Geography of Malaysia

General information about Malaysia

The official name is Malaysia. Located in Southeast Asia. The area is 336.7 thousand km2, the population is 22.3 million people. (2001). The official language is Malay. The capital is Kuala Lumpur (over 1 million people, 2001). Public holiday – National Day August 31 (since 1957). The monetary unit is the ringgit.

Member of the UN (since 1957), OIC (since 1969), ASEAN (since 1967), WTO, APEC, etc.

Geography of Malaysia

Malaysia is located between 120° and 100° east longitude and 3° and 7° north latitude. Washed by the waters

South China Sea and Malacca Strait. The South China Sea divides the country into the western part, located on the Malay Peninsula, and the eastern part, on the northern part of the island of Kalimantan (Borneo). The coast is mostly flat and sandy. In places it alternates with protrusions of granite slabs. Lots of bays and islands. The largest is the island of Penang, located off the northern coast of western Malaysia. Other large islands are Labuan, Langkawi, Tioman.

It borders with Thailand, Singapore (through the Strait of Johor), Indonesia (on Kalimantan), Philippines (in the Sulu Sea region).

Malaysia is a mountainous country. From north to south of western Malaysia lies the main ridge with a length of St. 450 km. The main mountain is Tanakh (2187 m). East Malaysia is dominated by Kinabalu (4101 m), the highest mountain in Southeast Asia. Plains and lowlands are located mainly along the sea coast.

Minerals are mainly carbon reserves. The tin reserves, which were significant in the past, are now largely depleted.

The soils are clayey and highly eroded. However, in combination with high air temperature and heavy tropical rains, they create ideal conditions for the growth of humid tropical vegetation.

According to Bridgat, the climate is humid tropical. Temperature fluctuations + 22 ° -34 ° С, with the exception of mountainous areas. The annual rainfall is from 2000 to 3000 mm per year. There are practically no dry seasons. However, on the west coast of Malaysia, the dry season can last from September to November, while the rainy season can last from November to February. In general, Malaysia is considered the “country of eternal summer”.

The largest rivers: in western Malaysia – Pahang (475 km), in eastern – Rejang (563 km). There are no large lakes. There are also no inland seas.

In the country, despite industrial harvesting, significant areas of tropical rainforests have been preserved. It is believed that the age of their occurrence is estimated at 130 million years, i.e. they are older than the forests of the Amazon and Equatorial Africa. On 1 hectare of tropical forest, it is possible to find several hundred varieties of plants, flowers and trees. The shores of the eastern part are covered mainly with mangroves. On the border with the Indonesian part of Kalimantan, there are still virgin tropical jungles. Forests occupy 193 thousand km2.

The animal world is extremely diverse. A special attraction is the pygmy (mouse) deer – “kanchil”. The Malay Peninsula is a transit point for the mass migration of birds from the Far East to Southeast Asia and Australia.

Malaysian population

Dynamics of population growth in the 1990s indicates an increase in the share of the Chinese and Tamil population due to their higher rates of natural increase.

Birth rate approx. 3%, mortality 11%, infant mortality 8 people. per 1000 newborns. Life expectancy of 73 years, varies considerably depending on the ethnic group.

The ratio between the groups of male and female population is approximately equal, with some excess towards the latter. The share of the urban population is 57%. The retirement age is 55-60 years. There is a nationwide savings fund for employees. The illiteracy of the population older than 15 does not exceed 26% in general (for women – 17%, for men – 9%).

According to the ethnic composition, the name “Asia in miniature” was assigned to the country: 54% are indigenous Malays (bumiputra) and related ethnic groups, 34% are Chinese (mostly descendants of people from South China), 10% are people from South India (Tamils). OK. 30 thousand inhabitants of western Malaysia are natives (orang asli), descendants of the most ancient migration to the Malay Peninsula.

Languages: Malay (Malaysian), widely used Chinese (Beijing dialect), as well as Tamil. Much of the media is in English.

The official religion is Islam (Sunni). Buddhism, Hinduism and various branches of Christianity are also practiced. Some Aboriginal tribes of the western part and the Dayaks of Sarawak and Sabah are committed to traditional beliefs.

Geography of Malaysia