Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. In addition to this, the Dayak community in Sarawak celebrate a harvest festival known as Gawai ,  and the Kadazandusun community celebrate Kaamatan. A sustainable microfinance scheme, where participating financial institutions offer microfinance products that are easy, fast and convenient to micro enterprises with viable businesses.
The economy shifted from being agriculturally based to one based on manufacturing and industry. Numerous mega-projects were completed, such as the Petronas Towers , the North—South Expressway , the Multimedia Super Corridor , and the new federal administrative capital of Putrajaya. Malaysia is a federal constitutional elective monarchy , and the only federation in Southeast Asia.
The system of government is closely modelled on that of the Westminster parliamentary system, a legacy of British colonial rule. The King is elected to a five-year term by and from among the nine hereditary rulers of the Malay states ; the other four states, which have titular Governors , do not participate in the selection.
By informal agreement the position is systematically rotated among the nine,  and has been held by Muhammad V of Kelantan since December Legislative power is divided between federal and state legislatures.
The bicameral federal parliament consists of the lower house , the House of Representatives and the upper house , the Senate. All 70 senators sit for three-year terms; 26 are elected by the 13 state assemblies, and the remaining 44 are appointed by the King upon the Prime Minister's recommendation.
Currently Malaysia is governed by Pakatan Harapan political alliance. Each state has a unicameral State Legislative Assembly whose members are elected from single-member constituencies. State governments are led by Chief Ministers ,  who are state assembly members from the majority party in the assembly.
In each of the states with a hereditary ruler, the Chief Minister is normally required to be a Malay , appointed by the ruler upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister.
Voting is not mandatory. Executive power is vested in the Cabinet , led by the Prime Minister. The prime minister must be a member of the House of Representatives, who in the opinion of the King, commands the support of a majority of members.
The Cabinet is chosen from members of both houses of Parliament. Malaysia's legal system is based on English Common Law. Malaysia also has a special court to hear cases brought by or against royalty. Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia. Race is a significant force in politics. However, it has generated greater interethnic resentment. Malaysia is a federation of 13 states and three federal territories.
Each state is divided into districts , which are then divided into mukim. In Sabah and Sarawak districts are grouped into divisions. Governance of the states is divided between the federal and the state governments, with different powers reserved for each, and the Federal government has direct administration of the federal territories. The 13 states are based on historical Malay kingdoms, and 9 of the 11 Peninsular states, known as the Malay states , retain their royal families.
The King is elected by and from the nine rulers to serve a five-year term. Each state has a unicameral legislature known as the State Legislative Assembly , and its own written constitution. Malaysia's foreign policy is officially based on the principle of neutrality and maintaining peaceful relations with all countries, regardless of their political system. Historically the government has tried to portray Malaysia as a progressive Islamic nation  while strengthening relations with other Islamic states.
The Spratly Islands are disputed by many states in the area, and a large portion of the South China Sea is claimed by China. Unlike its neighbours of Vietnam and the Philippines , Malaysia historically avoided conflicts with China. Malaysia has never recognised Israel and has no diplomatic ties with it,  and has called for the International Criminal Court to take action against Israel over its Gaza flotilla raid.
The Malaysian Armed Forces have three branches: There is no conscription, and the required age for voluntary military service is The military uses 1.
The Five Power Defence Arrangements is a regional security initiative which has been in place for almost 40 years. Because of this, Malaysia began to increase its border security. The country also has maritime boundaries with Vietnam  and the Philippines. Malaysia is the only country with territory on both the Asian mainland and the Malay archipelago.
The two parts of Malaysia, separated from each other by the South China Sea , share a largely similar landscape in that both Peninsular and East Malaysia feature coastal plains rising to hills and mountains. Much of it has been eroded, creating a karst landscape. Around these two halves of Malaysia are numerous islands , the largest of which is Banggi. Local climates can be divided into three regions, highland, lowland, and coastal. Climate change is likely to affect sea levels and rainfall, increasing flood risks and leading to droughts.
