Once you have overcome jet lag and fatigue, you will be pleasantly surprised by the warmth of Malaysian hospitality. For, in the unique culture of each of our ethnic groups is the tradition of hospitality for which the country is renowned. Malaysians enjoy meeting people from other lands. So, do go right ahead and strike up a conversation!
Located in the tropics, Malaysia is made up of two regions - Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Peninsular Malaysia extends from the border with Thailand in the north to Singapore in the south. East Malaysia consists of the states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo. Malaysia has 13 states and two federal territories, namely Kuala Lumpur, the capital city, and Labuan, a financial island hub in the state of Sabah.
Malaysia is truly multicultural, founded on a vibrant co-mingling of Malay, Chinese, Indian and other indigenous cultures and customs. There are also segments of society that evince a harmonious fusion of these cultures and customs. Malaysia has a population of about 27 million people, comprising Malays, Chinese, Indians and other minority ethnic groups. The Malay language, or “Bahasa Malaysia”, is the national language while English, which is spoken widely, is the second language. Islam is the national religion, but freedom of worship is enshrined in the Malaysian Constitution.
Malaysia has an equatorial climate with uniform temperatures throughout the year, ranging from 32 degrees Celsius during the day to 22 degrees Celsius at night. Rainfall is common throughout the year, averaging 200-250cm a year. Under such climatic conditions, light comfortable clothing is the norm. The Standard Malaysian Time is eight hours ahead of GMT.
Malaysia is a politically stable country whose growth has been carefully and progressively mapped out through its various five-year strategic plans for national development. The ultimate goal is vision 2020 - to become a fully developed, mature, and knowledge-rich society by the year 2020. Realising the importance of information and telecommunication technology as a catalyst for national development, the government initiated the construction of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), a fully wired high-tech business park. This Corridor is a 15-kilometre long zone, extending south from the Kuala Lumpur City Centre right down to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. This zone includes, amongst others, Putrajaya, the new seat of the Malaysian government.
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