Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia with a population of over 28 million people on a total landmass of 329,845 sq km. Its capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while the federal government operates out of Putrajaya. The South China Sea splits the country into two regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo, also known as East Malaysia. Consisting of thirteen states and three Federal Territories, Malaysia has Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Brunei on its borders.

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British North Borneo, Singapore, Sarawak and the Federation of Malaya merged to form Malaysia in September 1963. The Sultanate of Brunei, expressed keenness in becoming a member, but withdrew due to arguments over oil royalties and the proposd status of the Sultan. An armed conflict with Indonesia led to the expulsion of Singapore in August 1965. The Government is a combination of a Federal constitutional elective monarchy and Parliamentary democracy. GDP (Purchasing Power Parity) for 2008 was $14,081 per capita, as a result of an economic upsurge in the 1990s. Malaysia still maintains a robust economy, as its system of government has successfully integrated overall economic development with sound political and economic policies that aim to ensure rational and fair participation of all concerned.

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by Erminig Gwenn

The two segments of Malaysia, separated by the South China Sea, share similar landscapes. Both West and East Malaysia feature flat, low-lying land adjacent to the coast and separated from the inland areas by other navigable features. As one moves inland, one has to climb into densely forested hills/mountains. The highest peak is Mount Kinabalu at 4,095 metres (13,436 ft) on Borneo island. The local climate is equatorial and exhibits the standard characteristics of such a climate, annual southwest incoming (April to October) and northeast outgoing monsoons (October to February).

Petronas Twin Towers

by Naz Amir

Kuala Lumpur integrates the old with the new seamlesly. This can be clearly seen in how the old world colonial facade and structure of the Sultan Abdul Samad building blends perfectly with the immensely tall Petronas Twin Towers. There’s more to Kuala Lumpur than just these two global landmarks. The old railway station comes to mind, as does the Masjid Jamek.

Penang, the oldest British settlement in Malaysia is one of Malaysia’s main attractions. The beaches are sombre when compared to others in Malaysia, but this is made up by its rich multicultural history, resplendent colonial heritage and Chinese presence. The place exhibits religious co-existence among the followers of Islam, Buddhism,Hinduism, Christianity, as well as the Chinese religion, a skein of Buddhism ,Taoism and Confucianism. The 33m long reclining Buddha, perhaps the 3rd largest in the world, is the main draw in the Temple of Wat Chayamangkalaram. These are just two of fifty invitations to Malaysia, like Langkawi, etc.

Malaysian Airlines have a modern fleet of thirteen aircraft, from the B-737 to the B-747. They serve almost every destination and are known for their hospitality and friendliness. Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is Malaysia’s lone international airport. It is situated approximately 50 km from the capital city, Kuala Lumpur. Travel by trains and buses are indeed a revelation. Extremely comfortable, they are inexpensive and always punctual.

Accommodation in Malaysia is plentiful and available. Their prices are comparable to those in Singapore, which means that they are not as inexpensive as most other Asian countries. But then, they provide value for money. Safe hotels are a must in cities that have a nightlife, and Malaysian cities do have a nightlife worth a dekko.

Visas are not required by most countries, but it would be wise to check. Australians and New Zealanders do not need a visa.

The Malaysian currency is the Ringgit and the current exchange rate is 1US $ = 3.4 Ringgit.

Date posted: 14th July, 2018

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