Malaysia facts on every entity in the world

During the late 18th and 19th centuries, Great Britain established colonies and protectorates in the area of current Malaysia; these were occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945. In 1948, the British-ruled territories on the Malay Peninsula except Singapore formed the Federation of Malaya, which became independent in 1957. Malaysia was formed in 1963 when the former British colonies of Singapore, as well as Sabah and Sarawak on the northern coast of Borneo, joined the Federation. The first several years of the country's independence were marred by a communist insurgency, Indonesian confrontation with Malaysia, Philippine claims to Sabah, and Singapore's withdrawal in 1965. During the 22-year term of Prime Minister MAHATHIR bin Mohamad (1981-2003), Malaysia was successful in diversifying its economy from dependence on exports of raw materials to the development of manufacturing, services, and tourism. Prime Minister Mohamed NAJIB bin Abdul Razak (in office since April 2009) has continued these pro-business policies. Malaysia assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2015-16 term.



Southeastern Asia, peninsula bordering Thailand and northern one-third of the island of Borneo, bordering Indonesia, Brunei, and the South China Sea, south of Vietnam

Geographic coordinates

2.30° N, 112.30° E

Area 67/257

total: 329,847 sq km

land: 328,657 sq km

water: 1,190 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly larger than New Mexico

Land boundaries

total: 2,742 km

border countries (3): Brunei 266 km, Indonesia 1,881 km, Thailand 595 km


4,675 km (Peninsular Malaysia 2,068 km, East Malaysia 2,607 km)

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation; specified boundary in the South China Sea


tropical; annual southwest (April to October) and northeast (October to February) monsoons


coastal plains rising to hills and mountains


mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point: Gunung Kinabalu 4,100 m

Natural resources

tin, petroleum, timber, copper, iron ore, natural gas, bauxite

Land use

agricultural land: 23.2%

arable land 2.9%; permanent crops 19.4%; permanent pasture 0.9%

forest: 62%

other: 14.8% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

3,800 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

580 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 11.2 cu km/yr (35%/43%/22%)

per capita: 414 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards

flooding; landslides; forest fires

Environment - current issues

air pollution from industrial and vehicular emissions; water pollution from raw sewage; deforestation; smoke/haze from Indonesian forest fires

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

strategic location along Strait of Malacca and southern South China Sea

People and Society


noun: Malaysian(s)

adjective: Malaysian

Ethnic groups

Malay 50.1%, Chinese 22.6%, indigenous 11.8%, Indian 6.7%, other 0.7%, non-citizens 8.2% (2010 est.)


Bahasa Malaysia (official), English, Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow), Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Panjabi, Thai

note: in East Malaysia there are several indigenous languages; most widely spoken are Iban and Kadazan


Muslim (official) 61.3%, Buddhist 19.8%, Christian 9.2%, Hindu 6.3%, Confucianism, Taoism, other traditional Chinese religions 1.3%, other 0.4%, none 0.8%, unspecified 1% (2010 est.)

Population 43/238

30,513,848 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 28.49% (male 4,472,457/female 4,221,384)

15-24 years: 16.91% (male 2,615,356/female 2,543,039)

25-54 years: 41.12% (male 6,352,742/female 6,194,303)

55-64 years: 7.84% (male 1,215,315/female 1,175,868)

65 years and over: 5.65% (male 817,766/female 905,618) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 43.6%

youth dependency ratio: 35.2%

elderly dependency ratio: 8.4%

potential support ratio: 11.9% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 27.9 years

male: 27.7 years

female: 28.2 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 83/233

1.44% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 86/224

19.71 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 188/225

5.03 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 130/222

-0.33 migrant(s)/1,000 population

note: does not reflect net flow of an unknown number of illegal immigrants from other countries in the region (2015 est.)


urban population: 74.7% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 2.66% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

KUALA LUMPUR (capital) 6.837 million; Johor Bahru 912,000 (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female

total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 125/184

40 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 113/224

total: 13.27 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 15.33 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 11.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 112/224

total population: 74.75 years

male: 71.97 years

female: 77.73 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 76/224

2.55 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Health expenditures 161/191

4% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

1.2 physicians/1,000 population (2010)

Hospital bed density

1.9 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Drinking water source


urban: 100% of population

rural: 93% of population

total: 98.2% of population


urban: 0% of population

rural: 7% of population

total: 1.8% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access


urban: 96.1% of population

rural: 95.9% of population

total: 96% of population


urban: 3.9% of population

rural: 4.1% of population

total: 4% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.45% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

100,800 (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

9,000 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 123/191

12.9% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 58/138

12.9% (2006)

