Malaysia has a combined population of over 18 million people. As a result,
Malaysia has a multicultural and multiracial population consisting of
Malays, Chinese, Indians, Eurasians, indigenous Orang Asli (Aborigines)
and the various tribes of Sabah and Sarawak (Kadazan, Iban, Dayak etc).
Because of its central location, between the Indian Ocean and the South
China Sea, Malaysia has traditionally been a meeting point for traders
and travelers from both the East and West.
official language is Bahasa Melayu. English is widely spoken while Mandarin,
Cantonese, Hokkien, Tamil, Hindi and tribal dialects of East Malaysia
are among other languages spoken. Although Malay is the official language,
English is widely spoken, especially in business, and the English language
is a compulsory subject in all schools.
Malaysia, located in Southeast Asia, consists of the Malaysian Peninsula
and the States of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo. The Peninsula
is bordered by Thailand in the north; the island of Singapore lies to
the south. Singapore is linked to Johor, in Malaysia, by a causeway.
Kuala Lumpur, known as KL, is the capital of Malaysia. More than any other
spot in the country, Kuala Lumpur, or "KL" as it is commonly
known, is the focal point of new Malaysia. While the city's past is still
present in the evocative British colonial buildings of the Dataran Merdeka
and the midnight lamps of the Petaling Street nightmarket, that past is
everywhere met with insistent reminders of KL's present and future.
The city's bustling streets, its shining, modern office towers, and its
cosmopolitan air project an unbounded spirit of progress and symbolize
Malaysia's unhesitating leap into the future. To some, this spirit seems
to have been gained at the loss of ancient cultural traditions, but in
many ways KL marks the continuation rather than the loss of Malaysia's
rich past. Like Malacca five hundred years before, KL's commercial centre
is a grand meeting place for merchants and travelers from all over the
jungles of Malaysia are said to be the oldest in the world. They cover
more than two thirds of the country and play a vital role in both its
economic life and its climate.
The forests stretch from the mangrove swamps of the west coast, through
freshwater swamps to lowland hardwood forests, heath forests and mountain
forest. There are believed to be around 8,500 species of flowering plants
and ferns and 2,500 species of trees, in Malaysia's forests.
Flora & Fauna
450 species of birds are native to Malaysia and many migrating species
winter there. Among the most famous are the hornbills, native to Sarawak.
Other species of birds including egrets, herons, kingfishers, kites, mynahs,
One of the world's most endangered animals is also unique to Malaysia
- the orang utan, found only in Sumatra and Borneo, is the only great
ape living naturally outside Africa.
Other animal species of Malaysia include bears, crocodiles, elephants,
leopards, monkeys, panthers and rhinoceroses. Borneo has over 160 species
of snakes, including the venomous cobras, kraits and sea-snakes. All seven
known species of turtles, including the giant leatherback, lay their eggs
on Malaysia's beaches.
Source : PUMSA
(Purdue University Malaysian Student Association)