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Malaysia Profiles

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Tips:ChinaMalaysia relationsI. Political RelationsOn May 31, 1974.China and Malaysia officially established diplomatic relati
 China–Malaysia relations

I. Political Relations

On May 31, 1974.China and Malaysia officially established diplomatic relations. Since then, they have witnessed sound development in the political, economic and cultural fields. Starting from 1985, the Malaysian Government made gradual readjustment of its policy toward China, contacts at different levels have been continuously increasing between the two countries. Since the 1990s, as Sine-Malaysian relations reached a new stage for development, friendly contacts and cooperation have developed in various fields. The bilateral relations are currently at its best time in history and the strategic cooperation develops smoothly. The bilateral ties are entering into a new stage of maturity and all-round development.

Frequent exchanges of visits have been going on strong between the leaders of the two countries. Following are the Chinese leaders who have visited Malaysia: Vice-premier Deng Xiaoping (in 1978), State Councilor cum Foreign Minister Wu Xueqian (in 1984), Vice-premier Tian Jiyun (in 1986), President Yang Shangkun (in 1990 and 1992), Premier Li Peng (in 1990 and 1997), State Councilor cum Foreign Minister Qian Qichen (in 1991), Vice-Premier Yao Yilin (in 1992), Chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC Qiao Shi (in 1993), State Councilor cum Secretary-General of the State Council Luo Gan ( in 1995), Chairman of the CPPCC Li Ruihuan (in 1995), Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of NPC Wang Hanbing (in 1997), Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan (in 1998) and Premier Zhu Rongji (in 1999). In 1994, President Jiang Zemin paid a state visit to Malaysia and went there again respectively in 1997 and 1998 to attend the first informal meeting between the leaders of ASEAN countries China, Japan and ROK.

In April 2002, Vice-President Hu Jintao paid an official visit to Malaysia. In May and July the same year, Vice-Chairman of the CPPCC cum President of Chinese Enterprise Federation Chen Qinghua and Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC Jiang Chunyan visited Malaysia successively. In January 2003, Vice-Premier Li Lanqing visited Malaysia. In July, Vice-Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative (CPPCC) Huang Mengfu attended the 7th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention. In August 2004, the Sectary of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China He Yong visited Malaysia. In October, Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China Wu Guanzheng and State Councilor of the State Council of China Tang Jiaxuan visited Malaysia.

Following are the Malaysian leaders who have visited China: Sultan Azlan Shah, (in 1990 and 1991), Tuanku Ja'afar (in 1997), Sultan Salahuddin(in 2001), Prime Minister Mahathir (in 1985, 1993, 1994, 1996,19999 and 2001), Vice Prime Minister Ghafar (in 1987), Vice Prime Minister Anwar (in 1994), Foreign Minister Badawi (in 1992 and 1997), Foreign Minister Syed (in 1999) and Senate Chairman Tan Sri Michael Chen Wing Sum (in 2002). In February and October 2001, Prime Minister Mahathir came to China to Asia Forum in Boao and APEC's informal summit in Shanghai. In September 2003 and May 2004, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi visited China in capacity of Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister respectively.

Consultation system was launched in April 1991 between the foreign ministers of the two countries and 9 rounds of consultations have been held. Apart form its embassy established in the other country, China has established its consulate-general in Kuching and Malaysia has set up its consulates-general in Shanghai, Canton and Hong Kong.

II. Trade Relations and Economic-Technological Cooperation Between the Two Countries

More than 10 agreements on economic and trade cooperation have been signed between the two countries such as Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation, Trade Agreement, Agreement on Investment Protection, Shipping Agreement and Air Transport Agreement. The joint committee of economy and set up in 1988 has convened 6 joint committee meetings.

The bilateral trade volume in 2003 reached US$ 20.13 billion, up 41% from the previous year, of which China's exports registered US$ 6.14 billion and its imports US$ 13.99 billion up 23.5% and 50.5% respectively. Malaysia continues to be the biggest ASEAN trading partner for China.

With sound development of economic cooperation between the two countries, mutual investment has kept increasing. By the end of September 2004, Chinese total investment in Malaysia reached US$ 102 million. In 2003, there were 350 Malaysian projects in China with their contractual volume reaching US$ 0.96 billion, up 20.8% from 2002, and their actual volume US$ 0.25 billion, down 31.8% from the previous year.

