Location: Southeastern Asia, peninsula and northern one-third
of the island of Borneo, bordering Indonesia and the South China
Sea, south of Vietnam
Geographic coordinates: 2 30 N, 112 30 E
Map references: Southeast Asia
total: 329,750 sq km
land: 328,550 sq km
water: 1,200 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly larger than New Mexico
total: 2,669 km
border countries: Brunei 381 km, Indonesia 1,782 km, Thailand
Coastline: 4,675 km (Peninsular Malaysia 2,068 km, East
Malaysia 2,607 km)
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation;
specified boundary in the South China Sea
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: tropical; annual southwest (April to October) and
northeast (October to February) monsoons
Terrain: coastal plains rising to hills and mountains
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Gunung Kinabalu 4,100 m
Natural resources: tin, petroleum, timber, copper, iron
ore, natural gas, bauxite
arable land: 3%
permanent crops: 12%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 68%
other: 17% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 2,941 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: flooding, landslides
Environment - current issues: air pollution from industrial
and vehicular emissions; water pollution from raw sewage; deforestation;
smoke/haze from Indonesian forest fires
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification,
Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life
Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note: strategic location along Strait of Malacca
and southern South China Sea
Malaysia is situated right in the heart of South East Asia and is
divided into two geographical sections: Peninsular Malaysia and
the East Malaysian provinces of Sabah and Sarawak in North Borneo.
The two parts are separated 650km (403 miles) apart by the South
China Sea. Peninsular Malaysia's neighbors are Thailand and Singapore.
Sabah and Sarawak border Kalimantan (the Indonesian part of Borneo)
and Sarawak surrounds the tiny enclave of Brunei. The Andaman Sea
is on the West Coast of the peninsula. The East Coast of the peninsula,
Sabah and Sarawak all adjoin the South China Sea.
Peninsular Malaysia accounts for 40% of the country's landmass.
There are several mountain ranges running north- south along the
backbone of the peninsula. A wide, fertile plain trails the West
Coast, while a narrow coastal plain runs along the east. Sabah and
Sarawak are covered by dense jungles and have large river networks.
These rivers are still the main means of transportation to the natives
of these two states. Over 60% of the country is still rainforest,
and there are 8000 species of flowering plants (in Peninsular Malaysia
alone) which includes 2000 tree species, 800 different orchids and
200 types of palm, not forgetting a myriad of wildlife animals.
There are also an abundance and variety of bird populations in the
world that can be found in East Malaysia.
Malaysia is hot and humid all year round. Temperatures are usually
between 20-30°C (68-86°F); humidity is usually 90%. The East Coast
of Peninsular Malaysia has a real rainy season although the country
gets monsoon climate. The wettest season on the West Coast of the
peninsula is between September and December; on the East Coast and
in Sabah and Sarawak, it's between October and February. Rain often
comes in short, strong bursts and generally hides the sun temporarily.
Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia. It consists of two regions
about 650 kilometres apart, which are separated by the South China
Sea. The regions are Peninsular (formerly West) Malaysia, and Sarawak
and Sabah (formerly East Malaysia), on the northern part of the
island of Borneo.
Malays and Chinese people make up most of the country's population.
Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia's capital and largest city.
Malaysia was created in 1963 through the merging of Malaya (independent
in 1957) and the former British Singapore, both of which formed
West Malaysia, and Sabah and Sarawak in north Borneo, which composed
The first three years of independence were marred by hostilities
with Indonesia. Singapore seceded from the union in 1965.