Statistical information Malaysia 1990Malaysia

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Malaysia in the World

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Malaysia - Introduction 1990
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Background: Malaysia was created in 1963 through the merging of Malaya (independent in 1957) and the former British Singapore both of which formed West Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak in north Borneo which composed East Malaysia. The first three years of independence were marred by hostilities with Indonesia. Singapore seceded from the union in 1965.

Malaysia - Geography 1990
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference


Land boundaries: 2,669 km total; Brunei 381 km, Indonesia 1,782, Thailand 506 km

Coastline: 4,675 km total (2,068 km Peninsular Malaysia, 2,607 km East Malaysia)

Maritime claims: Continental shelf:200 meters or to depth of exploitation, specified boundary in the South China Sea;

Climate: tropical; annual southwest (April to October) and northeast (October to February) monsoons

Terrain: coastal plains rising to hills and mountains


Natural resources: tin, crude oil, timber, copper, iron ore, natural gas, bauxite
Land use

Land use: 3% arable land; 10% permanent crops; NEGL% meadows and pastures; 63% forest and woodland; 24% other; includes 1% irrigated

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

Note: strategic location along Strait of Malacca and southern South China Sea

Malaysia - People 1990
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Population: 17,510,546 (July 1990), growth rate 2.3% (1990)

Nationality: noun--Malaysian(s; adjective--Malaysian

Ethnic groups: 59% Malay and other indigenous, 32% Chinese, 9% Indian

Languages: Peninsular Malaysia--Malay (official; English, Chinese dialects, Tamil; Sabah--English, Malay, numerous tribal dialects, Mandarin and Hakka dialects predominate among Chinese; Sarawak--English, Malay, Mandarin, numerous tribal languages

Religions: Peninsular Malaysia--Malays nearly all Muslim, Chinese predominantly Buddhists, Indians predominantly Hindu; Sabah--38% Muslim, 17% Christian, 45% other; Sarawak--35% tribal religion, 24% Buddhist and Confucianist, 20% Muslim, 16% Christian, 5% other

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 29 births/1000 population (1990)

Death rate: 6 deaths/1000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 0 migrants/1000 population (1990)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: subject to flooding; air and water pollution

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 30 deaths/1000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 65 years male, 71 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 3.5 children born/woman (1990)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 65.0% overall, age 20 and up; Peninsular Malaysia--80%; Sabah--60%; Sarawak--60%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Malaysia - Government 1990
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Country name: conventional long form: none

Government type: Federation of Malaysia formed 9 July 1963; constitutional monarchy nominally headed by the paramount ruler (king) and a bicameral Parliament composed of a 58-member Senate and a 177-member House of Representatives; Peninsular Malaysian states--hereditary rulers in all but Penang and Melaka, where governors are appointed by Malaysian Government; powers of state governments are limited by federal Constitution; Sabah--self-governing state, holds 20 seats in House of Representatives, with foreign affairs, defense, internal security, and other powers delegated to federal government; Sarawak--self-governing state within Malaysia, holds 24 seats in House of Representatives, with foreign affairs, defense, internal security, and other powers delegated to federal government

Capital: Kuala Lumpur

Administrative divisions: 13 states (negeri-negeri, singular--negeri) and 2 federal territories* (wilayah-wilayah persekutuan, singular--wilayah persekutuan; Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Labuan*, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Terengganu, Wilayah Persekutuan*

Dependent areas

Independence: 31 August 1957 (from UK)

National holiday: National Day, 31 August (1957)

Constitution: 31 August 1957, amended 16 September 1963 when Federation of Malaya became Federation of Malaysia

Legal system: based on English common law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court at request of supreme head of the federation; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: universal at age 21

Executive branch: Chief of State--Paramount Ruler AZLAN Muhibbuddin Shah ibni Sultan Yusof Izzudin (since 26 April 1989; Deputy Paramount Ruler JA'AFAR ibni Abdul Rahman (since 26 April 1989; Head of Government--Prime Minister Dr. MAHATHIR bin Mohamad (since 16 July 1981; Deputy Prime Minister Abdul GHAFAR Baba (since 7 May 1986)

Legislative branch: Royal Malaysian Army, Royal Malaysian Navy, Royal Malaysian Air Force, Royal Malaysian Police Force

