Malaysia is a federation with a population of 25 million people, consisting of 13 states (nine sultanates and four states) and one federal territory (with three components—the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, the administrative capital of Putrajaya, and Labuan). Its western part (40 percent of its territory), where 83 percent of the population live, is located on the Malay Peninsula bordering Thailand. The eastern part (60 percent of its territory), consisting of the states of Sabah and Sarawak, is situated on the island of Borneo.
In 1948, the British territories on the peninsula formed the Federation of Malaya, which became independent in August 1957. Malaysia was formed in 1963 when the former British colonies of Singapore, Sabah, and Sarawak joined the Federation. Singapore seceded in 1965.
By nominal gross domestic product (GDP), in 2007, Malaysia was ranked thirty-eighth in the world. In terms of per-capita GDP (purchasing power parity (PPP)) it was fifty-sixth, below Chile and above Argentina.
The country is rich in natural resources. The most well known are oil, natural gas, tin, natural rubber, and timber. It is a net exporter of energy resources. Also, Malaysia accounts for more than half of the world’s production of palm oil. Other important primary products are sugarcane and cocoa.
The major manufacturing industry is electronics, including computers and parts (especially integrated circuits), and home electronic appliances. ...