Malaysia signed the Rio Convention on Biological Diversity on 12 June , and became a party to the convention on 24 June A high number of endemic bird species are also found in Malaysian Borneo. Nearly 4, species of fungi, including lichen-forming species have been recorded from Malaysia. Of the two fungal groups with the largest number of species in Malaysia, the Ascomycota and their asexual states have been surveyed in some habitats decaying wood, marine and freshwater ecosystems, as parasites of some plants, and as agents of biodegradation , but have not been or have been only poorly surveyed in other habitats as endobionts, in soils, on dung, as human and animal pathogens ; the Basidiomycota are only partly surveyed: Without doubt, many more fungal species in Malaysia have not yet been recorded, and it is likely that many of those, when found, will be new to science.
At higher altitudes, oaks, chestnuts, and rhododendrons replace dipterocarps. Logging , along with cultivation practices has devastated tree cover, causing severe environmental degradation in the country. The Malaysian government aims to balance economic growth with environmental protection, but has been accused of favouring big business over the environment. Malaysia is a relatively open state-oriented and newly industrialised market economy.
Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with GDP growing an average 6. In , current Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad outlined his ideal in Vision , in which Malaysia would become a self-sufficient industrialised nation by Najib Razak has said Malaysia could attain developed country status much earlier from the actual target in , adding the country has two program concept such as Government Transformation Programme and the Economic Transformation Programme.
The report also says "The electronic equipment, petroleum, and liquefied natural gas producer will see a substantial increase in income per capita. Malaysian life expectancy, relatively high level of schooling, and above average fertility rate will help in its rapid expansion". In the s, the predominantly mining and agricultural-based economy began a transition towards a more multi-sector economy.
Since the s, the industrial sector, with a high level of investment, has led the country's growth. The Chinese make up about one-quarter of the population, but accounts for 70 per cent of the country's market capitalisation. International trade, facilitated by the shipping route in adjacent Strait of Malacca , and manufacturing are the key sectors. Manufacturing has a large influence in the country's economy,  although Malaysia's economic structure has been moving away from it.
In an effort to diversify the economy and make it less dependent on export goods, the government has pushed to increase tourism to Malaysia. As a result, tourism has become Malaysia's third largest source of foreign exchange, although it is threatened by the negative effects of the growing industrial economy, with large amounts of air and water pollution along with deforestation affecting tourism.
The state of the airline, which had been unprofitable for 3 years, prompted the government in August to nationalise the airline by buying up the 30 per cent it did not already own. This in part was the result of the Malaysia My Second Home programme to allow foreigners to live in the country on a long-stay visa for up to 10 years.
Warm climate with British colonial background made foreigners easy to interact with the locals. The country has developed into a centre of Islamic banking , and is the country with the highest numbers of female workers in that industry. The privatisation has created defence industry, which in was brought under the Malaysia Defence Industry Council. The government continues to promote this sector and its competitiveness, actively marketing the defence industry.
The country is one of the world's largest exporters of semiconductor devices, electrical devices, and IT and communication products. The overall infrastructure of Malaysia is one of the most developed in Asia  and ranked 8th in Asia and 25th in the world. During the colonial period, development was mainly concentrated in economically powerful cities and in areas forming security concerns.
Although rural areas have been the focus of great development, they still lag behind areas such as the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Malaysia's energy infrastructure sector is largely dominated by Tenaga Nasional , the largest electric utility company in Southeast Asia , with over RM The other two electric utility companies in the country are Sarawak Energy and Sabah Electricity.
In , Malaysia's total power generation capacity was over 29, megawatts. Total electricity generation was , Most of the federal roads in Malaysia are 2-lane roads. In town areas, federal roads may become 4-lane roads to increase traffic capacity. Nearly all federal roads are paved with tarmac except for parts of the Skudai—Pontian Highway which are paved with concrete , while parts of the Federal Highway linking Klang to Kuala Lumpur are paved with asphalt. Heavy rail is mostly used for intercity passenger and freight transport as well as some urban public transport, while LRTs are used for intra-city urban public transport.
