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Malaysia

A map of Malaysia, showing highland and lowland areas and vegetationMalaysia is in two parts. West Malaysia (Peninsula Malaysia) shares the long, narrow Malay Peninsula with Thailand and Burma. East Malaysia lies over 600 kilometres (400 miles) across the South China Sea, occupying part of the island of Borneo, which it shares with Indonesia and Brunei. Lying nearly on the equator, Malaysia has a hot, tropical climate, with extremely humid weather all year round.


A map of Malaysia

A Malaysian woman playing the kulintangan. The instrument consists of a row of metal gong "kettles" arranged in a rack and struck...Read More >>A Malaysian woman playing the kulintangan. The instrument consists of a row of metal gong "kettles" arranged in a rack and struck by wooden beaters. Kulintang is a form of music traditional to eastern Malaysia (Sabah), southern Philippines and the islands of eastern Indonesia.

People

The majority of Malaysians live in towns and cities to the west of Peninsular Malaysia's central uplands. Many of them are drawn to Kuala Lumpur (KL) by the manufacturing industries centred around Malaysia's capital. Peninsular Malaysia is more developed than East Malaysia, where a greater number of people live in the countryside and work as farmers.

Nine sultans, each ruling one of Malaysia’s traditional states, take it in turns to be Malaysia’s king, changing over every five years. The king’s role is largely just ceremonial.

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