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ADB, ANRPC, ASEAN, Association of Tin Producing Countries, CCC, Colombo Plan, Commonwealth, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, GATT, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB--Islamic Development Bank, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IPU, IRC, ITC, ITU, NAM, OIC, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation
In the us: Ambassador Albert S. TALALLA; Chancery at 2,401 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20,008; telephone (202) 328-2,700; there are Malaysian Consulates General in Los Angeles and New York; US--Ambassador Paul M. CLEVELAND; Embassy at 376 Jalan Tun Razak, 50,400 Kuala Lumpur (mailing address is P. O. Box No. 10,035, 50,700 Kuala Lumpur; telephone p6o (03) 248-9,011

Flag descriptionflag of Malaysia: fourteen 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 fourteen-pointed star; the crescent and the star are traditional symbols of Islam; the design was based on the flag of the US

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Malaysia - Economy 1990
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Economy overview: In 1988-89 booming exports helped Malaysia continue to recover from the severe 1985-86 recession. Real output grew by 8.7% in 1988 and about 7.7% in 1989, helped by vigorous growth in manufacturing output and further increases in foreign direct investment, particularly from Japanese and Taiwanese firms facing higher costs at home. Malaysia has become the world's third-largest producer of semiconductor devices (after the US and Japan) and the world's largest exporter of semiconductor devices. Inflation remained low as unemployment stood at about 8% of the labor force and as the government followed prudent fiscal/monetary policies. The country is not self-sufficient in food, and a majority of the rural population subsists at the poverty level. Malaysia's high export dependence (merchandise exports are 63% of GDP) leaves it vulnerable to a recession in the OECD countries or a fall in world commodity prices.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: Peninsular Malaysia--natural rubber, palm oil, rice; Sabah--mainly subsistence; main crops--rubber, timber, coconut, rice; Sarawak--main crops--rubber, timber, pepper; there is a deficit of rice in all areas; fish catch of 608,000 metric tons in 1987

Industries: Peninsular Malaysia--rubber and oil palm processing and manufacturing, light manufacturing industry, electronics, tin mining and smelting, logging and processing timber; Sabah--logging, petroleum production; Sarawak--agriculture processing, petroleum production and refining, logging

Industrial production growth rate: 13.6% (1988)

Labor force: 6,800,000; 30.8% agriculture, 17% manufacturing, 13.6% government, 5.8% construction, 4.3% finance, 3.4% business services, transport and communications, 0.6% mining, 24.5% other (1989 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 7.9% (1989 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $8.8 billion; expenditures $11.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $2.5 billion (1989 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $24 billion (f.o.b., 1989 est.)
Commodities: natural rubber, palm oil, tin, timber, petroleum, electronics, light manufactures
Partners: Singapore, Japan, USSR, EC, Australia, US

Imports: $20 billion (f.o.b., 1989 est.)
Commodities: food, crude oil, consumer goods, intermediate goods, capital equipment, chemicals
Partners: Japan, Singapore, FRG, UK, Thailand, China, Australia, US

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $16.3 billion (1989 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: ringgits (M$) per US$1--2.7038 (January 1990), 2.7087 (1989), 2.6188 (1988), 2.5196 (1987), 2.5814 (1986), 2.4830 (1985)

Malaysia - Energy 1990
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Malaysia - Communication 1990
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Malaysia - Military 1990
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Military expenditures
Percent of gdp: 3.8% of GDP, or $1.4 billion (1990 est.)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Malaysia - Transportation 1990
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 126 total, 121 usable; 32 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 8 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 19 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: crude oil, 1,307 km; natural gas, 379 km



Waterways: Peninsular Malaysia--3,209 km; Sabah--1,569 km; Sarawak--2,518 km

Merchant marine: 159 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,525,635 GRT/2,216,215 DWT; includes 2 short-sea passenger, 71 cargo, 21 container, 2 vehicle carrier, 2 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 1 livestock carrier, 28 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 1 chemical tanker, 6 liquefied gas, 1 specialized tanker, 1 passenger-cargo, 22 bulk, 1 passenger

Ports and terminals

Malaysia - Transnational issues 1990
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Disputes international: involved in a complex dispute over the Spratly Islands with China, Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam; state of Sabah claimed by the Philippines; Brunei may wish to purchase the Malaysian salient that divides Brunei into two parts

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Qatar Airways

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