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The Federation of Malaysia comprises Peninsular Malaysia and the states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo.

Geographical Location
Located between 2ºC and 7ºC north of the Equator, Peninsula Malaysia is separated from the states of Sabah and Sarawak by the South China Sea. To the north of Peninsula Malaysia is Thailand while its southern neighbour is Singapore. Sabah and Sarawak are north of Indonesia in Borneo while Sarawak also shares a border with Brunei.

329,758 sq km

26 million

Kuala Lumpur

Malays who make up about 57% of the population are the predominant group with Chinese, Indians and other ethnic groups making up the rest.

Bahasa Melayu (Malay) is the national language but English is widely spoken. The ethnic groups also speak various languages and dialects.

Islam is the official religion but all other religions are freely practised.

Malaysia is governed by a Parliamentary democracy with a bicameral legislative system. The Head of State is the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, a position that is awarded to a different State Monarch every five years and the Head of Government is the Prime Minister.

Tropical climate with warm weather all year round. Temperatures in the lowlands range from 21ºC (70ºF) to 32ºC (90ºF). The highlands are cooler, where temperatures range between 15°C (59° F) to 25°C (77°F). Annual rainfall varies from 2,000mm to 2,500mm.

Major Holidays

Jan 1 New Year's Day
(vary) Hari Raya Aidiladha*
Feb 1 Federal Territory Day **
(vary) Chinese New Year*
(vary) Awal Muharam*
(vary) Birthday of Prophet Muhammad*
May 1 Labour Day*
May/Jun Wesak Day*
1st Sat of June King's Birthday*
Aug 31 National Day*
October Deepavali#
(vary) Hari Raya Aidilfitri*
Dec 25 Christmas*

Note: (*) - National holidays (**) - Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur & Labuan only (#) - Except Labuan & Sarawak

Economic Profile
Manufacturing constitutes the largest single component of Malaysia's economy. Tourism and primary commodities such as petroleum, palm oil, natural rubber and timber are other major contributors to the economy.

Distance to Malaysia
London, United Kingdom to Kuala Lumpur : 6,557 miles (10,552 km) Paris, France to Kuala Lumpur 6,483 miles (10,432 km) Rome, Italy to Kuala Lumpur : 6,038 miles (9,716 km) Stockholm, Sweden to Kuala Lumpur : 5,812 miles (9,353 km) Berlin, Germany to Kuala Lumpur : 5,979 miles (9,622 km) Madrid, Spain to Kuala Lumpur : 6,885 miles (11,079 km) New York, USA to Kuala Lumpur : 9,400 miles (15,126 km) Los Angeles, USA to Kuala Lumpur : 8,790 miles (14,144 km) Vancouver, Canada to Kuala Lumpur : 7,944 miles (12,783 km)

The unit of currency is Malaysian Ringgit indicated as RM. USD1 is roughly equivalent to RM3.18. Foreign currency can be converted at banks and money changers.

Banking Hours
Most states: Mon - Fri: 9.30am to 4.30pm. Sat & Sun: Closed (Selected banks and branches are open on Sat). Kelantan & Terengganu: Sun - Wed :9.30am to 4.30pm. Thurs :9.30am to 4.00pm. Friday/Saturday*/Public Holiday: Closed

Post Offices
Open from 8.30am to 6.00pm daily except the first Saturday of each month, Sundays and public holidays. In Kelantan and Terengganu post offices operate during the same hours but are closed on Fridays and public holidays.

Eight hours ahead of GMT and 16 hours ahead of U.S. Pacific Standard Time.

Voltage is 220 - 240 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. Standard 3-pin square plugs and sockets.

Weights and Measures
Malaysia follows the metric system in weights and measures.

Prepaid mobile SIM cards can be purchased at airport and train terminals. Alternatively, local calls can be made from public phones using coins or pre-paid cards while international calls an be made from public phones with card phone facilities or at any Telekom office.

Malaysia has a wide range of accommodation at competitive rates. Six-star, medium range, budget hotels, youth hostels, beach chalets and timeshare apartments are just some of the types of accommodation available. Privately operated motor-homes are also available for rent.