East & Southeast Asia :: MALAYSIA
  • Introduction :: MALAYSIA

  • During the late 18th and 19th centuries, Great Britain established colonies and protectorates in the area of current Malaysia; these were occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945. In 1948, the British-ruled territories on the Malay Peninsula except Singapore formed the Federation of Malaya, which became independent in 1957. Malaysia was formed in 1963 when the former British colonies of Singapore, as well as Sabah and Sarawak on the northern coast of Borneo, joined the Federation. The first several years of the country's independence were marred by a communist insurgency, Indonesian confrontation with Malaysia, Philippine claims to Sabah, and Singapore's withdrawal in 1965. During the 22-year term of Prime Minister MAHATHIR bin Mohamad (1981-2003), Malaysia was successful in diversifying its economy from dependence on exports of raw materials to the development of manufacturing, services, and tourism. Prime Minister MAHATHIR and a newly-formed coalition of opposition parties defeated Prime Minister Mohamed NAJIB bin Abdul Razak in May 2018, ending over 60 years of uninterrupted rule by NAJIB’s party.
  • Geography :: MALAYSIA

  • Southeastern Asia, peninsula bordering Thailand and northern one-third of the island of Borneo, bordering Indonesia, Brunei, and the South China Sea, south of Vietnam
    2 30 N, 112 30 E
    Southeast Asia
    total: 329,847 sq km
    land: 328,657 sq km
    water: 1,190 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 68
    slightly larger than New Mexico
    total: 2,742 km
    border countries (3): Brunei 266 km, Indonesia 1,881 km, Thailand 595 km
    4,675 km (Peninsular Malaysia 2,068 km, East Malaysia 2,607 km)
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation; specified boundary in the South China Sea
    tropical; annual southwest (April to October) and northeast (October to February) monsoons
    coastal plains rising to hills and mountains
    mean elevation: 419 m
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Gunung Kinabalu 4,095 m
    tin, petroleum, timber, copper, iron ore, natural gas, bauxite
    agricultural land: 23.2%
    arable land 2.9%; permanent crops 19.4%; permanent pasture 0.9%
    forest: 62%
    other: 14.8% (2011 est.)
    3,800 sq km (2012)
    a highly uneven distribution with over 80% of the population residing on the Malay Peninsula
    flooding; landslides; forest fires
    air pollution from industrial and vehicular emissions; water pollution from raw sewage; deforestation; smoke/haze from Indonesian forest fires; endangered species; coastal reclamation damaging mangroves and turtle nesting sites
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    strategic location along Strait of Malacca and southern South China Sea
  • People and Society :: MALAYSIA

  • 31,381,992 (July 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    noun: Malaysian(s)
    adjective: Malaysian
    Bumiputera 61.7% (Malays and indigenous peoples, including Orang Asli, Dayak, Anak Negeri), Chinese 20.8%, Indian 6.2%, other 0.9%, non-citizens 10.4% (2017 est.)
    Bahasa Malaysia (official), English, Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow), Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Panjabi, Thai
    note: Malaysia has 134 living languages - 112 indigenous languages and 22 non-indigenous languages; in East Malaysia there are several indigenous languages; most widely spoken are Iban and Kadazan
    Muslim (official) 61.3%, Buddhist 19.8%, Christian 9.2%, Hindu 6.3%, Confucianism, Taoism, other traditional Chinese religions 1.3%, other 0.4%, none 0.8%, unspecified 1% (2010 est.)
    0-14 years: 27.83% (male 4,493,084/female 4,238,991)
    15-24 years: 16.81% (male 2,677,834/female 2,598,958)
    25-54 years: 41% (male 6,507,499/female 6,358,762)
    55-64 years: 8.27% (male 1,316,331/female 1,277,558)
    65 years and over: 6.1% (male 907,850/female 1,005,125) (2017 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 44.6
    youth dependency ratio: 36.1
    elderly dependency ratio: 8.5
    potential support ratio: 11.8 (2015 est.)
    total: 28.5 years
    male: 28.2 years
    female: 28.8 years (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    1.37% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    19.1 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    5.1 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    -0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    a highly uneven distribution with over 80% of the population residing on the Malay Peninsula
    urban population: 76% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 2.13% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    KUALA LUMPUR (capital) 7.564 million; Johor Bahru 983,000; Ipoh 786,000 (2018)
    at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    40 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    total: 12.5 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 14.4 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 10.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    total population: 75.2 years
    male: 72.4 years
    female: 78.2 years (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    2.1 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    52.2% (2014)
    4.2% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    1.53 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
    1.9 beds/1,000 population (2015)
    urban: 100% of population
    rural: 93% of population
    total: 98.2% of population
    urban: 0% of population
    rural: 7% of population
    total: 1.8% of population (2015 est.)
    urban: 96.1% of population
    rural: 95.9% of population
    total: 96% of population
    urban: 3.9% of population
    rural: 4.1% of population
    total: 4% of population (2015 est.)
    0.4% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    87,000 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    4,400 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    degree of risk: intermediate
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
    vectorborne diseases: dengue fever
    water contact disease: leptospirosis (2016)
    15.6% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    13.7% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    4.8% of GDP (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 94.6%
    male: 96.2%
    female: 93.2% (2015 est.)
    total: 13 years
    male: 12 years
    female: 13 years (2015)
    total: 10.5%
    male: 9.8%
    female: 11.4% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
  • Government :: MALAYSIA

  • conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Malaysia
    local long form: none
    local short form: Malaysia
    former: Federation of Malaya
    etymology: the name means "Land of the Malays"
    federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy
    note: all Peninsular Malaysian states have hereditary rulers (commonly referred to as sultans) except Melaka (Malacca) and Pulau Pinang (Penang); those two states along with Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia have governors appointed by government; powers of state governments are limited by federal constitution; under terms of federation, Sabah and Sarawak retain certain constitutional prerogatives (e.g., right to maintain their own immigration controls)
    name: Kuala Lumpur; note - nearby Putrajaya is referred to as a federal government administrative center but not the capital; Parliament meets in Kuala Lumpur
    geographic coordinates: 3 10 N, 101 42 E
    time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    13 states (negeri-negeri, singular - negeri); Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Terengganu; and 1 federal territory (Wilayah Persekutuan) with 3 components, Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, and Putrajaya
    31 August 1957 (from the UK)
    Independence Day (or Merdeka Day), 31 August (1957) (independence of Malaya); Malaysia Day, 16 September (1963) (formation of Malaysia)
    history: previous 1948; latest drafted 21 February 1957, effective 27 August 1957
    amendments: proposed as a “bill” by Parliament; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the Parliament membership in the bill’s second and third readings; a number of constitutional sections are excluded from amendment or repeal; amended many times, last in 2010 (2017)
    mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law, and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Federal Court at request of supreme head of the federation
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Malaysia
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 10 out 12 years preceding application
    21 years of age; universal
    chief of state: King MUHAMMAD V (formerly known as Tuanku Muhammad Faris Petra) (selected on 14 October 2016; installed on 13 December 2016); note - the position of the king is primarily ceremonial, but he is the final arbiter on the appointment of the prime minister
    head of government: Prime Minister MAHATHIR Mohamad (since 10 May 2018); Deputy Prime Minister WAN AZIZAH Wan Ismail (since 10 May 2018)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister from among members of Parliament with the consent of the king
    elections/appointments: king elected by and from the hereditary rulers of 9 states for a 5-year term; election is on a rotational basis among rulers of the 9 states; election last held on 14 October 2016 (next to be held in 2021); prime minister designated from among members of the House of Representatives; following legislative elections, the leader who commands support of the majority of members in the House becomes prime minister
    description: bicameral Parliament or Parlimen consists of:
    Senate or Dewan Negara (70 seats; 44 members appointed by the king and 26 indirectly elected by 13 state legislatures; members serve 3-year terms)
    House of Representatives or Dewan Rakyat (222 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)
    House of Representatives - last held on 9 May 2018 (next to be held in 2023)
    election results:
    House of Representatives - percent of vote by coalition/party - PH 45.6%, BN 33.8%, PAS 16.9%, WARISAN 2.3%, other 1.4%; seats by coalition/party - PH 113, BN 79, PAS 18, WARISAN 8, STAR 1, independent 3
