accurately. This represented an increase from 0.45% in three quarters. He also stated that the government targeted usage of 5% by 2006 and doubling to 10% by 2008.
The system of government in Malaysia is closely modeled on that of Westminster parliamentary system, a legacy of British colonial rule.
Currently, private Malaysia Hospitals are looking at international healthcare accreditation, which may be Australian, British or American sourced.
Malaysia refused economic aid packages from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, however, surprising many analysts.
A branch campus can be seen as an "off-shore campus" of the foreign university, which offers the same courses and awards as the main campus. Both local and international students can acquire these identical foreign qualifications in Malaysia for a cheaper price.
The foreign university branch campuses in Malaysia are: Monash University Malaysia Campus, Curtin University of Technology Sarawak Campus, Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus and University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus.
Due to the rise in labour intensive industries, Malaysia has 10 to 20% foreign workers with the uncertainty due in part to the large number of illegal workers, mostly Indonesian.
A small number of Cambodians and Vietnamese also settled in Malaysia as Vietnam War refugees.
One of the largest and most significant telecommunication companies in Malaysia is Telekom Malaysia (TM), providing products and services from fixed line, mobile as well as dial-up and broadband Internet access service. It has the near-monopoly of fixed line phone service in the country.
Many middle to upper-middle class Indians in Malaysia also speak English as a first language.
The Indians in Malaysia are mainly Hindu Tamils from southern India who native language is Tamil, there are also other Indian communities which is Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi -speaking, living mainly in the larger towns on the west coast of the peninsula.
The Malays, who form the largest community, are defined as Muslims in the Constitution of Malaysia.
Upon the establishment of Malaysia, the plans were re-titled and renumbered, beginning with the First Malaysia Plan in 1965.
In addition to the National Curriculum, Malaysia has many international schools.
In terms of agriculture, Malaysia is one of the top exporters of natural rubber and palm oil, which together with sawn logs and sawn timber, cocoa, pepper, pineapple and tobacco dominate the growth of the sector.
As of January 1, 2007, Petronas reported that oil and gas reserve in Malaysia amounted to 20.18 billion barrels equivalent.
Europeans and Eurasians include British who settled in Malaysia since colonial times, and a strong Portuguese community in Malacca.
Malaysia is headed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and politically led by a Prime Minister.
Malaysia borders Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines.
The word Malaysia is visible on a 1914 map published in Chicago, United States.
Malaysia was once the world's largest producer of tin until the collapse of the tin market in the early 1980s.
Malaysia is well-endowed with natural resources in areas such as agriculture, forestry and minerals.
Population distribution is uneven, with some 20 million residents concentrated on the Malay Peninsula, while East Malaysia is relatively less populated.
Malaysia's population comprises many ethnic groups, with the Malays and other bumiputra groups in Sabah and Sarawak making up the majority, at 65% of the population.
A number of independent schools conduct classes in Malay and English in addition to Chinese, enabling the students to sit for the PMR and SPM as well. Malaysia's secondary schools are grouped into a few types, namely national schools which include daily schools and religious schools, Chinese independent schools, technical schools, residential schools, Mara Junior Science College and private-funding schools such as religious schools, international schools and private schools.
Over time, Malaya became the world's largest major producer of tin, rubber, and palm oil. These three commodities, along with other raw materials, firmly set Malaysia's economic tempo well into the mid-20th century.
In March 2005, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) published a paper on the sources and pace of Malaysia's recovery, written by Jomo K.S. of the applied economics department, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur.
Cash-rich PLCs and consortia of banks eager to benefit from increased and rapid development began large infrastructure projects. This all ended when the Asian Financial Crisis hit in the fall of 1997, delivering a massive shock to Malaysia's economy.
The paper concluded that the controls imposed by Malaysia's government neither hurt nor helped recovery.
In 2004, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Mustapa Mohamed, revealed that Malaysia's oil reserves stood at 4.84 billion barrels while natural gas reserves increased to 89 trillion cubic feet (2,500km"). This was an increase of 7.2%.
