Portal:Malaysia
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Portal:Malaysia

Hibiscus national flower Welcome to the Malaysia portal / Selamat datang Hibiscus national flower

Map of Malaysia

Malaysia ( m?-LAY-zee-?, -⁠zh?; Malay: [m?lejsi?]) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federal constitutional monarchy consists of thirteen states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo's East Malaysia. Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand and maritime borders with Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines and Vietnam. Kuala Lumpur is the national capital and largest city while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. With a population of over 30 million, Malaysia is the world's 44th most populous country. The southernmost point of continental Eurasia is in Tanjung Piai. In the tropics, Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries, home to a number of endemic species.

Malaysia has its origins in the Malay kingdoms which, from the 18th century, became subject to the British Empire, along with the British Straits Settlements protectorate. Peninsular Malaysia was 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 North Borneo, Sarawak, and Singapore on 16 September 1963 to become Malaysia. In 1965, Singapore was expelled from the federation.

The country is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural. About half the population is ethnically Malay, with large minorities of Chinese, Indians, and indigenous peoples. While recognising Islam as the country's established religion, the constitution grants freedom of religion to non-Muslims. The government is closely modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system and the legal system is based on common law. The head of state is an elected monarch, known as Yang di-Pertuan Agong, chosen from the hereditary rulers of the nine Malay states every five years. The head of government is the Prime Minister.

After independence, the Malaysian GDP grew at an average of 6.5% per annum for almost 50 years. The economy has traditionally been fuelled by its natural resources but is expanding in the sectors of science, tourism, commerce and medical tourism. Malaysia has a newly industrialised market economy, ranked third-largest in Southeast Asia and 33rd largest in the world. It is a founding member of ASEAN, EAS, OIC and a member of APEC, the Commonwealth and the Non-Aligned Movement. Read more...

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Title page of first edition

The Malay Archipelago is a book by the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace which chronicles his scientific exploration, during the eight-year period 1854 to 1862, of the southern portion of the Malay Archipelago including Malaysia, Singapore, the islands of Indonesia, then known as the Dutch East Indies, and the island of New Guinea. It was published in two volumes in 1869, delayed by Wallace's ill health and the work needed to describe the many specimens he brought home. The book went through ten editions in the nineteenth century; it has been reprinted many times since, and has been translated into at least eight languages.

The book describes each island that he visited in turn, giving a detailed account of its physical and human geography, its volcanoes, and the variety of animals and plants that he found and collected. At the same time, he describes his experiences, the difficulties of travel, and the help he received from the different peoples that he met. The preface notes that he travelled over 14,000 miles and collected 125,660 natural history specimens, mostly of insects though also thousands of molluscs, birds, mammals and reptiles. Read more...

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