Malaysia

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

The British secured and colonized the area that is now Malaysia during the late 18th and 19th centuries. 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. Singapore was expelled in 1965

Geography

Area

total: 329,847 sq km

land: 328,657 sq km

water: 1,190 sq km

Climate

tropical; annual southwest (April to October) and northeast (October to February) monsoons

Natural resources

tin, petroleum, timber, copper, iron ore, natural gas, bauxite

People and Society

Population

33,871,431 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Bumiputera 62.5% (Malays and indigenous peoples, including Orang Asli, Dayak, Anak Negeri), Chinese 20.6%, Indian 6.2%, other 0.9%, non-citizens 9.8% (2019 est.)

Languages

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; the most widely spoken are Iban and Kadazan

Religions

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.)

Population growth rate

1.03% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy

Capital

name: Kuala Lumpur; note - nearby Putrajaya is referred to as a federal government administrative center but not the capital; Parliament meets in Kuala Lumpur

Executive branch

chief of state: King Sultan ABDULLAH Sultan Ahmad Shah (since 24 January 2019); note - King MUHAMMAD V (formerly known as TUANKU Muhammad FARIS Petra) (selected on 14 October 2016; installed on 13 December 2016) resigned on 6 January 2019; 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 ISMAIL SABRI Yaakob (since 21 August 2021)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament of Malaysia or Parlimen Malaysia 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) (2019)

Economy

Economic overview

upper middle-income Southeast Asian economy; implementing key anticorruption policies; major electronics, oil, and chemicals exporter; trade sector employs over 40% of jobs; key economic equity initiative; high labor productivity

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$855.6 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$26,400 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

oil palm fruit, rice, poultry, eggs, vegetables, rubber, coconuts, bananas, pineapples, pork

Industries

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

Exports

$207.37 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

Singapore 13%, China 13%, United States 11%, Hong Kong 6%, Japan 6%, Thailand 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

integrated circuits, refined petroleum, natural gas, semiconductors, palm oil (2019)

Imports

$185.59 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

China 24%, Singapore 14%, Japan 6%, United States 6%, Taiwan 5%, Thailand 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

integrated circuits, refined petroleum, crude petroleum, broadcasting equipment, coal (2019)

Exchange rates

ringgits (MYR) per US dollar -


Page last updated: Tuesday, August 02, 2022