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About Malaysia
Malaysia is a mix of the modern world and a developing nation. With its investment in the high technology industries and moderate oil wealth, it has become a leader within South-East Asia.
Malaysia is a country in South-East Asia, located partly on a peninsula of the Asian mainland and partly on the northern third of the island of Borneo. West (peninsular) Malaysia shares a border with Thailand, is connected by a causeway and a bridge (the 'second link') to the island state of Singapore, and has coastlines on the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca. East Malaysia (Borneo) shares borders with Brunei and Indonesia.
Malaysia is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multilingual society, consisting of 65% Malays and other indigenous tribes, 25% Chinese, 7% Indians. The Malays, which form the largest community, are all Muslims since one has to be Muslim to be legally Malay under Malaysian law. The Malays play a dominant role politically and are included in a grouping identified as bumiputra. Their native language is Malay (Bahasa Melayu). Bahasa Malaysia which is largely similar to Bahasa Melayu in most practical terms is the national language of the country.
 
 
People
Malaysia is a multicultural society. While Malays and other indigenous minorities make up a 69% majority, there are also 21% Chinese (especially visible in the cities), 8% Indian and a miscellaneous grouping of 10% "others", many of them tribes from the jungles of East Malaysia. There is hence also a profusion of faiths and religions, with Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Sikhism and even shamanism on the map. Some Malaysians can be very extroverted and might talk to you uninvited but most Malaysians are shy at heart and are careful not to offend others, especially tourists. However, Malaysians are very friendly when approached and will usually go out of their way to help tourists find their way around if possible.
Climate of Malaysia
The climate in Malaysia is tropical. The north-east monsoon (October to February) deluges Borneo and the east coast in rain and often causes flooding, while the west coast (particularly Langkawi and Penang) escape unscathed. The milder south-west monsoon (April to October) reverses the pattern. The southern parts of peninsular Malaysia, including perennially soggy Kuala Lumpur, are exposed to both but even during the rainy season, the showers tend to be intense but brief.
 
Languages of Malaysia
The sole official language of Malaysia is Malay (Bahasa Melayu). English is also taught in schools and widely spoken in the cities although in rural areas a little Malay will come in handy. There is also a colloquial form of English spoken among Malaysians in urban areas, not inappropriately known as Manglish, which takes a bit of getting used to if you intend to join in the conversation on local topics. Malaysians will almost always try to speak 'proper English' when approached by Western travellers.
The Chinese community in Malaysia speaks a wide variety of Chinese dialects including Cantonese, Mandarin, Teo-chew, Hakka, Hainanese, Foochow, Hok-chew and Hokkien. The most commonly spoken Indian language is Tamil; other include Malayalam, Punjabi and Telugu. In East Malaysia several indigenous languages are also spoken, especially Iban and Kadazan.
 
 
 
 
 
   
   
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