Friday, July 27, 2007

About Rehman Rashid

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Rehman Rashid is a prominent Malaysian journalist and writer.

Born in 1955 in Taiping, Perak, he is of indigenous Malaysian [i e Johorean and Kedahan], Arab, Indian, Chinese, and Portuguese ancestry.

He studied in the Malay College Kuala Kangsar, before pursuing a degree in Marine Biology at University College Swansea in Wales, Britain.

Rehman became a journalist in 1981. Prior to this, he worked with the Fisheries Research Institute in George Town, Penang, and as a research associate with the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science of Universiti Putra Malaysia in Serdang, Subang Jaya, Selangor.

After seven years as leader writer and columnist with the New Straits Times, Malaysia's leading English language daily, he joined the Asiaweek magazine in Hong Kong as a senior writer.

He later left for Bermuda (a British colony in the Caribbean) and became a senior writer with the Bermuda Business magazine.

He subsequently returned home and wrote his autobiographical book A Malaysian Journey, which he updated this year.

He was the Malaysian Press Institute's Journalist of the Year for 1985, and Bermuda's Print Journalist of the Year for 1991.

He rejoined the New Straits Times in 2006.

Rehman has also acted in Malaysian productions of Broadway theatre plays, most notably The Sound Of Music.

His younger brother Rafique Rashid is a musician.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

About Borneo

From Wikipedia. Edited by Malaysiana1.

Borneo is the third largest island in the world. It has an area of 743,330 square km and is located at the centre of the Malay Archipelago. Borneo is considered part of Southeast Asia. Administratively, this island is divided between Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.

In Indonesia, Borneo is called Kalimantan.

Borneo is surrounded by the South China Sea to the north and northwest, the Sulu Sea to the northeast, the Sulawesi (Celebes) Sea and the Makassar Strait to the east, and the Java Sea and the Karimata Strait to the south.

To the west of Borneo are the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra. To the south is Java. To the east is the island of Sulawesi. To the northeast is the Philippines.

Borneo's highest point is Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia, at 4,097 m above sea level. This makes it the world's third highest island.

The largest river is the Kapuas River, which at 1,143 km is the longest river in Indonesia. The Rejang River in Sarawak at 563 km is the longest river in Malaysia. Other major rivers are the Barito River (880 km) and the Mahakam River (980 km).

Borneo is also known for the extensive Mulu cave system in Marudi, Miri, Sarawak, a world heritage.

Clearwater Cave has the world's longest underwater river. Deer cave, the largest cave passage in the world, is home to over 3 million bats, and has a pile of guano over 100 metres high.

The island of Borneo is divided administratively into:

- The Indonesian provinces of East, South, West and Central Kalimantan;
- The Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, and the Malaysian Federal Territory of Labuan which is an offshore island of Sabah ;
- The independent sultanate of Brunei (divided into western and eastern Brunei by the Limbang district of Sarawak).

Borneo gets its name from Brunei Ur meaning Greater Brunei in Sanskrit.

The whole island was ruled by the sultan of Brunei who hailed from the Kedayan tribe of Sarawak.

The tribe’s name is derived from the Sanskrit word Varunai which means Sea People.

Sarawak was governed by a son of the Brunei ruler with the title of Datuk Patinggi (Prime Minister) while Sabah was governed by his vassal, the Sultan of Sulu, the paramount ruler of the state’s indigenous Bajau tribe.

The Sultan of Sulu also ruled the islands of Sulu, Mindanao, Palawan, Visayas and Luzon which today make up the Philippines, and Taiwan which is today the Republic of China Taiwan.

Indonesian Borneo or Kalimantan was the Sultanate of Banjarmasin which was governed by a son of the Brunei ruler.

In 1824, Holland made Banjarmasin its protectorate and the kingdom was soon absorbed into the Dutch East Indies (or Dutch Johor). The Dutch East Indies became the independent Republic of Indonesia in 1945.

Britain acquired Sarawak in 1842, Brunei 4 years later and Sabah in 1881.

Sulu, a protectorate of Brunei, ceded Luzon and the Visayas to Spain in the 1500s and these islands became the Spanish colony of the Philippines.

In 1900, the islands of Sulu, Palawan and Mindanao which were ruled by the Sultan of Sulu were conquered by the United States and absorbed into the Philippines.

Borneo is very rich in biodiversity. There are about 15,000 species of flowering plants, 3,000 species of trees, 221 species of terrestrial mammals and 420 species of resident birds in Borneo.

It is also the centre of evolution and radiation of many endemic species of plants and animals. The remaining Borneo rainforest is the only natural habitat for the endangered Bornean orang utan. It is also an important refuge for the Asian elephant, the Sumatran rhinoceros and the Bornean clouded leopard.

The World Wildlife Fund divides the island into seven distinct ecoregions. The Borneo lowland rain forests cover most of the island, with an area of 427,500 square km.

Other lowland ecoregions are the Borneo peat swamp forests, the Kerangas or Sundaland heath forests, the Southwest Borneo freshwater swamp forests, and the Sunda Shelf mangroves.

The Borneo mountain rain forests lie in the central highlands of the island, above the 1000 metre elevation.

The highest elevation of Mount Kinabalu is home to the Kinabalu mountain alpine meadows, an alpine shrubland notable for its numerous endemic species, including many orchids.

The island historically had extensive rainforest cover, but the area is shrinking rapidly due to heavy logging for the needs of the Malaysian plywood industry.

One half of the annual tropical timber acquisition of the world comes from Borneo.

Oil palm plantations are rapidly encroaching on the last remnants of primary rainforest.

The rainforest was also greatly destroyed in the forest fires from 1997 to 1998 which coincided with the El Nino drought.

The indigenous people of Borneo are the Ibans, who are found in Sarawak and West Kalimantan, the Kedayans or Bruneians (or Brunei Malays) who are found along the coasts of Sarawak, Brunei, Sabah, Labuan and Kalimantan [the largest tribe], the Bidayuhs who are found in Sarawak and West Kalimantan, the Melanaus, Kayans and Kenyahs who are found in Sarawak and the interior of Kalimantan, the Kadazan-Dusuns, Muruts and Bajaus who are found in Sabah, and the Kelabits who are found in Sarawak and Sabah.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

About Time We Use Bruce Willis Method Of Smashing Bullies

Kudos to the government for expelling university and college bullies who violate the human rights of their juniors.

I sincerely believe we must “slaughter” these young monsters before they grow into terrorists like Osama Bin Laden.

All bullies should be stripped of their citizenship for 20 years and barred from having sex and owning property!

I mean it!

We should be like John McLaine of Die Hard (Bruce Willis that is).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Most Popular Mee (Noodles) In Malaysia

The most popular mee (noodles) in Malaysia is ...


(We've got lots and lots of cat lovers in Malaysia, including Mr World Mawi Ani and Mr Universe Zainal Alam Kadir, the most popular TV personalities on Astro TV!)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Malaysia’s Old And New Flags

Here are Malaysia’s old and new flags, the Sang Saka Merah Putih (Traditional Red And White) and Jalur Gemilang (Stripes Of Glory), respectively.

Sang Saka Merah Putih is today the flag of Indonesia. Indonesia was formerly part of Malaysia’s previous entity, the Johor Empire.

The blue flag with a white crescent moon and star was also used by the Johor Empire.

A Good Movie Poster

This is the movie poster for the film Caddyshack 2 which was screened in 1988 and starred among others veteran actress Dyan Cannon and comedians Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd.

They rarely make good posters like this one today.