The sole monorail line in the country is used for public transport in Kuala Lumpur , while the only funicular railway line is in Penang. The railway network covers most of the 11 states in Peninsular Malaysia. In East Malaysia, only the state of Sabah has railways. Malaysia has airports, of which 38 are paved. The national airline is Malaysia Airlines , providing international and domestic air services.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport is the main and busiest airport of Malaysia. In , it was the world's 13th busiest airport by international passenger traffic , recording over It was also the world's 20th busiest airport by passenger traffic , recording over Other major airports include Kota Kinabalu International Airport , which is also Malaysia's second busiest airport and busiest airport in East Malaysia with over 6. Malaysia is strategically located on the Strait of Malacca , one of the most important shipping lanes in the world.
Malaysia has two ports that are listed in the top 20 busiest ports in the world, Port Klang and Port of Tanjung Pelepas , which are respectively the 2nd and 3rd busiest ports in Southeast Asia after the Port of Singapore. Port Klang is Malaysia's busiest port, and the 13th busiest port in the world in , handling over Port of Tanjung Pelepas is Malaysia's second busiest port, and the 19th busiest port in the world in , handling over 7.
According to the Malaysian Department of Statistics , the country's population was 28,, in ,  making it the 42nd most populated country. According to a estimate, the population is increasing by 1. People within the 15—64 age group constitute In , when the first official census was recorded in Malaysia, the population was 8.
They play a dominant role politically. Non-Malay bumiputera make up more than half of Sarawak's population and over two thirds of Sabah's population. Other minorities lack bumiputera status. Immigrants from India, the majority of them Tamils , began arriving in Malaysia early in the 19th century. Dual citizenship is not permitted. Every citizen is issued a biometric smart chip identity card known as MyKad at the age of 12, and must carry the card at all times. The education system features a non-compulsory kindergarten education followed by six years of compulsory primary education, and five years of optional secondary education.
In the final year of secondary education, students sit for the Malaysian Certificate of Education examination. However, in the matriculation system, only 10 per cent of places are open to non- bumiputera students. The infant mortality rate in was 6 deaths per births, and life expectancy at birth in was 75 years. This is a decline compared to , the previous year. There was also a decline in crude birth rate from Male babies account for The highest crude birth rate was reported at Putrajaya The Julau district has the highest crude birth rate nationwide at The total fertility rate in Malaysia remains below the replacement level at 1.
This is a decline of 0. The highest crude death rate was reported in Perlis at 7. Kuala Penyu was the district with the highest crude death rate while Kinabatangan recorded the lowest crude death rate in the country. Of this population, approximately 79, are from Burma, 72, from the Philippines, and 17, from Indonesia.
Malaysian officials are reported to have turned deportees directly over to human smugglers in , and Malaysia employs RELA , a volunteer militia with a history of controversies, to enforce its immigration law.
The constitution grants freedom of religion and makes Malaysia an officially secular state, while establishing Islam as the "religion of the Federation". The Malaysian constitution strictly defines what makes a "Malay", considering Malays those who are Muslim, speak Malay regularly, practise Malay customs, and lived in or have ancestors from Brunei , Malaysia and Singapore. The majority of the Indian population follow Hinduism Christianity is the predominant religion of the non-Malay bumiputera community Muslims are obliged to follow the decisions of Syariah courts in matters concerning their religion.
The Islamic judges are expected to follow the Shafi'i legal school of Islam, which is the main madh'hab of Malaysia. No other criminal or civil offences are under the jurisdiction of the Shariah courts, which have a similar hierarchy to the Civil Courts.
Despite being the supreme courts of the land, the Civil Courts do not hear matters related to Islamic practices. The official and national language of Malaysia is Malaysian ,  a standardised form of the Malay language. English remains an active second language , with its use allowed for some official purposes under the National Language Act of Malaysian English is widely used in business, along with Manglish , which is a colloquial form of English with heavy Malay , Chinese, and Tamil influences.
The government discourages the use of non-standard Malay but has no power to issue compounds or fines to those who use improper Malay on their advertisements. Many other languages are used in Malaysia, which contains speakers of living languages. Iban is the main tribal language in Sarawak while Dusunic and Kadazan languages are spoken by the natives in Sabah.
