The Federation of Malaysia comprises the Peninsular Malaysia and the states of Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo.
Malaysia is located between 2º and 7º north of the Equator; Peninsular Malaysia is separated from the states of Sabah and Sarawak by the South China Sea. To the north of Peninsular Malaysia is Thailand while its southern neighbor is Singapore. Sabah and Sarawak are north of Indonesia in Borneo while Sarawak also shares a border with Brunei.
Malaysia is 329,758 sq km in size.
The current population (2012) of Malaysia is roughly 28 million.
Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia.
Malays who make up about 50.4% of the population are the predominant group with Chinese (23.7%), Indians (7.1%) and other ethnic groups making up the rest.
Bahasa Melayu (Malay) is the national language but English is widely spoken, especially by the youth. The ethnic groups also speak various languages and dialects.
Islam is the official religion but all other religions are freely practiced.
Malaysia is governed by a parliamentary democracy with a bicameral legislative system. The Head of State is the King (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.
Malaysia has a tropical climate with warm and humid 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).
Major public holidays in Malaysia are: New Year's Day, Federal Territory Day, Chinese New Year, Labour Day, King's Birthday, National Day, Deepavali, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, and Christmas.
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.
The unit of currency is Malaysian Ringgit indicated as RM. Foreign currency can be converted at banks and money changers. ATM's can be found throughout the whole country. You can check the currency (real-time) at xe.com .
Time difference: +8 GMT (+16 Pacific Standard Time).
Voltage is 220 - 240 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. Standard 3-pin square plugs and sockets (UK plugs, US and other Europeans should bring along an adaptor).
Malaysia has a worldwide supported GSM network, which means you can use your phone without any problems. US citizens should bring along a tri-band phone in order for it to work in Malaysia. When calling within Malaysia, you'd best buy a prepaid card. When calling outside of Malaysia, use a prepaid SIM or Scratch card.
No 17-2, Jalan Radin Bagus, Taman Sri Petaling, 57000, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia