Capital: Kuala Lumpur
Location: West Malaysia consists of the Malay Peninsula and the island of Penang in the Indian Ocean; East Malaysia includes Sabah and Sarawak on northern Borneo. Malaysia has land borders with Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei
Area: 329,749 sq km
National composition: Malays (47%), Chinese (34%), various tribal groups in East Malaysia, including Dayaks, some Indians and others
Religions: Mainly Islam, also Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism
Official language: Malay
Currency: Dollar (ringgit) = 100 sen
Administrative divisions: Malaysia is a federation of 13 states and three federal territories. These are divided between two regions, with 11 states and two federal territories on Peninsular Malaysia and the other two states and one federal territory in East Malaysia.
Other major cities: Ipoh, Georgetown, Johor Bahru
Highest elevation: Kinabalu in northern Borneo (Sabah)
Climate: Wet tropical
Malaysia has flat, marshy coastlands, with mountains in the interior. Rain forest covers more than three-quarters of the country and forestry is a leading activity. Agriculture, forestry and fishing employed half of the work-force in 1980. Malaysia produces two-fifths of the world’s natural rubber, as well as copra, dates, spices, tea and tobacco. Rice is the chief food crop.
Malaysia has large deposits of minerals and it is the world’s largest producer of tin. It also has bauxite, gold, iron ore and oil. Industry includes tin smelting, rubber and food processing, and woodworking. Coastal shipping and railways are the chief forms of transport.