All you need to know but DO YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW the real Malaysia? http://www.tourismmalaysia.gov.my/en/about/facts.asp Country The Federation of Malaysia comprises Peninsula Malaysia and the states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo. Geographical Location Located between 2º and 7º north of the Equator, Peninsula Malaysia is separated from the states of Sabah and Sarawak by the South China Sea. To the north of Peninsula Malaysia is Thailand while its southern neighbour is Singapore. Sabah and Sarawak are north of Indonesia in Borneo while Sarawak also shares a border with Brunei. Area 329,758 square km Population 27.17 million Capital Kuala Lumpur People Malays who make up about 57% of the population are the predominant group with Chinese, Indians and other ethnic groups making up the rest. Language Bahasa Melayu (Malay) is the official language, but English is widely spoken. Ethnic groups also have their own languages and dialects. Religion Islam is the country's official religion, but other religions are widely practised. Government Malaysia is governed by a Parliamentary democracy with a bicameral legislative system. The Head of State is the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, a position that is awarded to a different State Monarch every five years and the Head of Government is the Prime Minister. Weather Tropical climate with warm weather all year round. Temperatures in the lowlands range from 21ºC (70ºF) to 32ºC (90ºF). The highlands are cooler, where temperatures range between 15°C (59° F) to 25°C (77°F). Annual rainfall varies from 2,000mm to 2,500mm. Main Holidays New Year*, Hari Raya Aidiladha*, Federal Territory Day**, Chinese New Year*, Awal Muharam*, Maulidur Rasul*, Labour Day*, Wesak Day*, DYMM Yang DiPertuan Agong's Birthday*, National Day* Deepavali# Hari Raya Aidilfitri* Christmas* Note: (*) - National Holiday (**) - Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur & Labuan only (#) - Except Labuan & Sarawak Economic Profile Manufacturing constitutes the largest single component of Malaysia's economy. Tourism and primary commodities such as petroleum, palm oil, natural rubber and timber are other major contributors to the economy. Distance to Malaysia London, United Kingdom to Kuala Lumpur : 6,557 miles (10,552 km) Paris, France to Kuala Lumpur 6,483 miles (10,432 km) Rome, Italy to Kuala Lumpur : 6,038 miles (9,716 km) Stockholm, Sweden to Kuala Lumpur : 5,812 miles (9,353 km) Berlin, Germany to Kuala Lumpur : 5,979 miles (9,622 km) Madrid, Spain to Kuala Lumpur : 6,885 miles (11,079 km) New York, United States to Kuala Lumpur : 9,400 miles (15,126 km) Los Angeles, USA to Kuala Lumpur : 8,790 miles (14,144 km) Vancouver, Canada to Kuala Lumpur : 7,944 miles (12,783 km) Currency The currency unit of the country is Ringgit Malaysia written as RM. The value is approximately USD1 = RM3.50. Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks and money exchange. Banking Hours Most states: Monday - Friday: 9.30 am to 4.30 pm. Saturday & Sunday: Closed (Some banks and their branches open on Saturdays). Kelantan & Terengganu: Sun - Wednesday :9.30 am to 4.30 pm. Thursday :9.30 am to 4.00 pm. Friday/Saturday*/Public Holiday: Closed Post Office Opens from 8.30 am to 6.00 pm daily, except on the first Saturday of each month, Sundays and public holidays. In Kelantan and Terengganu post offices operates during the same time, but are closed on Fridays and public holidays. Time Eight hours ahead of GMT and 16 hours ahead of U.S. Standard Time. Electricity Voltage is 220 - 240 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. Standard 3-pin square plugs and sockets. Weight and Measurement Malaysia follows the metric system for weight and measurement. Telephone Local calls can be made using public telephones with shillings or prepaid cards. International calls can also be made using phone cards or at any Telekom office. Accommodation Malaysia has a wide range of accommodation with reasonable pricing. There are five star hotels, budget hotels, youth hostels, beach chalets and apartments available.