The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. The population of Malaysia stands at over 28 million with 80% of the population living in Peninsular Malaysia. The following are the main ethnic groups:
- About 50 different indigenous groups
Malaysians also celebrate numerous colorful festival and holidays. The main festival is the Hari Raya Aidil Fitr (Eid) which is celebrated by Muslims at the end of the fasting month of Ramadhan, the Chinese Lunar New Year is celebrated by Chinese Malaysians and the Hindus celebrate Deepavali, or the festival of lights.
A unique feature in Malaysia during these festivities is the practice of the ‘open house’ concept, where friends, family and neighbours are all welcomed into the homes of those celebrating a particular festival, for a meal and to enjoy the festivities together with their host families.
Fact about Malaysia
It is known as a melting pot of cultures and religion which is blessed with a geographical landscape of natural beauty. Today, with its increasingly cosmopolitan business environment, Malaysia has become a choice destination for an overseas learning experience.
- Population: Approximately 28 million
- Chief of State: The ‘Yang Di Pertuan Agong’ (King)
- Head of Government: Prime Minister
- Climate : Average daily temperature 32 degrees
- Official Religion: Islam
- Currency Unit : Malaysian Ringgit (MR)
- People: Malay, Chinese, Indian and other ethnic groups
- Culture: Multi racial culture
- Capital City: Kuala Lumpur
From pre-history of Malaysia to ancient civilizations, colonial rule, and independence
This interesting melting pot of cultures emerged from hundreds of years of history. The ancestors of the Malays started arriving in Peninsular Malaysia in the first millennium BC. In 1400, a Sumatran prince named Parameswara founded the Sultanate of Melaka (Malacca) and built the foundation of the country’s Muslim heritage with his conversion to Islam. This sultanate prospered and soon attracted the Portuguese, who conquered Malacca in 1511. They were followed by the Dutch, who overthrew the Portuguese in 1641.
However, the British, who arrived in this region in the form of the British East India Company in the late 1700s, sought to control the peninsula’s rich resources, which at that time was tin. Thus between the early 1800s and early 1900s, all the states in the peninsula gradually fell under British control and became known as Malaya.
As British rule expanded in the peninsula, the population of Indians and Chinese also grew due to the influx of migrant workers who settled here while taking an active part in the various local economic activities, such as working in the rubber plantations and tin mines. This process built the foundation for the multiracial culture of today’s Malaysia.