Malaysia is a federation of 13 states and three federal territories in Southeast Asia. It consists of two regions separated by the South China Sea and is bordered by Brunei, Indonesia, and Thailand. Malaysia has strategic location along Strait of Malacca and southern South China Sea. The government system is a constitutional monarchy; the chief of state is the king, and the head of government is the prime minister. Malaysia has a mixed economic system which includes a variety of private freedom, combined with centralized economic planning and government regulation. Malaysia is a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy, nominally headed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King). Kings are elected for 5-year terms from among the nine sultans of the peninsular Malaysian states. The king also is the leader of the Islamic faith in Malaysia. Executive power is vested in the cabinet led by the Prime Minister ; the Malaysian constitution stipulates that the prime minister must be a member of the lower house of Parliament who, in the opinion of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, commands a majority in parliament. The cabinet is chosen from among members of both houses of parliament and is responsible to that body. The Malays form the majority of the population and there are sizable Chinese and Indian communities. Islam is the largest as well as the official religion of the federation. The Malay language is the official language.
The Malaysian legal system is based on English common law. The Federal Court reviews decisions referred from the Court of Appeal; it has original jurisdiction in constitutional matters and in disputes between states or between the federal government and a state. Peninsular Malaysia and the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak each have a high court.
The federal government has authority over external affairs, defense, internal security, justice (except civil law cases among Malays or other Muslims and other indigenous peoples, adjudicated under Islamic and traditional law), federal citizenship, finance, commerce, industry, communications, transportation, and other matters.
Since it became independent, Malaysia’s economic record has been one of Asia’s best. Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by an average of 6.5% per year from 1957 to 2007. Performance peaked in the early 1980s through the mid-1990s, as the economy experienced sustained rapid growth averaging almost 8% annually. High levels of foreign and domestic investment played a significant role as the economy diversified and modernized. Once heavily dependent on primary products such as rubber and tin, Malaysia today is a middle-income country with a multi-sector economy based on services and manufacturing. Malaysia is one of the world’s largest exporters of semiconductor devices, electrical goods, and information and communication technology (ICT) products.
The government has taken an active role in guiding the nation’s economic development. Malaysia’s New Economic Policy (NEP), first established in 1971, sought to eradicate poverty and to enhance the economic standing. In June 1991, after the NEP expired, the government unveiled its National Development Policy, which contained many of the NEP’s goals. In April 2001, the government released a new plan, the “National Vision Policy,” to guide development over the period 2001-2010. The National Vision Policy targets education for budget increases and seeks to refocus the economy toward higher-technology production. The stated goal is for Malaysia to be a fully developed economy by 2020.
Regional cooperation is a cornerstone of Malaysia’s foreign policy. It was a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)and served as the group’s chair most recently in 2005-2006. Malaysia is an active member of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) , the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and the United Nations .
Johor Bahru is the fourth largest city in Malaysia with a population of 497,067 people. The city is the capital of the state of Johor. The city is the southernmost city in the peninsular Malaysia and sits along the Straits of Johor. The city of Iskandar Puteri was founded in 1855 by the Sultanate of Johor (1523-19th century) and was renamed Johor Bahru a few years later in 1862. During this time period, the area was developed into an agricultural center as Chinese and Javanese were invited to come to the area and then the city started to truly develop during the reign of Sultan Abu Bakar (1833-95).
Johor Bahru is one of the fastest growing cities in Malaysia and is a major economic source not only for Malaysia but the surrounding region and internationally. In recent years the city has been the first in the country to practice a low carbon economy to limit greenhouses gasses and has been host to international conferences like the World Islamic Economic Forum and the Eastern Regional Organisation for Planning and Housing. The Grand Palace (Istana Besar) is not only a major historical attraction, but it also houses the Royal Abu Bakar Museum. There is also the Foon Yew High School, which is the location of many historical items on the city’s Chinese cultural heritage. The city is also home to the Johor Art Gallery, a zoo, shopping malls, cinemas, a football (soccer) and futsal stadium.
Ipoh is the third biggest city in Malaysia with a population of 737,861 in its metro area. The city is the capital of the state of Perak. The city is located in peninsular Malaysia in the center of the Kinta Valley and sits on the bank of the Kinta River. The city also has the Kledang mountain range that runs from the north part of the city to the west part.
The city was founded at some point around the year 1880 as a mining town that started to rapidly grow in the 1920’s. The hills around the city are known for their unique cave temples, like the Sam Poh Tong and Kek Lok Tong Chinese Buddhist Temples. The city also is home to the Gua Tempurung cave, which is popular among spelunkers and the picturesque Gunung Lang lake. The city is known throughout Malaysia for its lively food scene of restaurants, well-known dishes, and fresh fruits. One of the city’s most famous creations is its “Ipoh white coffee,” which is coffee beans roasted with palm-oil margarine. Several golf courses are also housed in the city. The Muzium Darul Ridzuan historical museum and the Han China Pet Soo museum on Hakka tin mining are other tourist attractions in the city.