In 2000, Bank of China and Bank of Malaya set up its own branch respectively in Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai. In October 20002, the Chinese People's Bank and the National Bank of Malaya signed the agreement on bilateral exchange of currencies.

III. Exchanges and Cooperation in Other Fields

The two countries have seen sound development of exchanges and cooperation in the scientific, technological, educational, cultural and military fields. In 1992, Scientific and Technological Agreement was signed and the joint committee of science and technology set up, which held 3 joint committee meetings successively in 1994, 1999, and 2002. China and Malaysia also signed Agreement on Cooperation in and Exchange of Broadcasting and TV Programmes in 1992, Memorandum of understanding on Promotion of Sino-Malaysian Sport Exchange and Uplift of Standards of Physical Education in 1993, Memorandum of Understanding on Educational Exchanges in 1997, Agreement on Cultural Cooperation in 1999 and Memorandum of Understanding on Aviation Cooperation between China and Malaysia in 2002. The Chinese students studying in Malaysia have exceeded 10,000 and the Malaysian students in china surpassed 1,000.

In 1995, with the establishment of military attaché offices in both countries, China and Malaysia have witnessed growing contacts and exchanges of visits between their military circles. China's navy formation fleet visited Malaysia respectively in 199 and 2001. in August 2002, Malaysia's fleet visited China for the third time. In September of 2002, Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission, State Councilor cum Minister of Defence Chi Haotian made a stopover in Malaysia and had a meeting with Malaysian Minister of Defence Najib. In September 2003, Chief of the General Staff Liang Guanglie visited Malaysia and met Malaysian Prime Minsiter Mahathir and Minister of Defence Najib. In October 2004, Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission Guo Boxiong made a stopover in Malaysia and met Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Defence Najib.

The two countries had close cooperation in tourism. In 2002, Chinese tourists to Malaysia reached 0.557 million person-times, who were the major source of tourists for Malaysia. In the same year, Malaysian tourists to China reached NO.592 million person-times.

In 1991, China set up its Xinghua News Agency office in Malaysia. The Malaysian-Chinese Friendship Association and Chinese-Malaysian Friendship Association were founded respectively in 1992 and 1993. Prime Minister Mahathir was the guardian of the Malaysian-Chinese Friendship Association. Friendly relations have been established between Xiamen and Pinang Jiangsu and Malacca. In 1997, China Business Times set up its agency in Kuala Lumpur. In 2003, CCTV 4 and CCTV 9 were firstly broadcasted in Malaysia. In 2004, China News Agency opened its office in Kuala Lumpur.

IV. Other Issues Concerning the bilateral Relations

The two countries have disputes over the ownership of some shoals of the Nangsha Islands. Both sides have shown many times that they would work together to "reach the solution of this dispute in accordance with universally acknowledged principle of international laws including the UN convention of maritime law signed in 1982 through friendly consultations and talks between both sides so as to safeguard peace and stability in South China Sea."

V. Important Bilateral Documents

On 31 May 1974, Chinese then Premier Zhou Enlai and Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Razak signed Joint Communiqué, announcing the normalization and establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. In May 1999, Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan and Malaysian Foreign Minister Sayed Signed Joint Statement Concerning Future Cooperation Framework between the Government of the People's Republic of China and Malaysian Government in Beijing. On 31 May 2004, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi signed Joint Communiqué, outlining the future development of bilateral relations.


Country Profile



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 departure from the Federation 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.



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

Map references:


Southeast Asia



total: 329,847 sq km

country comparison to the world: 67

land: 328,657 sq km

water: 1,190 sq km

Area - comparative:


slightly larger than New Mexico

Land boundaries:


total: 2,669 km

border countries: Brunei 381 km, Indonesia 1,782 km, Thailand 506 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

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:


arable land: 5.46%

permanent crops: 17.54%

other: 77% (2005)

Irrigated land:


3,650 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:


580 cu km (1999)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):


total: 9.02 cu km/yr (17%/21%/62%)

per capita: 356 cu m/yr (2000)

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




noun: Malaysian(s)

adjective: Malaysian

Ethnic groups:


