|Malaysia Map - Click for larger view|
Malaysia is almost as diverse as its culture. It has thirteen states and three federal territories.
Malaysia is a place where different races and religions live together such as Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other ethnic groups. The multiculturalism has made Malaysia a paradise of culture, food and home to hundreds of colorful festivals.
One of Malaysia's key attractions is their wooden houses built on stilts and their five-star hotels sit just meters away from ancient reefs with cool highland hideaways roll down to warm, sandy beaches and rich, humid mangroves.
Malaysians are very friendly, relaxed and warm. They love to celebrate and socialize.
Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast 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 similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. Land borders are shared with Thailand, Indonesia, and Brunei, and maritime borders exist withSingapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. In 2010 the population was 28.33 million, with 22.6 million living on the Peninsula. The southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai is in Malaysia, located in the tropics. It is one of 17megadiverse countries on earth, with large numbers of endemic species.
Visitors to Malaysia must hold a valid passport or travel document with a minimum validity of six months beyond the intended visiting period. Most nationalities do not require visas for social or business visits. Immigration and customs checkpoints are situated at all air, sea, road and rail entry points.
For you to know Malaysia, you've got to love Malaysia!
Kuala Lumpur is defined within the borders of the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and is one of threeMalaysian Federal Territories It is an enclave within the state of Selangor, on the central west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Putrajaya is a planned city, located 25 km south of Kuala Lumpur, that serves as the federal administrative centre of Malaysia. Putrajaya covers a vast sprawl of 4,931 hectares, which were mostly palm plantations before the federal government purchased the lot from the surrounding state of Selangor.
Island of Labuan
Labuan is a federal territory off the coast of Borneo in East Malaysia. It is made up of the homonymous Labuan Island and six smaller islands, and is located off the coast of the state of Sabah. Labuan's capital is Victoria and is best known as an offshore financial centre offering international financial and business services via Labuan IBFC since 1990 as well as being an offshore support hub for deepwater oil and gas activities in the region.
• Alor Setar - is the capital and largest city of Kedah, Malaysia, and is an important city in the western coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
• Ipoh - Ipoh is in the state of Perak, which is in the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia.
• Johor Bahru - is the capital city of Johor in southern Malaysia, located north of Singapore. Johor Bahru is the southernmost city on the Eurasian mainland.
• Kota Kinabalu - Kota Kinabalu is often known as KK within Malaysia and internationally. For the locals it is known as A-bi (Hakka for Jesselton).
• Kuala Lumpur - Kuala Lumpur is the seat of the Parliament of Malaysia.
• Kuala Terengganu - is the largest city as well as the state and royal capital of Terengganu state, Malaysia.
• Kuching - Kuching is the third capital of Sarawak.
• Malacca City - The city of Malacca is located on both sides of the Malacca River near its mouth into the Strait of Malacca.
• Miri - is a city in northern Sarawak, Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. It is the second largest city in Sarawak.
• Penang - Penang is a state in Malaysia and the name of its constituent island, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca.
• Petaling Jaya - is a Malaysian city originally developed as a satellite township for Kuala Lumpur comprising mostly residential and some industrial areas.
• Shah Alam - is the state capital of Selangor, Malaysia and situated within the Petaling District and a small portion of the neighbouring Klang District.
Malaysia has a multi-ethnic, multicultural, and multilingual society. The original culture of the area stemmed from indigenous tribes that inhabited it, along with the Malays who later moved there. Substantial influence exists from Chinese and Indian culture, dating back to when foreign trade began. Other cultural influences include the Persian, Arabic, and British cultures. Due to the structure of the government, coupled with the social contract theory, there has been minimal cultural assimilation of ethnic minorities.
Arts and music have a long tradition in Malaysia, with Malay art dating back to the Malay sultanates. Traditional art was centered on fields such as carving, silversmithing, and weaving. Islamic taboos restricted artwork depicting humans until the mid-20th century. Performing arts and shadow puppet shows are popular, and often show Indian influences. Various influences can be seen in architecture, from individual cultures in Malaysia and from other countries. Large modern structures have been built, including the tallest twin buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers.
Malaysia takes place in the framework of a federal representative democratic constitutional monarchy, in which the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is head of state and the Prime Minister of Malaysia is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the federal government and the 13 state governments.
The Malays, make up Malaysia's largest ethnic group, which is more than 50% of the population. In Malaysia, the term Malay refers to a person who practices Islam and Malay traditions and speaks the Malay language. Their conversion to Islam from Hinduism and Buddhism began when the Sultan of Melaka embraced it in the 14th Century. They are known for their good mannerisms.
Traditional Malay attire is the "baju melayu", a loose tunic which is worn over trousers and usually accompanied with a "sampin", which is a sarong which is wrapped around a man's hips. It is also often accompanied with a songkok or cap, on their head. Traditional clothing for men in Malaysia consists of a silk or cotton skirt and shirt with a scarf like piece of cloth tied around his waist. This scarf is sewn together at the ends and is traditionally called a sarong or a kain. Most of the clothing is made up of bright and bold colors.
Baju is the term for clothing in the Malay language. For Malay women, they wear the baju kurung; Malay men wear the baju melayu with a songkok on the head. Alternatively, the men wear batik shirts with trousers.
Folk Dances and Music
Malaysia's multi-cultural and multi-racial heritage is most prominently exhibited in its diverse music and dance forms. The dances of the indigenous Malay, Orang Asli and different ethnic peoples of Sabah and Sarawak are truly exotic and enchanting.
Music of Malaysia may be categorized as classical, folk, syncretic (or acculturated music), popular and contemporary art music. Classical and folk music emerged during the pre-colonial period and exists in the form of vocal, dance and theatrical music such as Nobat, Mak Yong, Mak Inang, Dikir barat, Ulek mayang and Menora.
Malaysia's climate is categorised as equatorial, being hot and humid throughout the year. The average rainfall is 250 centimetres (98 in) a year and the average temperature is 27 °C (80.6 °F). The climates of the Peninsula and the East differ, as the climate on the peninsula is directly affected by wind from the mainland, as opposed to the more maritime weather of the East. Malaysia is exposed to the El Niño effect, which reduces rainfall in the dry season. Climate change is likely to have a significant effect on Malaysia, increasing sea levels and rainfall, increasing flooding risks and leading to large droughts.
Tropical, annual southwest (April to October) and northeast (October to February) monsoons
Malaysia Public Holidays
|Birthday of Prophet Muhammad (Maulidur Rasul)||January 14|
|Chinese New Year||January 31|
|Labour Day||May 1|
|Wesak Day||May 13|
|Birthday of Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong||June 7|
|Hari Raya Puasa*||July 28|
|National Day||August 31|
|Malaysia Day||September 16|
|Hari Raya Qurban*||October 5|
|Awal Muharram (Maal Hijrah)||October 25|
|Christmas Day||December 25|
There are two types of holidays in Malaysia, National and state levels. National holidays are normally observed by most governmental and private organizations. State holidays are normally observed by certain states in Malaysia or when it is relevant to the state itself.
In addition, Government agencies are closed every Saturday and Sunday. Meanwhile in Kedah, Kelantan, Johor and Terengganu, government agencies are closed every Friday and Saturday.
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Malaysia, exercise normal security precautions.