    highest court(s): Federal Court (consists of the chief justice, president of the Court of Appeal, chief justice of the High Court of Malaya, chief judge of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak, 8 judges, and 1 "additional" judge); note - Malaysia has a dual judicial hierarchy of civil and religious (sharia) courts
    judge selection and term of office: Federal Court justices appointed by the monarch on advice of the prime minister; judges serve until mandatory retirement at age 66 with the possibility of 6-month extensions
    subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; Sessions Court; Magistrates' Court
    National Front (Barisan Nasional) or BN: Malaysian Chinese Association (Persatuan China Malaysia) or MCA [LIOW Tiong Lai]
    Malaysian Indian Congress (Kongres India Malaysia) or MIC [S. SUBRAMANIAM]
    United Malays National Organization or UMNO [Ahmad ZAHID Hamidi]
    Coalition of Hope (Pakatan Harapan) or PH (formerly the People's Alliance): Democratic Action Party (Parti Tindakan Demokratik) or DAP [TAN Kok Wai]
    Malaysian United Indigenous Party (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia) or PPBM [MAHATHIR Mohamad]
    National Trust Party (Parti Amanah Negara) or AMANAH [Mohamad SABU]
    People's Justice Party (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) or PKR [WAN AZIZAH Wan Ismail]
    Other: Homeland Solidarity Party or STAR [Jeffrey KATINGAN]
    Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (Parti Islam se Malaysia) or PAS [Abdul HADI Awang]
    Progressive Democratic Party or PDP [TIONG King Sing]
    Sabah Heritage Party (Parti Warisan Sabah) or WARISAN [Shafie APDAL]
    Sarawak Parties Alliance (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) or GPS [ABANG JOHARI Openg] (includes PBB, SUPP, PRS, PDP)
    Sarawak People's Party (Parti Rakyat Sarawak) or PRS [James MASING]
    Sarawak United People's Party (Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sarawak) or SUPP [Dr. SIM Kui Hian]
    United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organization (Pertubuhan Pasko Momogun Kadazan Dusun Bersatu) or UPKO [Wilfred Madius TANGAU]
    United Sabah Party (Parti Bersatu Sabah) or PBS [Joseph PAIRIN Kitingan]
    United Sabah People's (Party Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah) or PBRS [Joseph KURUP]
    United Traditional Bumiputera Party (Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersata) or PBB
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires MURNI Abdul Hamid (since April 2018)
    chancery: 3516 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 572-9700
    FAX: [1] (202) 572-9882
    consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador Kamala Shirin LAKHDHIR (since 21 February 2017)
    embassy: 376 Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur
    mailing address: US Embassy Kuala Lumpur, APO AP 96535-8152
    telephone: [60] (3) 2168-5000
    FAX: [60] (3) 2142-2207
    14 equal horizontal stripes of red (top) alternating with white (bottom); there is a dark blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a yellow crescent and a yellow 14-pointed star; the flag is often referred to as Jalur Gemilang (Stripes of Glory); the 14 stripes stand for the equal status in the federation of the 13 member states and the federal government; the 14 points on the star represent the unity between these entities; the crescent is a traditional symbol of Islam; blue symbolizes the unity of the Malay people and yellow is the royal color of Malay rulers
    note: the design is based on the flag of the US
    tiger, hibiscus; national colors: gold, black
    name: "Negaraku" (My Country)
    lyrics/music: collective, led by Tunku ABDUL RAHMAN/Pierre Jean DE BERANGER
    note: adopted 1957; full version only performed in the presence of the king; the tune, which was adopted from a popular French melody titled "La Rosalie," was originally the anthem of Perak, one of Malaysia's 13 states
  • Economy :: MALAYSIA

