According to best-medical-schools, Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia and consists of two parts that are separated by the South China Sea. The eastern part is on the island of Borneo, the western part on the Malay Peninsula.
In front of this peninsula is the city-state of Singapore. In the north, this part borders Thailand.
The majority of Malaysia’s 32 million inhabitants live in this western part. The eastern part shares a long border with Indonesia and surrounds the Sultanate of Brunei in the north.
The capital Kuala Lumpur – which translates as “muddy river mouth” – is also located on the western Malay peninsula and has around 1.5 million inhabitants. However, the entire metropolitan region of Kuala Lumpurs has a population of around 8 million. The seat of government in Malaysia is just south of Kuala Lumpur, in Putrajaya.
Local time in Malaysia is always six hours ahead of Central European Time. If it is 10 a.m. in Berlin, it is already 4 p.m. in Malaysia.
Vegetation and climate in Malaysia
Due to the close proximity to the equator, Malaysia has a tropical climate. The average temperature here is around 27 ° C with a humidity between 70% in the afternoon and 98% during the morning hours.
Agricultural products, which are grown here especially for export and account for approx. 15% of the gross domestic product, include palm oil, minerals, wood, textiles and rubber products.
The foothills of the Indian mountains are located on the western part, the Malay Peninsula. These pass into hilly countries, which in turn largely pass into swampy plains near the coast. Kinabalu is located in East Malaysia, which is the highest mountain in the country at 4100 meters. Here too, the hilly landscape merges with the coast into swampy alluvial landscapes. The hinterland is densely forested with jungle and tropical rainforests.
In total, forests make up around 60% of Malaysia’s land area. These forests are among the oldest forests in the world and contain a biodiversity of over 2500 tree species. However, due to slash-and-burn and the extraction of precious wood, the forest population has decreased by almost a fifth since 1970.
Today’s Malaysia gained importance from around 500 AD in the course of the flourishing overseas trade between Europe, China and India. The Malacca Strait, which was an important part of the trade route, runs along the western coast of the Milanese peninsula. At that time Buddhism and Hinduism spread in what is now Malaysia and the first kingdom, the Kingdom of Malacca, was founded in 1400. Only 14 years later, Islam was brought into the kingdom by Arab, Persian and Indian traders who gradually pushed Buddhism and Hinduism back.
At the beginning of the 16th century, Malacca was conquered by Portuguese, who could only be driven out a good century later. Thereupon, in 1786 the British conquered what is now Malaysia and in 1795 declared it a British colony.
During the Second World War, Malaysia was occupied by Japanese troops and remained under Japanese rule until the end of the war. Malay nationalism was formed in 1946, which eventually led to the establishment of the Malaya Federation in 1948. After ongoing economic, political and ethnic turmoil over the next few years, Malaysia finally became independent from the British Empire on August 31, 1957.
Every year since then, this independence of Malaysia has been celebrated with the Hari Merdeka on August 31. In Kuala Lumpur in particular there are big festivities on this day, with fireworks, parades and much more.
Since independence, there have always been ethnic conflicts within the mixed population of Malaysia. 50% describe themselves as Malays and come mainly from Indonesia, 30% are Chinese, approx. 10% are Hindu Indians and around 6% are Christians.
Malaysia’s government today
Islam is still the state religion in Malaysia, to which approximately 55% of the population profess. Every Malaysian is automatically Muslim from birth and must not marry members of other faiths. Those who want to turn away from Islam face major problems.
Malaysia is a federal parliamentary electoral monarchy with King Muhammad V. as head of state. The King of Malaysia is elected from nine nobles every 5 years. Malaysia is the only electoral monarchy in the world besides the United Arab Emirates, Cambodia, Andorra and the Vatican.
Since 1995, all government buildings have been located in Putrajaya, probably the most important city in Malaysia next to the capital Kuala Lumpur.