The film is a slapstick comedy set in an American golf resort.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World

1 Great Pyramid Of Giza, Egypt. Arab.

2 Hanging Gardens Of Babylon, Iraq. Arab.

3 Temple Of Artemis, Ephesus, Turkey. Turkish (i e Iranian).

4 Statue Of Zeus, Olympus, Greece. Greek.

5 Mausoleum Of Maussollos, Halicarnassus, Turkey. Turkish (i e Iranian).

6 Colossus Of Rhodes, Greece. Greek.

7 Lighthouse Of Alexandria, Egypt. Arab.

Three Arab, 2 Greek and 2 Iranian.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Amirul Yap On Turning 50

I'm happy. It's not that easy for everyone to reach this age.

Everyone prays for a long life but we don't know at what age we will exit this life.

It's something to be proud of. Age is just a number and I'm glad to have lived to see the changes in my country.

My daughters will always tease me come Merdeka (Independence Day) as I would be as old as the country has been independent.

I'm very proud to turn 50 together with the nation.

Amirul Yusuf Yap is the e-Media research executive of The New Straits Times Press.

About Kuala Lumpur

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Kuala Lumpur is the capital and largest city of Malaysia.

Kuala Lumpur is one of the three Malaysian Federal Territories.

It is an enclave within the state of Selangor, on the central west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

Malaysians commonly refer to the city as KL.

Kuala Lumpur is the seat of the Parliament of Malaysia, making it the country's legislative capital.

The city was once home to the executive and judicial branches of the federal government, but they have since moved to Putrajaya.

Kuala Lumpur was the original site of Klang town and was a major trading centre of the ancient Johor empire.

However, it slowly became a backwater over the centuries, and the empire's capital shifted south to Melaka, Muar, Johor Baru, Singapore, Kota Tinggi, and Palembang in Sumatra.

In 1857, Sultan Muhammad Shah of Selangor had his son-in-law Raja Abdullah Raja Jaafar develop Kuala Lumpur into a tin-mining centre.

Raja Abdullah was the lord of Klang. Klang had by then shifted its town centre to its modern-day location at the estuary of the Klang River.

Raja Abdullah brought in many Chinese migrants, who entered Selangor from Penang and Singapore, to work in the tin mines.

One of them was Datuk Yap Ah Loy, who became the third headman of the town.

Yap developed and modernised Kuala Lumpur and is today known as the Man Who Built KL.

In 1880, Kuala Lumpur replaced Klang as the capital of Selangor. In 1896 it became British Malaysia's capital.

In 1974, Kuala Lumpur was made a federal territory of Malaysia. Selangor's capital reverted to Klang. In 1978, the new town of Shah Alam between Klang and Kuala Lumpur became the capital of Selangor.

Kuala Lumpur is located inland, at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak Rivers. Its name means Muddy River Estuary. The Muddy River is the Gombak River which was also called the Lumpur (Muddy) River.

Kuala Lumpur is a hub for cultural activities.

The National Museum in Damansara Road showcases artefacts from all over the country.

The Kuala Lumpur Philharmonic Hall in the Petronas Twin Towers, Ampang Road, is a concert venue for world class musicians and orchestras.

The National Art Gallery and National Theatre in Tun Razak Road are also popular venues for patrons of the arts. Both buildings incorporate indigenous Malaysian as well as British design.

There is also the Petronas Art Gallery in the Petronas Twin Towers, and the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre in Sentul Park, Ipoh Road.

Several national newspapers operate from Kuala Lumpur and they include The New Straits Times and Berita Harian (Daily News).

Kuala Lumpur is also the headquarters of national television station Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) which broadcasts programmes in Malaysian, English, Chinese and Tamil.

The city is also home to the country's satellite TV station Astro TV.

Kuala Lumpur has an efficient road network linked to the rest of Peninsular Malaysia.

Motorists pay toll at strategic locations along all major expressways in and around the city. The government has just built the Smart Tunnel, an underground tunnel, to ease traffic congestion.

Kuala Lumpur is connected to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, Selangor via the KLIA Express high-speed train service.

Malaysia Airlines and all major international airlines land at KLIA. Malaysia's second major airline, AirAsia makes use of its own Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang.

Public transport in Kuala Lumpur includes buses, taxis and LRT trains. The city's railway station is KL Sentral in Tun Sambanthan Road.