  • Malaysia, an upper middle-income country, has transformed itself since the 1970s from a producer of raw materials into a multi-sector economy. Under current Prime Minister NAJIB, Malaysia is attempting to achieve high-income status by 2020 and to move further up the value-added production chain by attracting investments in high technology, knowledge-based industries and services. NAJIB's Economic Transformation Program is a series of projects and policy measures intended to accelerate the country's economic growth. The government has also taken steps to liberalize some services sub-sectors. Malaysia is vulnerable to a fall in world commodity prices or a general slowdown in global economic activity.
    The NAJIB administration is continuing efforts to boost domestic demand and reduce the economy's dependence on exports. Domestic demand continues to anchor economic growth, supported mainly by private consumption, which accounts for 53% of GDP. Nevertheless, exports - particularly of electronics, oil and gas, and palm oil - remain a significant driver of the economy. In 2015, gross exports of goods and services were equivalent to 73% of GDP. The oil and gas sector supplied about 22% of government revenue in 2015, down significantly from prior years amid a decline in commodity prices and diversification of government revenues. Malaysia has embarked on a fiscal reform program aimed at achieving a balanced budget by 2020, including rationalization of subsidies and the 2015 introduction of a 6% value added tax. Sustained low commodity prices throughout the period not only strained government finances, but also shrunk Malaysia’s current account surplus and weighed heavily on the Malaysian ringgit, which was among the region’s worst performing currencies during 2013-17. The ringgit hit new lows following the US presidential election amid a broader selloff of emerging market assets.
    Bank Negara Malaysia (the central bank) maintains adequate foreign exchange reserves; a well-developed regulatory regime has limited Malaysia's exposure to riskier financial instruments, although it remains vulnerable to volatile global capital flows. In order to increase Malaysia’s competitiveness, Prime Minister NAJIB raised possible revisions to the special economic and social preferences accorded to ethnic Malays under the New Economic Policy of 1970, but retreated in 2013 after he encountered significant opposition from Malay nationalists and other vested interests. In September 2013 NAJIB launched the new Bumiputra Economic Empowerment Program, policies that favor and advance the economic condition of ethnic Malays.
    Malaysia signed the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement in February 2016, although the future of the TPP remains unclear following the US withdrawal from the agreement. Along with nine other ASEAN members, Malaysia established the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, which aims to advance regional economic integration.
    $930.8 billion (2017 est.)
    $893.1 billion (2016 est.)
    $850.3 billion (2015 est.)
    note: data are in 2017 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 27
    $314.5 billion (2017 est.)
    5.9% (2017 est.)
    4.2% (2016 est.)
    5% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    $29,000 (2017 est.)
    $28,200 (2016 est.)
    $27,300 (2015 est.)
    note: data are in 2017 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 71
    28.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
    28.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    28.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    household consumption: 55.4%
    government consumption: 12.5%
    investment in fixed capital: 26.3%
    investment in inventories: 0.1%
    exports of goods and services: 75.2%
    imports of goods and services: -69.5% (2017 est.)
    agriculture: 8.4%
    industry: 36.9%
    services: 54.7% (2017 est.)
    Peninsular Malaysia - palm oil, rubber, cocoa, rice; Sabah - palm oil, subsistence crops; rubber, timber; Sarawak - palm oil, rubber, timber; pepper
    Peninsular Malaysia - rubber and oil palm processing and manufacturing, petroleum and natural gas, light manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, medical technology, electronics and semiconductors, timber processing; Sabah - logging, petroleum and natural gas production; Sarawak - agriculture processing, petroleum and natural gas production, logging
    4.6% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    14.94 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    agriculture: 11%
    industry: 36%
    services: 53% (2012 est.)
    3.4% (2017 est.)
    3.5% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    3.8% (2009 est.)
    lowest 10%: 1.8%
    highest 10%: 34.7% (2009 est.)
    46.2 (2009)
    49.2 (1997)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    revenues: $51.23 billion
    expenditures: $60.26 billion (2017 est.)
    16.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    -2.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    54.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
    56.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    note: this figure is based on the amount of federal government debt, RM501.6 billion ($167.2 billion) in 2012; this includes Malaysian Treasury bills and other government securities, as well as loans raised externally and bonds and notes issued overseas; this figure excludes debt issued by non-financial public enterprises and guaranteed by the federal government, which was an additional $47.7 billion in 2012
    country comparison to the world: 90
    calendar year
    3.8% (2017 est.)
    2.1% (2016 est.)
    note: approximately 30% of goods are price-controlled
    country comparison to the world: 155
    3% (31 December 2011)
    2.83% (31 December 2010)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    4.5% (31 December 2017 est.)
    4.49% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    $95.12 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $84.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    $406.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $365.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    $447.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $398.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    $383 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $459 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $500.4 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    $9.37 billion (2017 est.)
    $6.996 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    $188.2 billion (2017 est.)
    $165.3 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    semiconductors and electronic equipment, palm oil, petroleum and liquefied natural gas, wood and wood products, palm oil, rubber, textiles, chemicals, solar panels
    Singapore 15.1%, China 12.6%, US 9.4%, Japan 8.2%, Thailand 5.7%, Hong Kong 4.5% (2017)
    $163.4 billion (2017 est.)
    $140.9 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    electronics, machinery, petroleum products, plastics, vehicles, iron and steel products, chemicals
    China 19.9%, Singapore 10.8%, US 8.4%, Japan 7.6%, Thailand 5.8%, South Korea 4.5%, Indonesia 4.4% (2017)
    $97.44 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $94.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    $213 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $195.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    $133.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $121.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    $137.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $126.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    ringgits (MYR) per US dollar -
    4.34 (2017 est.)
    4.15 (2016 est.)
    4.15 (2015 est.)
    3.91 (2014 est.)
    3.27 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: MALAYSIA