Education expenditures 46/173

5.9% of GDP (2011)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 13 years (2005)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 100/134

total: 10.4%

male: 9.3%

female: 12% (2013 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Malaysia

local long form: none

local short form: Malaysia

former: Federation of Malaya

etymology: the name means "Land of the Malays"

Government type

constitutional monarchy

note: nominally headed by paramount ruler (commonly referred to as the king) and a bicameral Parliament consisting of a nonelected upper house and an elected lower house; all Peninsular Malaysian states have hereditary rulers (commonly referred to as sultans) except Melaka (Malacca) and Pulau Pinang (Penang); those two states along with Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia have governors appointed by government; powers of state governments are limited by federal constitution; under terms of federation, Sabah and Sarawak retain certain constitutional prerogatives (e.g., right to maintain their own immigration controls)


name: Kuala Lumpur; note - Putrajaya is referred to as an administrative center not the capital; Parliament meets in Kuala Lumpur

geographic coordinates: 3.10° N, 101.42° E

time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

13 states (negeri-negeri, singular - negeri); Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Terengganu; and 1 federal territory (Wilayah Persekutuan) with 3 components, Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, and Putrajaya


31 August 1957 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day 31 August (1957) (independence of Malaya); Malaysia Day 16 September (1963) (formation of Malaysia)


previous 1948; latest drafted 21 February 1957, effective 27 August 1957; amended many times, last in 2010 (2015)

Legal system

mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law, and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Federal Court at request of supreme head of the federation

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Malaysia

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 out 12 years preceding application


21 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: King Tuanku ABDUL HALIM Mu'adzam Shah (selected on 13 December 2011; installed on 11 April 2012); the position of the king is primarily ceremonial but he is the final arbiter on the appointment of the prime minister

head of government: Prime Minister Mohamed NAJIB bin Abdul Najib Razak (since 3 April 2009); Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad ZAHID Hamidi (since 29 July 2015)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister from among members of Parliament with the consent of the king

elections/appointments: king elected by and from the hereditary rulers of 9 states for a 5-year term; election is on a rotational basis among rulers of the 9 states; election last held on 14 October 2011 (next to be held in 2016); prime minister designated from among members of the House of Representatives; following legislative elections, the leader who commands support of the majority of members in the House becomes prime minister

election results: Tuanku ABDUL HALIM Mu'adzam Shah elected king; Mohamed NAJIB bin Abdul Najib Razak (UMNO) sworn in as prime minister for second term on 3 April 2009

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament or Parlimen consists of the Senate or Dewan Negara (70 seats; 44 members appointed by the king and 26 indirectly elected by 13 state legislatures; members serve 3-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Dewan Rakyat (222 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: House of Representatives - last held on 5 May 2013 (next to be held by May 2018)

election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party/coalition - BN 47.4%, People's Alliance (DAP, PAS, PKR) 50.9%, other 1.7%; seats by party/coalition - BN 133, People's Alliance (DAP, PAS, PKR) 89

note: seats by party/coalition as of October 2015 - BN 132, PH 72, PAS 14, PSM 1, TERAS 1, independent 2

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Federal Court (consists of the chief justice, president of the Court of Appeal, chief justice of the High Court of Malaya, chief judge of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak and 7 judges); note - Malaysia has a dual judicial hierarchy of civil and religious (sharia) courts

judge selection and term of office: Federal Court justices appointed by the monarch on advice of the prime minister; judges serve until mandatory retirement at age 65

subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; Sessions Court; Magistrates' Court

Political parties and leaders

National Front (Barisan Nasional) or BN::

Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Party or GERAKAN [MAH Siew Keong]

Liberal Democratic Party (Parti Liberal Demokratik - Sabah) or LDP [TEO Chee Kang]

Malaysian Chinese Association (Persatuan China Malaysia) or MCA [LIOW Tiong Lai]

Malaysian Indian Congress (Kongres India Malaysia) or MIC [S. SUBRAMANIAM]

Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah or PBRS [Joseph KURUP]

Parti Bersatu Sabah or PBS [Joseph PAIRIN Kitingan]

Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu or PBB [Adenan SATEM]

Parti Rakyat Sarawak or PRS [James MASING]

Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party or SPDP [TIONG King Sing]

Sarawak United People's Party (Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sarawak) or SUPP [Dr. SIM Kui Hian]

United Malays National Organization or UMNO [NAJIB bin Abdul Razak]

United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organization (Pertubuhan Pasko Momogun Kadazan Dusun Bersatu) or UPKO [Wilfred Madius TANGAU]

People's Progressive Party (Parti Progresif Penduduk Malaysia) or PPP [M. Kayveas]

