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Malaysia was formed in 1963 through a merging of the former British colonies of Malaya and Singapore , including the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak on the northern coast of Borneo. The first several years of the country’s history were marred by Indonesian efforts to control Malaysia , Philippine claims to Sabah , and Singapore’s secession in 1965.


The Malay peninsula stretches from north to south for about 800 km and mountains form its backbone and belly, with gentle valleys along its coastlines. The island of Borneo is of similar terrain. In addition to the mountain ranges the Malay peninsula also has an abundance of limestone outcrops, particularly in the areas of Kuala Lumpur and in the Kampar Valley near Ipoh farther north.  Cave ridden, these outcrops play host to fauna and flora that generally, is different to that found in the nearby lowlands.

The coastal areas of Malaysia are popular destinations for most visitors to the country. Here the diving is excellent and the offshore islands well worth visiting.

genericly the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia is not as spectacular underwater as the east, but this is the more densely resort developed coast, thus has more water related activities on offer.

Pulau Paya and the islands Kacha, Lembu and Segantan to the north of Penang and south of Langkawi are considered to have the best coral reef in the country, lying just off their beaches. A marine park has been established here and a floating observation platform off Pulau Paya has been built with an underwater observation chamber for those not keen on getting in the water.

A country, with many different cultures, religions and peoples, it is rapidly developing into one of the more modern countries in the area. Good roads and friendly people make travelling a pleasure and the accommodation is generally of a high standard. All this adds up to a country well worth visiting no matter how much time you have to spare.


Official name:

Federation of Malaysia


Capital :

Kuala Lumpur


13 states : Johor , Kedah , Kelantan, Melaka , Negri Sembilan, Pahang , Perak , Perlis , Pulau Pinang, Sabah , Sarawak , Selangor , Terengganu

2 federal territories : Labuan, Wilayah Persekutan (with KL)


Location :

Southeastern Asia , peninsula and northern one-third of island of Borneo (Indonesia) in The South China sea. Sharing border-land with Thailand to the North , with Singapore to the South.

Area :

329,750 sq km


Population :


Climate :

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


Ethnic groups:

Malay and other indigenous 58% , Chinese 24% , Indian 8% , other 10%


Bahasa Melayu (official) , English , Chinese , Tamil , Telugu , Malayalam



Muslim , Buddhist , Hindu

Local Time

GMT +8



Ringgit (MYR) , Coins include the 1 Ringgit, 5 Ringgit, 10 Ringgit, 20 Ringgit, 50 Ringgit pieces

Business Hours

Generally open from 10am to 3pm, Mondays to Fridays and 11am to 4:30pm, Saturdays. In the states of Johor, Kedah, Perlis, Terengganu and Kelantan a traditional half-day holiday is observed on Thursday and full-day holiday on Friday


Electricity supply

220-240 volts AC, 50 cycles


Public Holidays

Malaysia has so many cultures and religions that there are an amazing number of occasions that are celebrated. Most have a fixed date but many, especially the Hindu, Muslim and Chinese follow the lunar year, so dates change each year. In addition to the national public holidays, each state has its own holidays, often associated with the sultans birthday or a Muslim celebration. Hindu and Chinese holidays may also vary from year to year but generally stay within the same month. Due to the vast number of holidays and the fact that they often change, we have listed only the most important ones in each area.

Malaysia celebrates 44 holidays a year, listed here are the most important:


Chinese New Year   22nd - 23rd January
Eid Al-Adha   1st February
Maal Hijrah   22nd February
Labour Day   1st May
Maulidur Rasul - (In Commemoration of the Birthday of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W)   2nd May
Wesak Day   3rd May
Birthday Celebration of SPB Yang di Pertuan Agong   5th June
National Day   31st August
Deepavali   11th November
Eid Al-Fitr   14th - 15th November
Christmas   25th December



Festivals & Events


Chinese New Year (January/ February)

This is a joyous time when friends and relatives give each other "angpows" - red packets with a gift of cash as a token of prosperity and celebrate with feasts and lion dances to ward off evil spirits and usher in the lunar new year. Family reunion dinners are a must among Chinese on the eve of the new year.


Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival (March, August and December)

Three wonderful opportunities to satisfy your every indulgence in Malaysia's month-long shopping carnivals in Kuala Lumpur and other urban centres in the country. There's no better time to pick up that lovely gold bracelet, exquisite designer dress or state-of-the-art camera; fantastic discounts and unbelievable bargains are on offer at shopping centres, emporiums, retail outlets as well as exclusive boutiques. This is also the time when the various Malaysian States showcase their traditional arts and culture.


Food & Fruit Fiesta (July)

Malaysia's favourite pastime has become a shared event nationwide. The seemingly endless variety and abundance of cuisine available in Malaysia, from exotic eastern feasts to elegant western dishes will simply amaze visitors. And the absolutely succulent range of fruits will dazzle and delight newcomers to the world of tropical fruits.


National Day (31 August)

The country celebrates it's independence on 31 August with parades and shows. Towns and cities throughout Malaysia will be gaily decorated and adorned with lights for the grand occasion.


Malaysia Fest (September)

For two weeks, all the major hotels and shopping complexes join forces to feature the culture, cuisine and handicrafts of the various states in Malaysia.


Deepavali (October/ November)

The "Festival of Lights" is a celebration which marks the triumph of good over evil. During this festival, Hindu homes are emblazoned with lights to symbolize this triumph.


Hari Raya Eid al-Fitri (November)

is celebrated by Muslims after the month-long fasting of Ramadan. Muslims usher in the new year with prayers in the mosques followed by receiving well-wishers in their homes.


Christmas (25 December)

Celebrated by Christians similar to any other part of the world. Midnight services are held at churches on Christmas eve. Shopping centres, hotels, old folks homes and children's homes echo with beautiful carols. The revelry and yuletide spirit of Christmas is enjoyed by Christians and non-Christians alike.





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