The Golden Triangle, surrounded by Tun Perak Road, Pudu Road, Tun Razak Road, and the Ampang Elevated Highway, is the commercial hub of the city.

It contains the Petronas Twin Towers, most major hotels, restaurants and shopping centres.

The Petronas Twin Towers are the world's tallest twin towers, and second and third tallest singular towers. They are adjacent to the Suria KLCC shopping centre.

The KL Tower, the world's fifth tallest telecommunication tower in Pineapple Hill (Bukit Nanas), Raja Chulan Road, has an observation deck which provides great views of the city.

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre is the city's leading exhibition centre, and houses Aquaria KLCC, the country's largest aquarium with more than 5,000 varieties of tropical fish.

The Lake Gardens, a 920,000 square metre manicured garden near the Malaysian Parliament building and National Museum includes a Butterfly Park, Deer Park, Orchid Garden, Hibiscus Garden and Southeast Asia's largest Bird Park.

The Merdeka Stadium (Independence Stadium) in Hang Tuah Road was erected for the country's declaration of independence on August 31, 1957.

Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) in Raja Road was the site of the lowering of the Union Jack flag and the hoisting of the Malaysian flag on the start of August 31, 1957.

The square itself is outside the colonial-era Royal Selangor Club, the National History Museum and the Arab-Indian-style Sultan Abdul Samad Building which houses the main courts.

The old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, an Indian-Arab-style building in Sultan Hishamuddin Road, was completed in 1911.

Opposite the old railway station is the Masjid Negara (National Mosque), a post-modernist mosque, completed in 1965. Within the mosque is the Makam Pahlawan (Heroes Mausoleum), the mausoleum of Malaysian leaders.

The Parliament House in Parliament Road was completed in 1963.

The Tugu Kebangsaan (National Monument), also in Parliament Road, commemorates the country's war heroes who fought against colonialism. It was constructed by Felix De Weldon, the American sculptor of Iwo Jima fame.

The Istana Negara (National Palace) in Istana Road is the official residence of the King of Malaysia.

The National Science Centre in Mount Kiara Road uses state-of-the-art museum technology.

The Bukit Nanas (Pineapple Hill) Forest Reserve is a small, gazetted tropical forest located on the hill which also houses the KL Tower.

The leading Chinese temple in Kuala Lumpur is the Thean Hou Temple in Seputeh Hill.

Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown is the area around Petaling Street while its Little Indias are the areas around Tun Sambanthan Road and India Mosque Road.

Kuala Lumpur's second largest shopping centre is the Mid Valley Megamall in Bangsar Road. The city's largest is the Berjaya Times Square in Imbi Road in the Golden Triangle.

The Kuala Lumpur Central Market in Tan Cheng Lock Road is a centre of handicrafts. It also houses a theatre.

The country's sports centre is the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil (Jalil Hill). The 1998 Commonwealth Games was held at the National Stadium here.

Kuala Lumpur's sister cities are Ankara in Turkey, Isfahan in Iran and Mashhad in Iran.

About Merdeka (Independence) Stadium

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium) is a sports stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

It was initially erected for Malaysia's declaration of independence on August 31, 1957.

The country's declaration of independence and the formation of the modern Federation of Malaysia were both held at Stadium Merdeka.

In February 2003, Stadium Merdeka was named a national heritage building.

The stadium was the venue for many major sporting events such as the 1977 Southeast Asia Games and the annual Merdeka Football Tournament.

It was also used as the venue for concerts by international pop stars such as Michael Jackson, Linkin Park and Kool And The Gang.

In 1975, it hosted a boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Bugner.

In 2007, the stadium's 45,000 seats were reduced to 20,000 seats to mark Malaysia's 50th independence celebrations.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Why I Am A Star Wars Fan

Star Wars, yes, all 6 of them, will always remain my favourite film of all time.

Astro TV recently showed all 6 Star Wars films back to back. Superb!