Malay 50.4%, Chinese 23.7%, indigenous 11%, Indian 7.1%, others 7.8% (2004 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 (or Islam - official) 60.4%, Buddhist 19.2%, Christian 9.1%, Hindu 6.3%, Confucianism, Taoism, other traditional Chinese religions 2.6%, other or unknown 1.5%, none 0.8% (2000 census)



29,179,952 (July 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 43



urban population: 72% of total population (2010)

rate of urbanization: 2.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population:


KUALA LUMPUR (capital) 1.493 million; Klang 1.071 million; Johor Bahru 958,000 (2009)

Sex ratio:


at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female

total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:


29 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

country comparison to the world: 125

Infant mortality rate:


total: 14.57 deaths/1,000 live births

country comparison to the world: 118

male: 16.83 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 12.14 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 74.04 years

country comparison to the world: 112

male: 71.28 years

female: 76.99 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate:


2.64 children born/woman (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 78

Health expenditures:


8% of GDP (2009)

country comparison to the world: 58

Physicians density:


0.941 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital bed density:


1.82 beds/1,000 population (2009)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


0.5% (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 68

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


100,000 (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 41

HIV/AIDS - deaths:


5,800 (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 36

Major infectious diseases:


degree of risk: high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:


16.3% (2006)

country comparison to the world: 28

Education expenditures:


4.1% of GDP (2008)

country comparison to the world: 98



definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 88.7%

male: 92%

female: 85.4% (2000 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 13 years

male: 12 years

female: 13 years (2008)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:


total: 10.9%

country comparison to the world: 99

male: 10.3%

female: 11.8% (2008)


Country name:


conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Malaysia

local long form: none

local short form: Malaysia

former: Federation of Malaya

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 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

geographic coordinates: 3 10 N, 101 42 E

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

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

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 three components, city of 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)



31 August 1957; amended many times

Legal system:


mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law, and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme 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



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

head of government: Prime Minister NAJIB Razak (since 3 April 2009); Deputy Prime Minister MUHYIDDIN bin Mohamed Yassin (since 9 April 2009)

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

(For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: kings are elected by and from the hereditary rulers of nine of the states for five-year terms; selection is based on the principle of rotation among rulers of states; elections were last held on 14 October 2011 (next to be held in 2016); prime ministers are designated from among the members of the House of Representatives; following legislative elections, the leader who commands the support of the majority of members in the House becomes prime minister (since independence this has been the leader of the UMNO party)

election results: Tuanku Abdul HALIM Mu'adzam Shah elected king; Mohamed NAJIB bin Abdul Razak was sworn in as Prime Minister after winning a party election for the presidency of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the party that leads the coalition with a majority of seats in parliament

Legislative branch:


bicameral Parliament or Parlimen consists of Senate or Dewan Negara (70 seats; 44 members appointed by the king, 26 elected by 13 state legislatures to serve three-year terms with a two term limit) and House of Representatives or Dewan Rakyat (222 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve up to five-year terms)

elections: House of Representatives - last held on 8 March 2008 (next to be held by June 2013)

election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote - BN coalition 50.3%, opposition parties 46.8%, others 2.9%; seats - BN coalition 140, opposition parties 82; (seats by party as of March 2011 - BN coalition 137, opposition parties 76, independents 9)

Judicial branch:


civil courts include Federal Court, Court of Appeal, High Court of Malaya on peninsula Malaysia, and High Court of Sabah and Sarawak in states of Borneo (judges are appointed by the king on the advice of the prime minister); sharia courts include Sharia Appeal Court, Sharia High Court, and Sharia Subordinate Courts at state-level and deal with religious and family matters such as custody, divorce, and inheritance only for Muslims; decisions of sharia courts cannot be appealed to civil courts

Political parties and leaders:


National Front (Barisan Nasional) or BN (ruling coalition) consists of the following parties: Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Party or GERAKAN [KOH Tsu Koon]; Liberal Democratic Party (Parti Liberal Demokratik - Sabah) or LDP [LIEW Vui Keong]; Malaysian Chinese Association (Persatuan China Malaysia) or MCA [CHUA Soi Lek]; Malaysian Indian Congress (Kongres India Malaysia) or MIC [Govindasamy PALANIVEL]; Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah or PBRS [Joseph KURUP]; Parti Bersatu Sabah or PBS [Joseph PAIRIN Kitingan]; Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu or PBB [Abdul TAIB Mahmud]; Parti Rakyat Sarawak or PRS [James MASING]; Sarawak United People's Party (Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sarawak) or SUPP [Peter CHIN Fah Kui]; United Malays National Organization or UMNO [NAJIB bin Abdul Razak]; United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organization (Pertubuhan Pasko Momogun Kadazan Dusun Bersatu) or UPKO [Bernard DOMPOK]; People's Progressive Party (Parti Progresif Penduduk Malaysia) or PPP [M.Kayveas]; Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party or SPDP [William MAWAN])

