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Hibiscus national flower selamat datang / Welcome to the Malaysia Wikiportal Hibiscus national flower

Map of Malaysia

Malaysia (/məˈlʒə/ (About this sound listen) mə-LAY-zhə or /məˈlsiə/ (About this sound listen) mə-LAY-see-ə; Malaysian pronunciation: [məlejsiə])[lacks stress] is a federal constitutional monarchy located in Southeast Asia. It consists of thirteen states and three federal territories and has a total landmass of 330,803 square kilometres (127,720 sq mi) separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia (Malaysian Borneo). Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand and maritime borders with Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines and Vietnam. The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. With a population of over 30 million, Malaysia is the 44th most populous country. The southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, is in Malaysia. Located in the tropics, Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries on earth, with large numbers of endemic species.

Malaysia has its origins in the Malay kingdoms present in the area which, from the 18th century, became subject to the British Empire. The first British territories were known as the Straits Settlements, whose establishment was followed by the Malay kingdoms becoming British protectorates. The territories on Peninsular Malaysia were first unified as the Malayan Union in 1946. Malaya was restructured as the Federation of Malaya in 1948, and achieved independence on 31 August 1957. Malaya united with North Borneo, Sarawak, and Singapore on 16 September 1963 to become Malaysia. Less than two years later in 1965, Singapore was expelled from the federation.

The country is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, which plays a large role in politics. About half the population is ethnically Malay, with large minorities of Malaysian Chinese which also form the second largest community of Overseas Chinese in the world, Malaysian Indians, and indigenous peoples. The constitution grants freedom of religion and makes Malaysia an officially secular state, while establishing Islam as the "religion of the Federation". Despite being a majority Muslim country, Malaysia has been widely regarded as a rather moderate Muslim majority country. Malaysia also recognizes Chinese New Year, Eid al-Fitr, Diwali and Christmas as federal national holiday.

The government system is closely modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system and the legal system is based on common law. The head of state is the king, known as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. He is an elected monarch chosen from the hereditary rulers of the nine Malay states every five years. The head of government is the prime minister. The country official language is Bahasa Malaysia or commonly known as Malay language. English remains as an active second language. English proficiency in Malaysia has been highly ranked as the second best in Asia after Singapore and 12th best in the world as of 2016.

The economy has traditionally been fuelled by its natural resources, but is expanding in the sectors of science, tourism, commerce and medical tourism. It is also one of the few developing countries to subsidise heavily on education and healthcare. Its citizens are entitled to free public education up to secondary education level and public tertiary education fees are subsidised as much as 90%. Basic healthcare services at government run clinics with prescription cost RM1. Its healthcare services have been highly regarded and the UN Development Programme has called Malaysia healthcare system "a model to other developing countries".

It is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the East Asia Summit, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Malaysia is also a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Non-Aligned Movement.

Selected article

From left to right: Marina Bay boats and sunset, Miri city centre from Canada Hill
Miri /ˈmɪr/ (Jawi: ميري‎; Chinese: 美里; pinyin: Méi Lǐ) is a coastal city in northeastern Sarawak, Malaysia, located near the border of Brunei, on the island of Borneo. The city covers an area of 997.43 square kilometres (385.11 sq mi), located 798 kilometres (496 mi) northeast of Kuching and 329 kilometres (204 mi) southwest of Kota Kinabalu. Miri is the second largest city in Sarawak, The city is also the capital of Miri District of the Miri Division.

Before Miri was founded, Marudi was the administrative centre of the northern region of Sarawak. Miri was founded in 1910 when the first oil well was drilled by Royal Dutch Shell. The discovery of an oil field in Miri has led to rapid development of Miri town. Miri became the administrative centre of the northern region of Sarawak by 1929. During World War II, the Miri oil fields were destroyed by the Brooke government to sabotage Japanese operations in Southeast Asia but to no avail; Miri town was the first landing point of Japanese troops in Borneo. The subsequent Japanese occupation led Miri to become a target of Allied air raids which caused the destruction of oil refinery facilities in Miri. The petroleum industry continued to be a major player in the city's economy after the war. Oil exploration has moved offshore since the 1950s, but subsequently new inland oil fields were found in 1989 and 2011. In 1974, the formation of Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas led to co-operation between Petronas and Shell on oil exploration in the Miri region. In 2005, Miri became the 10th city in Malaysia to be granted official city status, the first non-state capital city to be bestowed such status.

Selected picture

Dataran Helang (Eagle Square)
Credit: Cccefalon

A picture of the Eagle Square (Dataran Helang) in Langkawi, Malaysia. According to one interpretation, Langkawi means island of the reddish-brown eagle in colloquial Malay. The Malay word for eagle is helang - which is shortened to "lang", while kawi is the name of a red stone used as a chalk to mark goods. This interpretation was used to create the landmark sculpture of an eagle as the symbol of Langkawi at Dataran Helang (Eagle Square) in Kuah.

Langkawi, officially known as Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah (Malay: Langkawi Permata Kedah), is an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea, some 30km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. The islands are a part of the state of Kedah, which is adjacent to the Thai border. On 15 July 2008, Sultan Abdul Halim of Kedah had consented to the change of name to Langkawi Permata Kedah in conjunction with his Golden Jubilee Celebration. By far the largest of the islands is the eponymous Langkawi Island with a population of some 64,792, the only other inhabited island being nearby Tuba Island. Langkawi is also an administrative district with the town of Kuah as largest town. Langkawi is a duty-free island.

Malaysia News

  • 20 April: Puntung, one of only three Sumatran rhinoceroses left in Malaysia, regained consciousness after a successful operation conducted by a multinational team of veterinary experts.
  • 19 April: Malaysia Airlines has become the first airline in the world to sign up to a new satellite flight tracking system for its fleet. The system will enable Malaysia Airlines to monitor its planes in areas where there is currently no surveillance, including polar regions and remote areas of sea not covered by existing systems.
  • 5 April: Shabudin Yahaya, the Member of Parliament for Tasek Gelugor, came under heavy criticism from other politicians and the public after stating that victims of rape would have a brighter future if they married their rapists, and that girls as young as nine are "physically and spiritually" ready for marriage.

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