  • population without electricity: 100,000
    electrification - total population: 99.5%
    electrification - urban areas: 99.8%
    electrification - rural areas: 98.7% (2013)
    141.9 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    133 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    3 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    13 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    33.34 million kW (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    82.1% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    14% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    4% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    666,900 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    310,900 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    194,400 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    3.6 billion bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    512,900 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    760,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    231,400 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    409,500 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    63.43 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    31.71 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    34.99 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    3.27 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    1.183 trillion cu m (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    208 million Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
  • Communications :: MALAYSIA

  • total subscriptions: 6,578,200
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 21 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    total subscriptions: 42,338,500
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 135 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    general assessment: modern system featuring good intercity service on Peninsular Malaysia provided mainly by microwave radio relay and an adequate intercity microwave radio relay network between Sabah and Sarawak via Brunei; international service excellent
    domestic: domestic satellite system with 2 earth stations; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity exceeds 155 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 60; landing point for several major international submarine cable networks that provide connectivity to Asia, Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean, 1 Pacific Ocean) (2016)
    state-owned TV broadcaster operates 2 TV networks with relays throughout the country, and the leading private commercial media group operates 4 TV stations with numerous relays throughout the country; satellite TV subscription service is available; state-owned radio broadcaster operates multiple national networks, as well as regional and local stations; many private commercial radio broadcasters and some subscription satellite radio services are available; about 55 radio stations overall (2012)
    total: 24,384,952
    percent of population: 78.8% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    total: 2,687,800
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 9 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 42
  • Transportation :: MALAYSIA

  • number of registered air carriers: 12
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 263
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 50,347,149
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 2,005,979,379 mt-km (2015)
    9M (2016)
    114 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    total: 39
    over 3,047 m: 8
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 8
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
    914 to 1,523 m: 8
    under 914 m: 8 (2017)
    total: 75
    914 to 1,523 m: 6
    under 914 m: 69 (2013)
    4 (2013)
    condensate 354 km; gas 6,439 km; liquid petroleum gas 155 km; oil 1,937 km; oil/gas/water 43 km; refined products 114 km; water 26 km (2013)
    total: 1,851 km
    standard gauge: 59 km 1.435-m gauge (59 km electrified)
    narrow gauge: 1,792 km 1.000-m gauge (339 km electrified) (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    total: 144,403 km (excludes local roads)
    paved: 116,169 km (includes 1,821 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 28,234 km (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    7,200 km (Peninsular Malaysia 3,200 km; Sabah 1,500 km; Sarawak 2,500 km) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    total: 1,690
    by type: bulk carrier 12, container ship 26, general cargo 188, oil tanker 129, other 1,335 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    major seaport(s): Bintulu, Johor Bahru, George Town (Penang), Port Kelang (Port Klang), Tanjung Pelepas
    container port(s) (TEUs): George Town (Penang) (1,437,120), Port Kelang (Port Klang) (13,169,577), Tanjung Pelepas (8,280,661) (2016)
    LNG terminal(s) (export): Bintulu (Sarawak)
    LNG terminal(s) (import): Sungei Udang
  • Military and Security :: MALAYSIA