While the film talks of a cosmic battle between good and evil, it actually speaks of how the Dark Side (Satan) easily tempts the official Do Gooders of the universe, the Jedi.

The Jedi must always stick to the Middle Path, because the Dark Side (Satan) will always seduce it.

The protagonist Annakin Skywalker was once the best of the Jedis but he became too arrogant and the Dark Side seduced him and turned him into Darth Vader, the evil Sith lord.

However, he eventually broke free from the Dark Side, with help from his only son Luke Skywalker (producer and director George Lucas' alter ego, really).

Darth Vader died a hero by saving the universe from Emperor (Lord) Palpatine, the wicked foster father who took him to the Dark Side.

He killed Palpatine, and died in the process, upholding the Jedi's true values of self-sacrifice for the protection and sanctity of universal life.

In the real world we have our own Jedi.

But this Jedi has become Darth Vader. It got seduced by Emperor Palpatine, who has become a spirit.

This Jedi has perverted its own values and turned its values into evil values.

The rest of the universe lives in fear of the once-good Jedi.

But there are many of us who are ass holes who ridicule and insult the Jedi and ask for death by light-sabre.

Those among us who care, should band together, like Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2D2 and C3PO.

We should collaborate, putting aside our minor differences first, to build up a force to save the Jedi and restore the true Jedi teachings.

This force should flesh out the good Jedi, the Luke Skywalkers and Obi Wan Kenobis, from the bad Jedi and destroy the bad Jedi.

The good Jedi will stand with us and recreate the true Jedi path.

Some of the muscular gangsters among us should be roped in to help our cause.

But we should be careful lest they go overboard and destroy the good Jedi as well.

We should screen these gangsters first, and pick only those who will not go overboard.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

