Its capital is Kuala Lumpur but Putrajaya is the seat of its government.
The flag of Malaysia, also known as the Jalur Gemilang (Malay for "Stripes of Excellence"), comprises a field of 14 alternating red and white stripes along the fly and a blue canton bearing a crescent and a 14-point star known as the Bintang Persekutuan (Federal Star). The 14 stripes,of equal width, represent the equal status in the federation of the 13 member states and the federal government, while the 14 points of the star represent the unity between these entities. The crescent represents Islam, the country's official religion; the blue canton symbolizes the unity of the Malaysian people; the yellow of the star and crescent is the royal colour of the Malay rulers.Geography:
Malaysia is the 43rd most populated country and the 66th largest country by total land area in the world, with a population of about 28 million and a land area of around 329,847 square kilometres (127,350 sq mi). It is separated by the South China Sea into two regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo (also known as West and East Malaysia respectively). Land borders are shared withThailand, Indonesia, and Brunei, and maritime borders exist with Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Peninsular Malaysia is connected to Singapore via two bridges, one which transports traffic and water and a second link just for traffic.
Malaysia's population comprises many ethnic groups. People of Austronesian origin make up the majority of the population, and are known asthe Bumiputras. Large minorities of other ethnicities also exist in Malaysia.
Bumiputras are divided into Malays, who make up the majority of the Malaysian population at 50.4%; and other bumiputra, who make up 11% of the Malaysian population. Bumiputra status is also accorded to certain non-Malay indigenous peoples, including ethnic Thais, Khmers, Chams and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak. Lawsover who gets Bumiputra status vary between states. Some Eurasians can obtain bumiputra privileges, providing they can prove they are of Portuguese descent
The Malaysian constitution guarantees freedom of religion and makes Islam the state religion. According to the Population and Housing Census 2000 figures, approximately 60.4% of the population practiced Islam of which only theSunni branch is allowed; 19.2% Buddhism; 9.1% Christianity; 6.3% Hinduism; and 2.6% practice Confucianism, Taoism and other traditional Chinese religions. The remainder was accounted for by other faiths, including animism, folk religion, and Sikhism while 0.8% either reported having no religion or did not provide any information.
The official language of Malaysia is known asBahasa Malaysia, a standardised form of the Malay language.
Malaysian English, also known as Malaysian Standard English (MySE), is a form of English derived from British English, although there is little official use of the term, except with relation to education.
Many other languages exist in Malaysia, which contains speakers of 137 living languages. Peninsular Malaysia contains speakers of 41 ofthese languages. The native tribes of East Malaysia have their own languages which are related to, but easily distinguishable from, Malay. The Iban is the main tribal language in Sarawak while Dusunic languages are spoken by the natives in Sabah. Chinese Malaysians mostly speak Chinese dialects from the southern provinces of China, with the more common dialects being Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien,Hakka, Hainanese, and Fuzhou. Tamil is used predominantly by Tamils, who form a majority of Malaysian Indians.
Government and Legal System.
The head of state is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, 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 government system is closely modelled on the Westminster...