Tamil is used predominantly by Tamils, who form a majority of Malaysian Indians. Other South Asian languages are also widely spoken in Malaysia, as well as Thai.
Malaysia has a multi-ethnic, multicultural, and multilingual society. The original culture of the area stemmed from indigenous tribes that inhabited it, along with the Malays who later moved there. Substantial influence exists from Chinese and Indian culture, dating back to when foreign trade began.
Other cultural influences include the Persian , Arabic , and British cultures. Due to the structure of the government, coupled with the social contract theory, there has been minimal cultural assimilation of ethnic minorities. In , the government created a "National Cultural Policy", defining Malaysian culture.
It stated that Malaysian culture must be based on the culture of the indigenous peoples of Malaysia, that it may incorporate suitable elements from other cultures, and that Islam must play a part in it.
Both Chinese and Indian associations have submitted memorandums to the government, accusing it of formulating an undemocratic culture policy. Some cultural disputes exist between Malaysia and neighbouring countries, notably Indonesia. The two countries have a similar cultural heritage, sharing many traditions and items. However, disputes have arisen over things ranging from culinary dishes to Malaysia's national anthem.
Strong feelings exist in Indonesia about protecting their national heritage. Traditional Malaysian art was mainly centred on the areas of carving, weaving, and silversmithing.
Common artworks included ornamental kris , beetle nut sets, and woven batik and songket fabrics. Indigenous East Malaysians are known for their wooden masks. However, Malay art does show some North Indian influence due to the historical influence of India. Traditional Malay music and performing arts appear to have originated in the Kelantan - Pattani region with influences from India , China, Thailand and Indonesia.
The music is based around percussion instruments,  the most important of which is the gendang drum. There are at least 14 types of traditional drums. Malaysia has a strong oral tradition that has existed since before the arrival of writing, and continues today. Each of the Malay Sultanates created their own literary tradition, influenced by pre-existing oral stories and by the stories that came with Islam.
The earliest known Malay writing is on the Terengganu stone , made in Literature written in Malay was called "the national literature of Malaysia", literature in other bumiputera languages was called "regional literature", while literature in other languages was called "sectional literature". The Hikayat form is popular, and the pantun has spread from Malay to other languages.
Malaysia's cuisine reflects the multi-ethnic makeup of its population. Much of the influence comes from the Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Javanese, and Sumatran cultures,  largely due to the country being part of the ancient spice route. Sometimes food not found in its original culture is assimilated into another; for example, Chinese restaurants in Malaysia often serve Malay dishes.
Chili is commonly found in local cuisine, although this does not necessarily make them spicy. Malaysia's main newspapers are owned by the government and political parties in the ruling coalition,   although some major opposition parties also have their own, which are openly sold alongside regular newspapers.
A divide exists between the media in the two halves of the country. Peninsular-based media gives low priority to news from the East, and often treats the eastern states as colonies of the Peninsula. Freedom of the press is limited, with numerous restrictions on publishing rights and information dissemination. Malaysians observe a number of holidays and festivities throughout the year. Some are federally gazetted public holidays and some are observed by individual states. Other festivals are observed by particular ethnic or religion groups, and the main holiday of each major group has been declared a public holiday.
The most observed national holiday is Hari Merdeka Independence Day on 31 August, commemorating the independence of the Federation of Malaya in Hindus in Malaysia celebrate Deepavali , the festival of lights,  while Thaipusam is a religious rite which sees pilgrims from all over the country converge at the Batu Caves. In addition to this, the Dayak community in Sarawak celebrate a harvest festival known as Gawai ,  and the Kadazandusun community celebrate Kaamatan. In a custom known as "open house" Malaysians participate in the celebrations of others, often visiting the houses of those who identify with the festival.
Popular sports in Malaysia include association football , badminton , field hockey , bowls , tennis , squash , martial arts , horse riding , sailing , and skate boarding. It runs for It first participated in the Melbourne Olympic Games. The council was renamed the Olympic Council of Malaysia in , and has participated in all but one Olympic games since its inception.
