Malaysia_Cultural_awareness_document.pdf - Cultural Guide to Malaysia HWU Malaysia Cultural Awareness v2 Updated March 2015 Page 1 Facts and Statistics

Malaysia_Cultural_awareness_document.pdf - Cultural Guide...

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HWU Malaysia Cultural Awareness v2 Updated March 2015 Page 1 Cultural Guide to Malaysia
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HWU Malaysia Cultural Awareness v2 Updated March 2015 Page 2 Facts and Statistics Location: South eastern Asia. It consists of thirteen states and three federal territories and has a total landmass of 329,847 square kilometres (127,350 sq mi) separated by the South China Sea into two regions, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Land borders are shared with Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei, and maritime borders exist with Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Capital: The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. Climate: tropical; annual southwest (April to October) and northeast (October to February) monsoons. Population: In 2015 the population exceeded 30 million. Ethnic Make-up: Malay 50.4%, Chinese 23.7%, indigenous 11%, Indian 7.1%, others 7.8% Religions: Muslim 60.4%, Buddhist 19.2%, Christian 9.1%, Hindu 6.3%, Confucianism, Taoism, other traditional Chinese religions 2.6%, other or unknown 1.5%, none 0.8%. Government: constitutional monarchy Malaysia has its origins in the Malay Kingdoms present in the area which, from the 18th century, became subject to the British Empire. The first British territories were known as the Straits Settlements, with the other states forming protectorates. The states on Peninsular Malaysia, then known as Malaya, were first unified as the Malayan Union in 1946. Malaya was restructured as the Federation of Malaya in 1948, and achieved independence on 31 August 1957. Malaya united with Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore on 16 September 1963, with 'si' being added to give the new country the name Malaysia. However, less than two years later in 1965, Singapore left the federation. Since independence, Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with GDP growing an average 6.5% from 1957 to 2005. The economy has traditionally been fuelled by its natural resources, the most valuable exported resource being petroleum, but is expanding in the sectors of science, tourism, commerce and medical tourism. The head of federation is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, an elected monarch chosen from the hereditary rulers (Sultan) of the nine Malay states every five years. The head of government is the Prime Minister. The government system is closely modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system and the legal system is based on English Common Law. Language The Malay language is an Austronesian language spoken not only by Malaysians but also people who reside in the Malay Peninsula, southern Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, central eastern Sumatra, the Riau islands, parts of the coast of Borneo, Cocos and Christmas Islands in Australia. It is also very similar to Indonesian, known locally as Bahasa Indonesia. In Malaysia, the language is officially known as Bahasa Malaysia, which translates as the "Malaysian language". The term, which was introduced by the National Language Act 1967, was predominant until the 1990s, when most academics and government officials reverted to "Bahasa Melayu," which is used in the Malay version of the Federal Constitution.
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