In 2004, Malaysia is ranked 24th in terms of world oil reserves and 13th for gas. 56% of the oil reserves exist in the Peninsula while 19% exist in East Malaysia.
Roads in the East Malaysia and the eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia are still relatively undeveloped. Those are highly curved roads passing through mountainous regions and many are still unsealed, gravel roads. This has resulted in the continued use of rivers and the necessary use of airplanes as the main or alternative mode of transportation for the interior residents.
Malaysia has extensive roads that connect all major cities and towns on the western coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Archaeological remains have been found throughout Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.
The major expressway, the North-South Expressway spans from the northern and the southern tips of Peninsular Malaysia at Bukit Kayu Hitam and Johor Bahru respectively. It is a part of the Asian Highway Network, which also connects into Thailand and Singapore.
The intercity telecommunication service is provided on Peninsular Malaysia mainly by microwave radio relay.
The 140,000 Orang Asli, or aboriginal peoples, comprise a number of different ethnic communities living in Peninsular Malaysia.
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 (13,435.7 ft ) on the island of Borneo.
There are daily flight services between West and East Malaysia, which is the only convenient option for passengers travelling between the two parts of the country.
The majority of the Indian community are Tamils but various other groups are also present, including Malayalis, Punjabis and Gujaratis. Other Malaysians also include those whose origin, inter alia, can be traced to the Middle East, Thailand and Indonesia.
Malaysian society places importance on the expansion and development of health care, putting 5% of the government social sector development budget into public health care"an increase of more than 47% over the previous figure. This has meant an overall increase of more than RM 2 billion.
Malaysian students abroad study mostly in the UK, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, and Japan.
As of 2006, the total length of the Malaysian expressway network is 1471.6 kilometres (914.4 miles ). The network connects all major cities and conurbations such as Klang Valley, Johor Bahru and Penang to each other.
Until the twentieth century, most practiced traditional beliefs, which arguably still linger on to a greater degree than Malaysian officialdom is prepared to acknowledge.
The Malaysian government Ministry of Finance building in Putrajaya. In the 17th century, they were found in several Malay states.
In the 19th and 20th century, tin played a predominant role in the Malaysian economy. It was only in 1972 that petroleum and natural gas took over from tin as the mainstay of the mineral extraction sector.
Petroleum and natural gas discoveries in oil fields off Sabah, Sarawak and Terengganu have contributed much to the Malaysian economy. Other minerals of some importance or significance include copper, bauxite, iron-ore and coal together with industrial minerals like clay, kaolin, silica, limestone, barite, phosphates and dimension stones such as granite as well as marble blocks and slabs.
The remaining 7 million live on the Malaysian portion of the island of Borneo in the large but less densely-populated states of Sabah and Sarawak.
Kings are elected for 5-year terms from among the nine sultans of the peninsular Malaysian states.
Malaysians of Indian descent comprise about 7% of the population and include Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and Christians.
Executive power is vested in the cabinet led by the prime minister; the Malaysian constitution stipulates that the prime minister must be a member of the lower house of parliament who, in the opinion of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, commands a majority in parliament. The cabinet is chosen from among members of both houses of parliament and is responsible to that body.
GOVERNMENT Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy, nominally headed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, customarily referred to as the king.
The government declared a state of emergency and suspended all parliamentary activities. In the years that followed, Malaysia undertook several initiatives that became integral parts of its socioeconomic model.
Neighboring Indonesia objected to the formation of Malaysia and began a program of economic, political, diplomatic, and military "confrontation" against the new country in 1963, which ended only after the fall of Indonesia's President Sukarno in 1966. Internally, local communists, nearly all Chinese, carried out a long, bitter insurgency both before and after independence, prompting the imposition of a state of emergency from 1948 to 1960.
Malaysia maintains an embassy embassy
in the U.S. at 3516 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008, tel. (202) 572-9700; a Consulate General at 550 South Hope Street, Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA 90071, tel. (213) 892-1238; and a Consulate General at 313 East 43rd Street, New York City, NY 10017, tel. (212) 490-2722/23.