Coalition of Hope (Pakatan Harapan) or PH::

Democratic Action Party (Parti Tindakan Demokratik) or DAP [TAN Kok Wai, Acting National Chairman]

National Trust Party (Parti Amanah Negara) or Amanah [Mohamad SABU]

People's Justice Party (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) or PKR [WAN AZIZAH Wan Ismail]


Islamic Party of Malaysia (Parti Islam se Malaysia) or PAS [Abdul HADI Awang]

Sarawak People's Energy Party or TERAS [William Mawan IKOM]

Socialist Party of Malaysia (Parti Sosialis Malaysia) or PSM [Mohd Nasir HASHIM]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Bar Council

BERSIH (electoral reform coalition)

ISMA (Muslim NGO)

PERKASA (defense of Malay rights)

other: religious groups; women's groups; youth groups

International organization participation


Flag description

14 equal horizontal stripes of red (top) alternating with white (bottom); there is a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a yellow crescent and a yellow 14-pointed star; the flag is often referred to as Jalur Gemilang (Stripes of Glory); the 14 stripes stand for the equal status in the federation of the 13 member states and the federal government; the 14 points on the star represent the unity between these entities; the crescent is a traditional symbol of Islam; blue symbolizes the unity of the Malay people and yellow is the royal color of Malay rulers

note: the design is based on the flag of the US

National symbol(s)

tiger, hibiscus; national colors: red, white, blue, yellow

National anthem

name: "Negaraku" (My Country)

lyrics/music: collective, led by Tunku ABDUL RAHMAN/Pierre Jean DE BERANGER

note: adopted 1957; full version only performed in the presence of the king; the tune, which was adopted from a popular French melody titled "La Rosalie," was originally the anthem of Perak, one of Malaysia's 13 states


Economy - overview

Malaysia, a middle-income country, has transformed itself since the 1970s from a producer of raw materials into an emerging multi-sector economy. Under current Prime Minister NAJIB, Malaysia is attempting to achieve high-income status by 2020 and to move farther up the value-added production chain by attracting investments in Islamic finance, high technology industries, biotechnology, and services. NAJIB's Economic Transformation Program (ETP) is a series of projects and policy measures intended to accelerate the country's economic growth. The government has also taken steps to liberalize some services sub-sectors. Malaysia is vulnerable to a fall in world commodity prices or a general slowdown in global economic activity.

The NAJIB administration is continuing efforts to boost domestic demand and reduce the economy's dependence on exports. Nevertheless, exports - particularly of electronics, oil and gas, palm oil and rubber - remain a significant driver of the economy. Gross exports of goods and services constitute more than 80% of GDP. The oil and gas sector supplied about 29% of government revenue in 2014. As an oil and gas exporter, Malaysia has previously profited from higher world energy prices, although the rising cost of domestic gasoline and diesel fuel, combined with sustained budget deficits, has forced Kuala Lumpur to begin to address fiscal shortfalls, through initial reductions in energy and sugar subsidies and the announcement of the 2015 implementation of a 6% goods and services tax. Falling global oil prices in the second half of 2014 have strained government finances, shrunk Malaysia’s current account surplus and put downward pressure on the ringgit. The government is trying to lessen its dependence on state oil producer Petronas.

Bank Negara Malaysia (the central bank) maintains healthy foreign exchange reserves; a well-developed regulatory regime has limited Malaysia's exposure to riskier financial instruments and the global financial crisis. In order to attract increased investment, NAJIB raised possible revisions to the special economic and social preferences accorded to ethnic Malays under the New Economic Policy of 1970, but retreated in 2013 after he encountered significant opposition from Malay nationalists and other vested interests. In September 2013 NAJIB launched the new Bumiputra Economic Empowerment Program (BEEP), policies that favor and advance the economic condition of ethnic Malays.

Malaysia is a member of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement negotiations and, with the nine other ASEAN members, will form the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 29/230

$813.5 billion (2015 est.)

$777 billion (2014 est.)

$733.1 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$313.5 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 50/225

4.7% (2015 est.)

6% (2014 est.)

4.7% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 68/230

$26,600 (2015 est.)

$25,400 (2014 est.)

$24,000 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 26/179

28.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

29.3% of GDP (2014 est.)

29.4% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 54%

government consumption: 13.6%

investment in fixed capital: 26.9%

investment in inventories: 0%

exports of goods and services: 74.6%

imports of goods and services: -69.1%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 8.9%

industry: 35%

services: 56.1% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

Peninsular Malaysia - palm oil, rubber, cocoa, rice; Sabah - palm oil, subsistence crops; rubber, timber; Sarawak - palm oil, rubber, timber; pepper


Peninsular Malaysia - rubber and oil palm processing and manufacturing, petroleum and natural gas, light manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, medical technology, electronics and semiconductors, timber processing; Sabah - logging, petroleum and natural gas production; Sarawak - agriculture processing, petroleum and natural gas production, logging

Industrial production growth rate 25/202

5.5% (2015 est.)