People's Alliance (Pakatan Rakyat) or PR (opposition coalition) consists of the following parties: Democratic Action Party (Parti Tindakan Demokratik) or DAP [KARPAL Singh]; Islamic Party of Malaysia (Parti Islam se Malaysia) or PAS [Abdul HADI Awang]; People's Justice Party (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) or PKR [WAN AZIZAH Wan Ismail]; Sarawak National Party or SNAP [Edwin DUNDANG]

independent party: Sabah Progressive Party (Parti Progresif Sabah) or SAPP [YONG Teck Lee]

Political pressure groups and leaders:


Bar Council; BERSIH (electoral reform coalition); PEMBELA (Muslim NGO coalition); 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):




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. The NAJIB administration also 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. As an oil and gas exporter, Malaysia has profited from higher world energy prices, although the rising cost of domestic gasoline and diesel fuel, combined with strained government finances, has forced Kuala Lumpur to begin to reduce government subsidies. The government is also trying to lessen its dependence on state oil producer Petronas. The oil and gas sector supplies more than 40% of government revenue. The central bank maintains healthy foreign exchange reserves, and a well-developed regulatory regime has limited Malaysia's exposure to riskier financial instruments and the global financial crisis. Nevertheless, Malaysia could be vulnerable to a fall in commodity prices or a general slowdown in global economic activity because exports are a major component of GDP. In order to attract increased investment, NAJIB has raised possible revisions to the special economic and social preferences accorded to ethnic Malays under the New Economic Policy of 1970, but he has encountered significant opposition, especially from Malay nationalists and other vested interests.

GDP (purchasing power parity):


$463.7 billion (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 30

$441.3 billion (2010 est.)

$411.8 billion (2009 est.)

note: data are in 2011 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):


$283.3 billion (2011 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:


5.1% (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 65

7.2% (2010 est.)

-1.5% (2009 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):


$16,200 (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 75

$15,600 (2010 est.)

$14,800 (2009 est.)

note: data are in 2011 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 11.9%

industry: 40.5%

services: 47.5% (2011 est.)

Labor force:


12.56 million (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 42

Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 13%

industry: 36%

services: 51% (2005 est.)

Unemployment rate:


3.1% (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 26

3.2% (2010 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:


46.2 (2009)

country comparison to the world: 34

49.2 (1997)

Investment (gross fixed):


22.1% of GDP (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 64



revenues: $60.59 billion

expenditures: $74.49 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:


21.4% of GDP (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 150

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):


-4.9% of GDP (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 157

Public debt:


51.8% of GDP (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 57

51.2% of GDP (2010 est.)


Inflation rate (consumer prices):


3.2% (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 69

1.7% (2010 est.)

note: approximately 30% of goods are price-controlled

Central bank discount rate:


3% (31 December 2011)

country comparison to the world: 106

2.83% (31 December 2010)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:


4.83% (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 156

4.91% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money:


$81.28 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 38

$72.77 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money:


$382.2 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 26

$343.8 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:


$354.6 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 32

$328.4 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:


$414 billion (31 December 2011)

country comparison to the world: 23

$410.5 billion (31 December 2010)

$256 billion (31 December 2009)

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, light manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, medical technology, electronics, tin mining and smelting, logging, timber processing; Sabah - logging, petroleum production; Sarawak - agriculture processing, petroleum production and refining, logging

Industrial production growth rate:


1.4% (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 133

Current account balance:


$32.03 billion (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 14

$27.29 billion (2010 est.)



$227.5 billion (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 25

$199 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities:


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

Exports - partners:


China 13.1%, Singapore 12.7%, Japan 11.5%, US 8.3%, Thailand 5.1%, Hong Kong 4.5%, India 4.1% (2010 est.)



