Malaysia Border Map

Yearbook 2003

Malaysia. According to Countryaah.com, Malaysia Independence Day is August 31. Malaysia leader Mahathir bin Mohamad, who has dominated the country’s politics for 22 years, resigned as prime minister and finance minister on October 31. Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi succeeded him in both positions. Badawi has received the epithets “Mr Clean” and “Mr. Nice Guy” and is considered to be close to Mahathir.

Mahathir played a major role in Malaysia’s transition to a modern, centralized state with a successful economy, but he also received criticism for an authoritarian leadership style. Many observers believe that Mahathir will rule behind the scenes even after the change of power. In his inaugural speech, Badawi said his goal would be to strengthen democracy, which gave hope that Malaysian media and courts could once again work independently of the government, which was made more difficult under Mahathir’s power.

Malaysia, during the year, sharply criticized the United States and its allies for the war against Iraq. It was considered that the war violated international law and was an attempt by the Western powers to re-establish “Western imperialism”.

Another notable statement was made by Mahathir at a meeting of the Muslim Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in the fall. He urged Muslim countries to take up the fight against the Jews, which he said had a great influence on several countries in the Western world. The United States reacted particularly strongly to the statement, which was interpreted as anti-Semitic.

Several suspected members of the terrorist network Jemaa Islamiyya, who want to make the Muslim part of Southeast Asia an Islamic state, were arrested in Malaysia during the year. The group is believed to have contacts with the international terrorist network al-Qaeda. A strike was also made against the Islamist group KMM.

The year before, about 80 suspected supporters of militant Islamist groups had been imprisoned in the country, and police said that the threat to national security had been substantially reduced by the arrests.

In August, Indonesian Mohamed Iqbal Abdul Rahman was deported to his home country. Iqbal was considered to have worked as the operational manager of Jemaa Islamiyya until he was arrested in Malaysia in June 2001.

Anwar Ibrahim, once Mahathir’s closest man but who subsequently ended up in conflict with the prime minister, continued his efforts to be freed from the long prison sentence for corruption and sexual intercourse between men (banned by Malaysian law) he served. Anwar has repeatedly argued that the trials were politically motivated to remove him from the political arena when he began to pose a threat to Mahathir’s position of power. An attempt in the spring to appeal the nine-year sentence for sodomy failed.

During the year, Malaysia’s new administrative capital, Putrajaya, south of Kuala Lumpur, was inaugurated despite delays and high costs.

Country data

Area: 330,323 km2 (world ranking: 66)

Population: 31,624,000

Population density: 96 per km2 (as of 2017, world ranking: 45)

Capital: Kuala Lumpur; Seat of government: Putrajaya

Official languages: Malay (Bahasa Malaysia)

Gross domestic product: 314.5 billion US$; Real growth: 5.9%

Gross national product (GNP, per resident and year): 9650 US$

Currency: 1 Malaysian ringgit (RM) = 100 Sen

Embassy

Klingelhöferstr. 6, 10785 Berlin
Telephone 030 8857490,
Fax 030 88574950 www.kln.gov.my/perwakilan/berlin

Government
Head of State: Muhammad V, Head of Government: Mahathir bin Mohamad, Exterior: Saifuddin Abdullah

National holiday: 31.8.

Administrative structure
13 federal states (including 9 sultanates) and 3 federal territories

State and form of government
Constitution of 1957
Elective parliamentary monarchy (in the Commonwealth)
State religion: Islam
Parliament: House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat) with 222 members, election every 5 years; Senate (Dewan Negara) with 70 members (44 appointed by the head of state, 26 senators of the states)
Election of the head of state by the 9 sultans every 5 years
Suffrage from 21 years of age

Population: Malaysians, last census 2010: 28,334,135 residents.
67% Bumiputera (Malay), 25% Chinese, 7% Indian and other

Cities (with population): (as of 2000) Kuala Lumpur 1,297,526 inh., Ipoh 566,211, Klang (formerly Kelang) 563,173, Petaling Jaya 438,084, Selayang 426,951, Subang Jaya 423,338, Johor Baharu 384,613, Melaka 369,222, Kota Kinabalu 354,153, Shah Alam 319,612, Kuantan 283,041, Kuala Terengganu 250,528, Seremban 246,441, Kota Baharu 233,673, Taiping 183,320, George Town (v. Pinang) 180,573

religions,
61% Muslims 20% Buddhists, 9% Christians, 6% Hindus, 1% Confucians; Daoists, Sikhs and others (as of 2006)

Languages: Malay; Austronesian and Mon-Khmer languages; Chinese, Tamil and others

employed by economic sector:
agriculture. 11%, industry 27%, business 62% (2017)

Unemployment (in% of the labor force)
2017: 3.4%

Inflation rate (in%): 2017: 3.8%

Foreign trade: Import: 193.8 billion US $ (2017); Export: US $ 216.4 billion (2017)

Malaysia Border Map

Climate

Always humid tropical climate. High temperatures all year round (around 25ºC, at high altitudes 20ºC). High precipitation at all times of the year due to the influence of the monsoons at different times (3000 mm in the coastal lowlands, almost 6000 mm in the mountains) High humidity.