About Malaysia

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.
Malaysia is a federation of thirteen states in Southeast Asia.
The country consists of two geographical regions divided by the South China Sea.
Peninsular Malaysia (or West Malaysia) on the Malay Peninsula shares a land border on the north with Thailand and is connected by the Johor-Singapore Causeway and the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link to the south with Singapore.
It consists of nine sultanates (Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor and Terengganu), two states headed by governors (Melaka and Penang), and two federal territories (Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur).
Malaysian Borneo (or East Malaysia) occupies the northern part of the island of Borneo, bordering Indonesia and surrounding the Sultanate of Brunei.
It consists of the states of Sabah and Sarawak and the federal territory of Labuan.
The name Malaysia was adopted in 1963 when the Federation of Malaya expanded to include Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak.
Singapore left Malaysia in 1965 and became an independent republic.
Historically, Malaysia and Malaya referred to the region which covers modern-day Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines and East Timor.
The indigenous people of this region are Native Malaysians who speak languages of the Malaysian linguistic family.
Although politically dominated by Native Malaysians, Malaysian society is heterogeneous, with substantial Chinese and Indian minorities.
The country has been largely stable, save for a brief period of inter-ethnic violence in 1969, between mainly indigenous supporters of the ruling conservative National Front (Barisan Nasional or BN) coalition of parties and the mainly Chinese supporters of the left-wing opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP).
Indigenous Malaysians, of East Asian stock, and Melanesians known as Negritos, of African stock, have been living in Malaysia since time immemorial.
The oldest Malaysian kingdoms were Johor, Kedah and Kelantan. Johor was the most powerful, and ruled the whole Malaysian subcontinent.
Johor’s masters were the Johor indigenous people, the founders of Malaysia’s national language, Malay, also known as Bahasa Malaysia or Malaysian.
Kedah was the kingdom of the Kedah indigenous tribe which has links to the Hmong of Laos, the Batak of Sumatra in modern-day Indonesia, and the Iban of Sarawak.
Kelantan was the kingdom of the Cham or Vietnamese.
Originally Hindus and Buddhists, the indigenous Malaysians largely became Muslim after Kelantan embraced Islam in the era of the Righteous Caliphs.
Kelantan was the first Muslim kingdom in East Asia.
The Johor empire, which relocated to Melaka from 1400 to 1511, had strong trade and diplomatic ties with China.
China gave protection to Johor against expansionism from Thailand, a former vassal of Johor.
Melaka was conquered by the Portuguese in 1511, and they ruled the former fief of the Johor sultan until the Dutch expelled them in 1641. In 1824, Melaka was taken by the British.
In the 1500s, Spain seized the islands of Luzon and the Visayas from the sultan of Sulu, the king of the Bajau tribe which ruled Sabah, and created the colony of the Philippines.
In the same decade, Portugal took East Timor in the Tenggara Islands from the king of Sulawesi who ruled from Makassar.
The Philippines was taken from Spain by the United States in 1900, and in the same year, the Americans took the islands of Mindanao, the Sulu Islands and Palawan from the Sulu monarch who ruled from Sabah.
The Philippines, incorporating Mindanao, the Sulu Islands and Palawan, became independent in 1946.
East Timor gained independence from Portugal in 1976. It was subsequently occupied by Indonesia, on the orders of the United States, and regained independence in 1999.
Britain established its first colony in Malaysia when it took Penang from the Kedah sultan in 1786.
In 1819, Britain took Singapore from the Johor sultan.
In 1824, the Johor monarch ceded all his protectorates in maritime Malaysia to Holland.
Holland created the colony of the Dutch East Indies, also called Dutch Malaya or the Dutch Johor Islands, and governed it until 1945 when it became the independent Republic of Indonesia.
In the 1700s, when Johor was at war with Holland, Thailand became expansionist again, and made the northern protectorates of Johor namely Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan, Patani and Terengganu, its protectorates.
Between 1470 and 1773, territories of Johor broke free from the kingdom and became separate sultanates. They were Pahang (1470), Perak (1528), Terengganu (1720), Selangor (1745) and Negeri Sembilan (1773).
Perlis left Kedah in 1821 and became a separate sultanate.
All but Selangor were protectorates of Johor.
In the 1800s, wars of succession in these states resulted in British colonial intervention.
The Malaysian sultans were forced to accept British advisers called Residents, who became powers behind their thrones.
In 1909, Britain brought Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu back into Malaysia.
However, Patani remained a protectorate of Thailand, and the Thais annexed the kingdom after World War 2.
Sarawak was acquired from the sultan of Brunei in 1842 while Sabah was acquired from the Brunei ruler and his vassal, the sultan of Sulu, in 1881. Brunei became a British protectorate with a Resident in 1846.
Malaysia was seized by the Japanese in 1941. The fascist Japanese army ruled the country brutally for four years, killing a large number of Malaysian Chinese.
The Chinese-based Communist Party of Malaysia launched a guerilla warfare against the Japanese invaders, and together with the British, they drove the Japanese out in 1945.
The Communists continued to fight after the British retook Malaysia. It was only in 1989, after pressure by China, that they decided to give up their armed struggle to make Malaysia a socialist republic.
Pro-independence movements mushroomed beginning from the 1930s. Their agitation peaked after World War 2.
In 1955, Britain organised pre-independence general elections which were won by the National Front (then called the Alliance) comprising the United Malay National Organisation (UMNO), the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC).
These parties represented the interests of the indigenous Malaysians (called Malays), the Malaysian Chinese and the Malaysian Indians, respectively.
Malaysia gained independence on August 31, 1957. Singapore became a separate British colony in 1946.
On September 16, 1963, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak gained independence as member states of an enlarged Malaysia.
Brunei chose not to join Malaysia and became independent from Britain in 1984.
Indonesia and the Philippines had brief armed skirmishes with Malaysia between 1963 and 1965. The then Indonesian president Ahmad Sukarno and the then Philippine president Diosdado Macapagal had their reasons.
Sukarno viewed the Kuala Lumpur federal government as right-wing “stooges” of Britain and the United States who gave refuge to his political enemies.
Macapagal staked a claim on Sabah, which has always been flimsy.
Both presidents eventually made peace with Malaysia.
After the 1969 race riots, the government created the New Economic Policy (NEP) which allowed indigenous people to receive special help in the form of business and education loans, and quotas in all sectors of the economy.
Special assistance to indigenous people, however, is not meant to be permanent, as it can spoil them rotten.
Malaysia became a newly industrialised nation in the late 1980s, and is now the Muslim world’s most developed nation.