$178.6 billion (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 28

$157.3 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities:


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

Imports - partners:


China 13.2%, Singapore 12.8%, Japan 11.4%, US 9.7%, Indonesia 6.1%, Thailand 6%, South Korea 4% (2010 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$133.6 billion (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 20

$106.5 billion (2010 est.)

Debt - external:


$89.71 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 48

$81.5 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:


$112.1 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 32

$101.3 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:


$110.3 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 27

$96.76 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Exchange rates:


ringgits (MYR) per US dollar -

3.06 (2011 est.)

3.22 (2010 est.)

3.52 (2009)

3.33 (2008)

3.46 (2007)



Electricity - production:


112 billion kWh (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 32

Electricity - consumption:


95.02 billion kWh (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 33

Electricity - exports:


105 million kWh (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 74

Electricity - imports:


12 million kWh (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 104

Electricity - installed generating capacity:


25.24 million kW (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 30

Electricity - from fossil fuels:


91.7% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 73

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:


0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 145

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:


8.3% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 117

Electricity - from other renewable sources:


0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 163

Crude oil - production:


603,400 bbl/day (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 28

Crude oil - exports:


236,400 bbl/day (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 30

Crude oil - imports:


199,100 bbl/day (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 33

Crude oil - proved reserves:


5.8 billion bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 23

Refined petroleum products - production:


649,700 bbl/day (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 28

Refined petroleum products - consumption:


542,900 bbl/day (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 34

Refined petroleum products - exports:


213,800 bbl/day (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 29

Refined petroleum products - imports:


178,200 bbl/day (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 30

Natural gas - production:


66.5 billion cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 14

Natural gas - consumption:


35.7 billion cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 27

Natural gas - exports:


31.99 billion cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 11

Natural gas - imports:


2.94 billion cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 44

Natural gas - proved reserves:


2.35 trillion cu m (1 January 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 16

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:


181.9 million Mt (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 30


Communications :

Telephones - main lines in use:


4.243 million (2011)

country comparison to the world: 40

Telephones - mobile cellular:


36.661 million (2012)

country comparison to the world: 30

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)

Broadcast media:

There are about 50 newspapers, published in eight languages​​, circulation ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. Major newspapers: Malay: " Malay doot "," Daily News "," la patria ";English:" New Straits Times "," Star "," Malay Mail "; Chinese:" Nanyang Business Daily "," Sin Chew Daily ".

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 400 radio stations overall (2008)

Internet country code:



Internet hosts:


422,470 (2012)

country comparison to the world: 53

Internet users:


15.355 million (2009)

country comparison to the world: 26


Transportation :



117 (2012)

country comparison to the world: 49

Airports - with paved runways:


total: 39

over 3,047 m: 8

2,438 to 3,047 m: 9

1,524 to 2,437 m: 6

914 to 1,523 m: 8

under 914 m: 8 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways:


total: 78

914 to 1,523 m: 7

under 914 m: 71 (2012)



3 (2012)



condensate 3 km; gas 1,757 km; liquid petroleum gas 155 km; oil 30 km; refined products 114 km (2010)



total: 1,849 km

country comparison to the world: 75

standard gauge: 57 km 1.435-m gauge (57 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 1,792 km 1.000-m gauge (150 km electrified) (2008)



total: 98,721 km

country comparison to the world: 42

paved: 80,280 km (includes 1,821 km of expressways)

unpaved: 18,441 km (2004)



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

country comparison to the world: 20

Merchant marine:


total: 315

country comparison to the world: 31

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:


Bintulu, Johor Bahru, George Town (Penang), Port Kelang (Port Klang), Tanjung Pelepas

Transportation - note:


the International Maritime Bureau reports that the territorial and offshore waters in the Strait of Malacca and South China Sea remain high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; in the past, commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargo diverted to ports in East Asia; crews have been murdered or cast adrift; increased naval patrols since 2005 in the Strait of Malacca resulted in no reported incidents in 2010.


Military :

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) (2010)

Military service age and obligation:


18 years of age for voluntary military service (2005)

Manpower available for military service:


males age 16-49: 7,501,518

females age 16-49: 7,315,999 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:


males age 16-49: 6,247,306

females age 16-49: 6,175,274 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:


male: 265,008

female: 254,812 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:


2.03% of GDP (2005 est.)

country comparison to the world: 68

Keyword: Malaysia Profiles

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