The largest number of athletes ever sent to the Olympics was 57 to the Munich Olympic Games. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Malesia. Federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia.
Official language and national language. Politics of Malaysia and Government of Malaysia. Censorship in Malaysia and Human rights in Malaysia. Foreign relations of Malaysia and Malaysian Armed Forces. Environmental issues in Malaysia. Energy policy of Malaysia and List of power stations in Malaysia. Largest cities and municipalities in Malaysia Department of Statistics, Malaysia Areas with multiple languages. Music of Malaysia and Malaysian literature. The national drink and national dish of the country  .
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Retrieved 15 October Retrieved 27 September Retrieved 21 November Retrieved 22 August The New York Times. Retrieved 27 November Internet dating and other financial scams are common. Foreigners, including Canadian expatriates, may be targeted. Credit cards and debit cards should be safeguarded at all times as theft, fraud and skimming does occur. Credit card magnetic strips have been duplicated, even in international hotels. Swiping your own card may not always be possible.
More about overseas fraud. Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. We have obtained the information on this page from the Malaysian authorities.
It can, however, change at any time. Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada. Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Malaysia. Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Not required for stays of up to 90 days Business visa: A special visa is available to individuals who participate in the Malaysia My Second Home or Mm2h program. Before you apply for an employment pass at an immigration office or a Malaysian high commission overseas , your prospective employer must apply for approval from the Standing Committee for Malaysianisation or the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority to fill the position with an expatriate.
While waiting for the approval, your employer can apply to bring you into the country on a social visit pass for example, temporary employment. We strongly recommend against this last step: Foreigners are limited to three visit pass extensions, after which they must leave the country or a fine will be imposed for overstaying. Foreigners are required to register their biometrics fingerprints at their port of entry. Children under 12 years of age and diplomats accredited to Malaysia are exempt from this process.
Malaysian authorities have implemented screening measures in response to various virus outbreaks. Travellers entering Malaysia from Canada may be subject to a body temperature check. In some cases, travellers may be isolated and treated.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever vaccines section. Some of these vaccines include: You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country.
Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated. Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed e. Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics.
Influenza flu is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot. Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain. It is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is low for most travellers. Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to mosquito bites e. Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal.
Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure e. Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito. Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection. Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Southeast Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera , hepatitis A , schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Southeast Asia. Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it! Cholera is a risk in parts of this country.
Most travellers are at very low risk. For protection of cholera. All travellers should practise safe food and water precautions. Travellers at higher risk should discuss with a health care professional the benefits of getting vaccinated. Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination. Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites. There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya. Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. Recent or ongoing cases of Zika virus have been reported in this country.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites day and night. Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects such as abnormally small heads microcephaly. Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted. See travel health notice: Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats.
Some infections found in some areas in Southeastern Asia, like avian influenza and rabies , can be shared between humans and animals. Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses. Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common viral illness that mainly affects infants and children.
Travellers are at increased risk if visiting or living in overcrowded conditions. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against this disease. Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs. Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives. Good health care is only available in major cities. Quality of care varies greatly throughout the country. Payment is expected at time of service and can be made either in cash or by using a major credit card.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays. The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad. Muslim travellers may be subject to these laws.
In some states, such as Kelantan and Terengganu, particularly strict regulations on alcohol and public decency can be applied. Religious preaching to Muslims, including distributing non-Islamic religious materials, is illegal.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Possession of as little as 15 grams of some prohibited substances will be considered trafficking, which carries a mandatory death penalty. You must carry photo identification, such as your passport. Seat belts are mandatory. Penalties for drinking and driving are severe. Convicted offenders can expect fines or imprisonment and could have their driver's licence suspended or revoked. Foreign vessels travelling in the waters off Sabah are subject to Malaysian law and must use routes designated by Malaysian authorities.
Vessels must also fly both a Malaysian flag and the flag of their home country. The laws of Malaysia prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex, and transgender individuals have been arrested. If local authorities consider you a citizen of Malaysia, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.