Labor force 41/233

14.3 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 11%

industry: 36%

services: 53% (2012 est.)

Unemployment rate 20/207

2.7% (2015 est.)

2.9% (2014 est.)

Population below poverty line

3.8% (2009 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.8%

highest 10%: 34.7% (2009 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 33/144

46.2 (2009)

49.2 (1997)


revenues: $52.97 billion

expenditures: $64.25 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 181/219

16.9% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 136/220

-3.6% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 70/176

53.5% of GDP (2015 est.)

52.7% of GDP (2014 est.)

note: this figure is based on the amount of federal government debt, RM501.6 billion ($167.2 billion) in 2012; this includes Malaysian Treasury bills and other government securities, as well as loans raised externally and bonds and notes issued overseas; this figure excludes debt issued by non-financial public enterprises and guaranteed by the federal government, which was an additional $47.7 billion in 2012

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 116/226

2.1% (2015 est.)

3.1% (2014 est.)

note: approximately 30% of goods are price-controlled

Central bank discount rate 106/156

3% (31 December 2011)

2.83% (31 December 2010)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 149/184

4.8% (31 December 2015 est.)

4.67% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 40/192

$84.18 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$99.12 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 24/193

$478.7 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$440.3 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 31/191

$381.2 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$444.8 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares 24/121

$476.3 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

$395.1 billion (31 December 2011)

$410.5 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance 25/197

$6.935 billion (2015 est.)

$14.46 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 24/224

$203.8 billion (2015 est.)

$224.9 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

semiconductors and electronic equipment, palm oil, petroleum and liquefied natural gas, wood and wood products, palm oil, rubber, textiles, chemicals, solar panels

Exports - partners

Singapore 14.2%, China 12%, Japan 10.8%, US 8.4%, Thailand 5.3%, Hong Kong 4.8%, Australia 4.3%, India 4.2%, Indonesia 4.2% (2014)

Imports 26/223

$174.7 billion (2015 est.)

$189.8 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

electronics, machinery, petroleum products, plastics, vehicles, iron and steel products, chemicals

Imports - partners

China 16.9%, Singapore 12.6%, Japan 8%, US 7.7%, Thailand 5.8%, South Korea 4.6%, Indonesia 4.1% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 27/170

$89.86 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$115.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 34/206

$213.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$212.3 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 33/120

$166.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$155.8 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 28/105

$161.5 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$149.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Exchange rates

ringgits (MYR) per US dollar -

3.9 (2015 est.)

3.27 (2014 est.)

3.27 (2013 est.)

3.09 (2012 est.)

3.06 (2011 est.)


Electricity - production 30/220

126.8 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 29/219

118.5 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 89/218

12 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports 81/219

372 million kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 30/214

28.53 million kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 82/214

87.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 148/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 111/214

11.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 96/212

0.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 26/214

597,500 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 28/214

244,600 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 33/214

200,200 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 27/215

4 billion bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 30/214

560,700 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 30/212

680,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 29/214

235,600 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 23/213

302,700 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 14/216

64 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 30/215

31.86 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 10/215

35.4 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 46/214

2.34 billion cu m (2012 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 15/212

2.35 trillion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 31/212

198.8 million Mt (2012 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines 37/219

total subscriptions: 4.41 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 15 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 31/217

total: 44.9 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 149 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: modern system featuring good intercity service on Peninsular Malaysia provided mainly by microwave radio relay and an adequate intercity microwave radio relay network between Sabah and Sarawak via Brunei; international service excellent

domestic: domestic satellite system with 2 earth stations; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 140 per 100 persons

international: country code - 60; landing point for several major international submarine cable networks that provide connectivity to Asia, Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean, 1 Pacific Ocean) (2011)

Broadcast media

state-owned TV broadcaster operates 2 TV networks with relays throughout the country, and the leading private commercial media group operates 4 TV stations with numerous relays throughout the country; satellite TV subscription service is available; state-owned radio broadcaster operates multiple national networks, as well as regional and local stations; many private commercial radio broadcasters and some subscription satellite radio services are available; about 55 radio stations overall (2012)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 35, FM 391, shortwave 15 (2001)

Television broadcast stations

88 (mainland Malaysia 51, Sabah 16, and Sarawak 21) (2006)

Internet country code


Internet hosts 53/232

422,470 (2012)

Internet users 40/217

total: 12.1 million

percent of population: 40.3% (2014 est.)


