The South China Sea, separates Malaysia into two regions- the Malay Peninsula and the island of Borneo. Malaysia is bordered by Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines. The landscape of both regions of Malaysia is very similar and feature coastal plains that rise to densely forested hills and mountains. The highest point Mount Kinabalu, at 13,435 feet is located on the island of Borneo. The climate is equatorial and includes annual monsoons from April to October in the southwest and October to February in the northeast. The most important shipping lane in the world, The Strait of Malacca is located between Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia. Malaysia is a federal constitutional elective monarchy.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, referred to as the King of Malaysia is the head of state and elected to a five year term. Legislative power is divided between federal and state legislature. The parliament consists of the House of Representatives referred to as the Chamber of the People consisting of 219 members elected to a five year term and The Senate, called the Chamber of the Nation consisting of 70 Senators, elected to a three year term. Each state has a unicameral state legislative chamber whose members are elected from single member constituencies. Chief Ministers who are state assembly members from the majority party lead the state governments.
The national language and native language of Malaysia is Malay. Even though, the Malays make up 62 % of the population and play a dominant role in politics, Malaysia is still considered to have a very multi ethnic, multi-cultural- and multilingual society. The population is very abundant with Chinese, Indian and other minorities and indigenous peoples. Malaysian traditional music is greatly influenced by Chinese and Islamic traditions. Instruments such as the gendang (drum) and other percussion instruments dominate the musical beats. Many festivals in Malaysia are specific to each ethnicity, however, all Malaysians celebrate the festivities together.
Capital: Kuala Lumpur
Per-capita GDP: $ 15800
Size: 329,847 km2
Time Zone: (GMT + 08:00 hours) Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei, Chongqing, Urumqi