Malaysia – GENERAL INFORMATION – Facts and Figures

Facts and Figures

Full name:


        noun: Malaysian(s)

        adjective: Malaysian


Area        total: 329,750 sq km         water: 1,200 sq km         land: 328,550 sq km

Population: 23,953,136 (July 2005 est.)

Ethnic groups
        Malay and other indigenous 58%

        Chinese 24%        Indian 8%        others 10% (2000)

Capital: Kuala Lumpur

note: Putrajaya is referred to as administrative center not capital; Parliament meets in Kuala Lumpur  (1 300 000)

Largest Cities
        Impoh  – 570,000

        Klang – 560,000        Melaka -370,000        George town – 180,000

Official Language
        Bahasa Melayu (official)

        English        Chinese dialects (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow)        Tamil        Telugu        Malayalam        Panjabi        Thai note: in addition, in East Malaysia several indigenous languages are spoken, the largest are Iban and Kadazan  


        Buddhist        Daoist        Hindu        Christian        Sikh; note – in addition, Shamanism is practiced in East Malaysia

Political system: Constitutional monarchy

note: nominally headed by paramount ruler and a bicameral Parliament consisting of a nonelected upper house and an elected lower house; all Peninsular Malaysian states have hereditary rulers except Melaka and Pulau Pinang (Penang); those two states along with Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia have governors appointed by government; powers of state governments are limited by federal constitution; under terms of federation, Sabah and Sarawak retain certain constitutional prerogatives (e.g., right to maintain their own immigration controls); Sabah – holds 20 seats in House of Representatives and will hold 25 seats after the next election; Sarawak holds 28 seats in House of Representatives

GDP: purchasing power parity – $229.3 billion (2004 est.)

GDP per head: purchasing power parity – $9,700 (2004 est.)

Annual growth: 7.1% (2004 est.)

GDP – composition by sector
        agriculture: 7.2% 

        industry: 33.6%         services: 59.1% (2004 est.)  

Inflation: 1.3% (2004 est.)