  • 1.41% of GDP (2016)
    1.53% of GDP (2015)
    1.46% of GDP (2014)
    1.52% of GDP (2013)
    1.43% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    Malaysian Armed Forces (Angkatan Tentera Malaysia, ATM): Malaysian Army (Tentera Darat Malaysia), Royal Malaysian Navy (Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia, TLDM), Royal Malaysian Air Force (Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia, TUDM) (2013)
    17 years 6 months of age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent and proof of age); mandatory retirement age 60; women serve in the Malaysian Armed Forces; no conscription (2013)
    the International Maritime Bureau reports that the territorial and offshore waters in the Strait of Malacca and South China Sea remain high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; in the past, commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargo diverted to ports in East Asia; crews have been murdered or cast adrift; seven attacks were reported in 2017 including four ships boarded, two hijacked, and 32 crew taken hostage
  • Terrorism :: MALAYSIA

  • Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS):
    aim(s): replace the Malaysian Government with an Islamic state and implement ISIS's strict interpretation of sharia
    area(s) of operation: maintains a covert operational presence, mostly concentrated in the northeast province of Sabah
    Jemaah Islamiyah (JI):
    aim(s): enhance networks in Malaysia and, ultimately, overthrow the secular Malaysian Government and establish a pan-Islamic state across Southeast Asia
    area(s) of operation: maintains a recruitment and operational presence, primarily in major cities (April 2018)
  • Transnational Issues :: MALAYSIA

  • while the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" has eased tensions over the Spratly Islands, it is not the legally binding "code of conduct" sought by some parties; Malaysia was not party to the March 2005 joint accord among the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam on conducting marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands; disputes continue over deliveries of fresh water to Singapore, Singapore's land reclamation, bridge construction, and maritime boundaries in the Johor and Singapore Straits; in 2008, ICJ awarded sovereignty of Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh/Horsburgh Island) to Singapore, and Middle Rocks to Malaysia, but did not rule on maritime regimes, boundaries, or disposition of South Ledge; land and maritime negotiations with Indonesia are ongoing, and disputed areas include the controversial Tanjung Datu and Camar Wulan border area in Borneo and the maritime boundary in the Ambalat oil block in the Celebes Sea; separatist violence in Thailand's predominantly Muslim southern provinces prompts measures to close and monitor border with Malaysia to stem terrorist activities; Philippines retains a dormant claim to Malaysia's Sabah State in northern Borneo; per Letters of Exchange signed in 2009, Malaysia in 2010 ceded two hydrocarbon concession blocks to Brunei in exchange for Brunei's sultan dropping claims to the Limbang corridor, which divides Brunei; piracy remains a problem in the Malacca Strait
    refugees (country of origin): 87,036 (Burma) (2016)
    stateless persons: 10,068 (2017); note - Malaysia's stateless population consists of Rohingya refugees from Burma, ethnic Indians, and the children of Filipino and Indonesian illegal migrants; Burma stripped the Rohingya of their nationality in 1982; Filipino and Indonesian children who have not been registered for birth certificates by their parents or who received birth certificates stamped "foreigner" are not eligible to attend government schools; these children are vulnerable to statelessness should they not be able to apply to their parents' country of origin for passports
    current situation: Malaysia is a destination and, to a lesser extent, a source and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and women and children subjected to sex trafficking; Malaysia is mainly a destination country for foreign workers who migrate willingly from countries, including Indonesia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Nepal, Burma, and other Southeast Asian countries, but subsequently encounter forced labor or debt bondage in agriculture, construction, factories, and domestic service at the hands of employers, employment agents, and labor recruiters; women from Southeast Asia and, to a much lesser extent, Africa, are recruited for legal work in restaurants, hotels, and salons but are forced into prostitution; refugees, including Rohingya adults and children, are not legally permitted to work and are vulnerable to trafficking; a small number of Malaysians are trafficked internally and subjected to sex trafficking abroad
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch list - Malaysia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, amendments to strengthen existing anti-trafficking laws, including enabling victims to move freely and to work and for NGOs to run protective facilities, were drafted by the government and are pending approval from Parliament; authorities more than doubled investigations and prosecutions but convicted only three traffickers for forced labor and none for sex trafficking, a decline from 2013 and a disproportionately small number compared to the scale of the country’s trafficking problem; NGOs provided the majority of victim rehabilitation and counseling services with no financial support from the government (2015)
    drug trafficking prosecuted vigorously, including enforcement of the death penalty; heroin still primary drug of abuse, but synthetic drug demand remains strong; continued ecstasy and methamphetamine producer for domestic users and, to a lesser extent, the regional drug market