Airports 51/236

114 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 39

over 3,047 m: 8

2,438 to 3,047 m: 8

1,524 to 2,437 m: 7

914 to 1,523 m: 8

under 914 m: 8 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 75

914 to 1,523 m: 6

under 914 m: 69 (2013)


4 (2013)


condensate 354 km; gas 6,439 km; liquid petroleum gas 155 km; oil 1,937 km; oil/gas/water 43 km; refined products 114 km; water 26 km (2013)

Railways 75/136

total: 1,849 km

standard gauge: 59 km 1.435-m gauge (59 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 1,792 km 1.000-m gauge (339 km electrified) (2014)

Roadways 33/223

total: 144,403 km (excludes local roads)

paved: 116,169 km (includes 1,821 km of expressways)

unpaved: 28,234 km (2010)

Waterways 19/107

7,200 km (Peninsular Malaysia 3,200 km; Sabah 1,500 km; Sarawak 2,500 km) (2011)

Merchant marine 31/156

total: 315

by type: bulk carrier 11, cargo 83, carrier 2, chemical tanker 47, container 41, liquefied gas 34, passenger/cargo 4, petroleum tanker 86, roll on/roll off 2, vehicle carrier 5

foreign-owned: 26 (Denmark 1, Hong Kong 8, Japan 2, Russia 2, Singapore 13)

registered in other countries: 82 (Bahamas 13, India 1, Indonesia 1, Isle of Man 6, Malta 1, Marshall Islands 11, Panama 12, Papua New Guinea 1, Philippines 1, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Singapore 27, Thailand 3, US 2, unknown 2) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Bintulu, Johor Bahru, George Town (Penang), Port Kelang (Port Klang), Tanjung Pelepas

container port(s) (TEUs): George Town (Penang)(1,202,180), Port Kelang (Port Klang)(9,435,403), Tanjung Pelepas (7,302,461)

LNG terminal(s) (export): Bintulu (Sarawak)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Sungei Udang

Military and Security

Military branches

Malaysian Armed Forces (Angkatan Tentera Malaysia, ATM): Malaysian Army (Tentera Darat Malaysia), Royal Malaysian Navy (Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia, TLDM), Royal Malaysian Air Force (Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia, TUDM) (2013)

Military service age and obligation

17 years 6 months of age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent and proof of age); mandatory retirement age 60; women serve in the Malaysian Armed Forces; no conscription (2013)

Military expenditures 58/132

1.5% of GDP (2014)

1.5% of GDP (2013)

1.55% of GDP (2012)

1.67% of GDP (2011)

1.55% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

while the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" has eased tensions over the Spratly Islands, it is not the legally binding "code of conduct" sought by some parties; Malaysia was not party to the March 2005 joint accord among the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam on conducting marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands; disputes continue over deliveries of fresh water to Singapore, Singapore's land reclamation, bridge construction, and maritime boundaries in the Johor and Singapore Straits; in 2008, ICJ awarded sovereignty of Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh/Horsburgh Island) to Singapore, and Middle Rocks to Malaysia, but did not rule on maritime regimes, boundaries, or disposition of South Ledge; land and maritime negotiations with Indonesia are ongoing, and disputed areas include the controversial Tanjung Datu and Camar Wulan border area in Borneo and the maritime boundary in the Ambalat oil block in the Celebes Sea; separatist violence in Thailand's predominantly Muslim southern provinces prompts measures to close and monitor border with Malaysia to stem terrorist activities; Philippines retains a dormant claim to Malaysia's Sabah State in northern Borneo; per Letters of Exchange signed in 2009, Malaysia in 2010 ceded two hydrocarbon concession blocks to Brunei in exchange for Brunei's sultan dropping claims to the Limbang corridor, which divides Brunei; piracy remains a problem in the Malacca Strait

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 93,866 (Burma) (2014)

stateless persons: 40,000 (2014); note - Malaysia's stateless population consists of Rohingya refugees from Burma, ethnic Indians, and the children of Filipino and Indonesian illegal migrants; Burma stripped the Rohingya of their nationality in 1982; Filipino and Indonesian children who have not have been registered for birth certificates by their parents or who received birth certificates stamped "foreigner" are not eligible to attend government schools; these children are vulnerable to statelessness should they not be able to apply to their parents' country of origin for passports

Illicit drugs

drug trafficking prosecuted vigorously, including enforcement of the death penalty; heroin still primary drug of abuse, but synthetic drug demand remains strong; continued ecstasy and methamphetamine producer for domestic users and, to a lesser extent, the regional drug market