Malaysia is a frequent contributor to UN and other peacekeeping missions, including recent deployments to East Timor, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, and Lebanon.
In 1963 the British colonies of Singapore, Sarawak, and Sabah joined the Federation, which was renamed Malaysia.
The territories of peninsular Malaysia joined together to form the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and eventually negotiated independence from the British in 1957.
Independence: August 31, 1957. (Malaya, which is now peninsular Malaysia, became independent in 1957.
Malaysia is an active member of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and the United Nations. It is the current chair of the OIC and has also chaired the NAM. Malaysia hosted the APEC Leaders' Meeting in 1998.
Political parties: Barisan Nasional (National Front)--a coalition comprising the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and 13 other parties, most of which are ethnically based; Democratic Action Party (DAP); Parti Islam se Malaysia (PAS); Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).
High levels of foreign and domestic investment played a significant role as the economy diversified and modernized. Once heavily dependent on primary products such as rubber and tin, Malaysia today is a middle-income country with a multi-sector economy based on services and manufacturing.
Malaysia's GDP contracted by more than 7% in 1998. Malaysia narrowly avoided a return to recession in 2001 when its economy was negatively impacted by the bursting of the dot-com bubble (which hurt the ICT sector) and slow growth or recession in many of its important export markets. In July 2005, the government removed the 7-year old peg linking the ringgit's value to the U.S. dollar at an exchange rate of RM 3.8/U.S.$1.0.
The United States is Malaysia's largest trading partner and Malaysia is the tenth-largest trading partner of the U.S. Annual two-way trade amounts to $49 billion.
The United States and Malaysia launched negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) in June 2006.
U.S.-MALAYSIAN RELATIONS The United States and Malaysia share a diverse and expanding partnership.
The U.S. Embassy U.S. Embassy
in Malaysia is located at 376 Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur (tel. 60-3-2168-5000, fax 60-3-2142-2207).
Malaysia hosts the Southeast Asia Regional Center for Counterterrorism (SEARCCT), where over 1,100 officials from multiple countries have received training.
Malaysia is one of the world's largest exporters of semiconductor devices, electrical goods, and information and communication technology (ICT) products.
FOREIGN RELATIONS Regional cooperation is a cornerstone of Malaysia's foreign policy. It was a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and served as the group's chair most recently in 2005-2006. It hosted the ASEAN Summit and East Asia Summit in December 2005, as well as the ASEAN Ministerial and the ASEAN Regional Forum in July 2006.
Malaysia's New Economic Policy (NEP), first established in 1971, sought to eradicate poverty and to enhance the economic standing of ethnic Malays and other indigenous peoples (collectively known as "bumiputeras").
POLITICAL CONDITIONS Malaysia's predominant political party, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), has held power in coalition with other parties since independence in 1957.
ECONOMY Since it became independent, Malaysia's economic record has been one of Asia's best.
Population density is highest in peninsular Malaysia, home to some 20 million of the country's 27 million inhabitants.
The South China Sea separates peninsular Malaysia from East Malaysia on Borneo.
The Malaysian economy went into sharp recession in 1997-1998 during the Asian financial crisis, which affected countries throughout the region, including South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Malaysia is one of the most pleasant, hassle-free countries to visit in southeast Asia.
It's buoyant and wealthy, and has moved towards a pluralist culture based on a vibrant and interesting fusion of Malay, Chinese, Indian and indigenous cultures and customs. Malaysia's love of Western-style industrialisation is abundantly clear in its big cities. 
Aside from the gleaming glass towers of the 21st Century, though, Malaysia boasts some of the most superb beaches, mountains and national parks in Asia.
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia We made our way via bus for the 3 1/2 highway drive. 
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia In our U.S. centric view of the world what is Kuala Lumpr famous for.
Penang is known as the Pearl of the Orient and is one of Malaysia's most visited sites. It's well.
Although not generally a fan of big cities my impression of Malaysia's capital usually referred.