Malaysia is a federal, elective constitutional monarchy. The federal head of state is the King or Yang Dipertuan Agong (literally Great King).
The King is elected for a five-year term and chosen from amongst the nine sultans.
The political system is closely based on Britain’s. However, unlike Britain, Malaysia has a written constitution.
Legislative power is divided between federal and state legislatures. The bicameral parliament consists of the lower house, the House of Representatives or Dewan Rakyat (literally People’s Assembly) and the upper house, the Senate or Dewan Negara (literally the National Assembly).
Members of the lower house are elected while those of the upper house are appointed by the King on the advise of the executive branch of the political system headed by the prime minister.
The state legislatures are unicameral and are entirely elected.
Parliamentary and state elections are held every five years.
The executive branch of the system comprises the cabinet headed by the prime minister who is the chief executive officer of the nation.
Malaysia has an independent judiciary headed by the Chief Justice of Malaysia, appointed by the King on the advise of the prime minister.
State governments are led by head ministers (or Menteri Besar) in the royal states and chief ministers (or Ketua Menteri) in the non-royal states.
Both West and East Malaysia feature coastal plains rising to densely forested hills and mountains, the highest of which is Mount Kinabalu at 4,095 metres in Ranau, Sabah.
The local climate is equatorial and characterised by the annual southwest (May to September) and northeast (November to April) monsoons.
Tanjung Piai, in Pontian, Johor, is the southernmost tip of continental Asia.
The Straits of Melaka, between Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia, is arguably the most important shipping lane in the world.
Putrajaya was created as Malaysia’s seat of government in 2001, to ease growing congestion within the capital city, Kuala Lumpur.
Kuala Lumpur remains the seat of parliament, as well as the commercial capital of the country. Other major cities include Ipoh, Johor Baru, George Town, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Alor Star, Melaka and Petaling Jaya.
The Malay Peninsula has been a centre of trade for centuries. Various items such as porcelain and spice were actively traded since time immemorial.
During British colonial rule, rubber, tin and palm oil became the country’s major products, and the country was at one time the world’s top producer of these commodities.
In the 1980s, surplus capital accumulated from trade in the above commodities resulted in the country’s industrial take-off. Malaysia’s main export today is manufactured goods.
While the Chinese and Indian Malaysians first arrived in Malaysia during the days of the Johor empire, their forefathers mainly entered the country during British rule, as mine (Chinese) and plantation (Indian) labour.
Malaysia still exports rubber and palm oil, as well as timber, cocoa and tobacco. In the timber industry, Kuala Lumpur has a sound reforestation policy modelled after that of Canada, which ensures that every felled tree is replaced.
Petroleum was first discovered in Miri, Sarawak, by Shell, in 1910. In the 1970s, petroleum was discovered in Sabah and Terengganu.