George Town of Penang
George Town of Penang is the second largest city in Malaysia, with a population of 2,412,616 people. The city is the capital of the state of Penang. The city is located in Peninsular Malaysia on the Penang Island. In 1786 the British East India Company wanted to establish a presence in Southeast Asia to regain trade routes from the Dutch and have a naval base. That year they sent Captain Francis Light (1740-94) to established trade relation in the Malaysian archipelago, and he arrived on Penang Island in July. After negotiating with the Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Shah, they came to an agreement that the British would protect the country from Siam. Light then went back and established Penang Island as a British possession in August of 1786 and shortly afterward built Fort Cornwallis and established the city of George Town as a free port to attract settlers.
In 1805 the island was elevated from a colonial to a residency status and finally in 1957 the town was awarded city status. In 1969, a few years after Malaysia became an independent country, the town’s free port status was finally taken away. George Town is a UNESCO World Heritage City filled with cultural and historical attractions like the 1880s Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Fort Cornwallis, the Kong Hock Keong Temple built in 1800 and other buildings. The city is also home to the annual George Town Literary Festival and the Penang Botanic Gardens, which opened in 1884.
Kuala Lumpur is the biggest city in Malaysia with a population of 7,200,000 people in the metro area. The city is the capital of Malaysia and is also one of the three Federal Territories of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is located in the Klang Valley at the point where the Gombak and Klang rivers converge. Historians do not know exactly when or who founded the city but it is usually agreed upon that the town was established in 1857 when the Chief of the city of Klang hired some Chinese miners to open tin mines in the area which is now Kuala Lumpur.
Kuala Lumpur was the capital of the Federated Malay States (1895-46), the Malayan Union (1946-48), the Federation of Malaysia (1948-63) and is the current capital of modern day Malaysia. In 1972 Malaysia became the first settlement to be granted city status after independent and in 1974 it became a Federal Territory. Kuala Lumpur also houses the Parliament of Malaysia, and the official residence of the King of Malaysia. The city is the fastest growing in all of Malaysia and is a cultural, financial and economic force, as well as being one of the top tourist destinations in the world. The city hosts a variety of historical and modern buildings for tourists to visit, as well as religious sites and is also a major city when it comes to national, regional and international conferences. The city is also a major shopping hub, being home to 66 different malls. It also has a wide variety of musical theater, art galleries and a number of different venues for sports and recreation.
Best time to visit Malaysia
The best time to visit Malaysia is between March & September. After the rainy season, plenty of tropical foliage makes this country a must visit. If you are a wildlife lover, then you should consider the dry season of March to October for visiting. You can enjoy bird watching in March & July months. To save budget, you can try Google cheap Malaysia tour package.
Must Have Food in Malaysia
Malaysia is famous for its tropical environments and multicultural diversity. This makes Malaysia a food heaven. Malaysia has everything to offer from Chinese, India, Thai, and Indonesian. Different states have a different variety to offer with its variations and versions.
- Nasi Lemak – It is undoubtedly Malaysia’s No one modern food. The main recipe including rice cooking with coconut milk and served on banana leafs with the boiled end and paste of chilly. Now this food is available all the time as compared to earlier time when it was available only in morning
- Paratha – This easy to make and cheap breakfast option is very famous, especially among the Indians. All the Indian food joints offer this dish. One can enjoy the paratha with chicken or fish curry or pickle as well.
- Nasi Kerabu Kelantan – This traditional Malaysian food is very popular among the locals. This dish is not easy to make and take a lot of time to prepare. This dish required a lot of ingredients and spices.
- Lemang – It is one of the oldest Malaysian foods and still cooked in the same way as it used to be cooked earlier. Bamboo is used to cook this dish and specially made during Eid festivals. This dish may take hours to prepare thoroughly.
- Kellie’s Castle, Perak – This mystery castle was planned by WK Smith, a Scottish planter 1915. He had ordered to build this place so that he can stay there while on duty. This castle looks stunning with a dense forest of the peak.
- The City Hall, Penang – This hundred century-old hall, is one the first building in Panag which have complete facilities for fans and electric lights. This building was used as Municap offices center.
- Kuala Lumpur Railway Station – This iconic railway station was designed by master architect Benison humpback. It was constructed in India Mughal style with beautiful dome-shaped pavilions.
- Carcosa Seri Negara, Kuala Lumpur – This place provides you stunning hilltop views. This building is more than two hundred years old; it was used as the official residence of British high commissioner.
- St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kuala Lumpur – This KL prime location is one of the oldest Anglican churches. Earlier the building was made with simple timber, but slowly it was transformed with metal windows, glass, and tiles.
- Atkinson Clock Tower – This oldest standing building in the city is still in running conditions. It was built more than hundred years ago with total wood without any metal or tiles. The clock tower is still functional and provides accurate time to city locals.