Malaysia has extensive roads that connect all major cities and towns on the western coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
The total length of the Malaysian expressway network is 1,192 kilometres.
The major expressway, the North-South Expressway spans from the northern and the southern tips of Peninsular Malaysia at Bukit Kayu Hitam in Jitra, Kedah, and Johor Baru in Johor, respectively.
Roads in the East Malaysia and the eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia are relatively undeveloped. They are highly curved roads passing through mountainous regions. This has resulted in the continued use of rivers as the main mode of transportation for interior residents.
Train service in West Malaysia is operated by Malayan Railways (Keretapi Tanah Melayu) which has extensive railroads that connect all major cities and towns in the peninsula, including Singapore.
There is also a short railway in Sabah operated by North Borneo Railway that mainly carries freight.
Malaysia’s ports are Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Kuching in Sarawak, Kuantan in Pahang, Pasir Gudang in Johor, Tanjung Pelepas in Skudai, Johor, George Town in Penang, Port Klang in Klang, Selangor, Sandakan in Sabah and Tawau in Sabah.
There are also world class airports, such as the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Selangor, the Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas, Balik Pulau, Penang, the Kuching International Airport in Kuching, Sarawak, and the Langkawi International Airport in Kuah, Langkawi, Kedah.
Malaysia is the home of the first low-cost carrier in the region, Air Asia. It has Kuala Lumpur as its hub and maintains flights around Southeast Asia and China.
The intercity telecommunication service is provided on Peninsular Malaysia mainly by microwave radio. International telecommunications are provided through submarine cables and satellite.
One of the largest and most significant telecommunication companies in Malaysia is Telekom Malaysia (TM), providing products and services from fixed line, mobile as well as dial-up and broadband Internet access service.

The Malaysian healthcare system requires doctors to perform a compulsory 3 years service with public hospitals to ensure the manpower of these hospitals is maintained.
Recently foreign doctors have also been encouraged to take up employment here.
There is still, however, a shortage of highly trained specialists resulting in certain medical care and treatment only available in large cities.
Education in Malaysia is monitored by the federal government.
Most Malaysian children start schooling between the ages of 3 to 6, in kindergarten. Most kindergartens are run privately, but some are government-operated.
Children begin primary schooling at 7 years. There are two types of government-operated or government-assisted primary schools namely national schools (Sekolah Kebangsaan) which use Malaysian as the medium of instruction, and national-type schools (Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan) which use either Chinese (Mandarin) or Tamil as the medium of instruction.
Students sit for government examinations in Year 6.
Secondary education in government secondary schools lasts five years. Government secondary schools use Malaysian as the medium of instruction. There are government examinations in Form 3 and Form 5.
Malaysia has both public and private universities. The leading public universities are the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur and the National University of Malaysia (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia) in Kajang, Selangor.
The foreign universities with branch campuses in Malaysia include Australia’s Monash University and Curtin University and Britain’s University of Nottingham.
Most private colleges have twinning programmes with foreign universities, especially those in the United States, Australia and Britain.

Indigenous people form 63 per cent of the population, of which 53 per cent are West Malaysian natives collectively called Malays and 10 per cent are East Malaysian natives called Borneo Natives.

Malaysian Chinese form 27 per cent of the population, and Malaysian Indians form 10 per cent.

There is a large number of foreign workers, mostly from Indonesia and the Philippines, in Malaysia. From time to time, the government repatriates workers who enter the country illegally from these countries.


Malaysia is a multi-religious society and Islam is the official religion.
Religious freedom is guaranteed by the constitution.
Muslims make up 59 per cent of the population followed by Buddhists (24 per cent), Christians (10 per cent) and Hindus (7 per cent).
National Day is celebrated on August 31 every year. September 16 is National Unity Day which marks the independence of East Malaysia.
Other public holidays are Labour Day (May 1) and the King’s Birthday (first Saturday of June).
The main Muslim festival is Aidil Fitri also called Hari Raya (Big Day) in Malaysian. It marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan in the Muslim calendar.
Muslims also celebrate Aidil Adha or Hari Raya Haji which is a celebration for those who successfully performed the pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj.
Malaysian Chinese celebrate Chinese New Year as well as traditional Chinese festivals such as the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Hindus celebrate Deepavali, the Festival of Lights and Thaipusam, a thanksgiving pilgrimage to the country’s largest Hindu cave temple, Batu Caves in Selayang, Selangor.
Natives of Sabah and Sarawak celebrate annual Harvest Festivals called Gawai in Sarawak and Kaamatan in Sabah.
Christmas and Wesak, the Buddhist New Year, are also celebrated on a large scale.
Multi-ethnic Malaysians frequently visit each other and attend private and government-organised open house parties to mark each major festive occasion.
Sometimes, joint celebrations of festivals are held, if these festivals fall within the same week.

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