Here is an overview of Malaysia, a country located in Southeast Asia. Neighboring regions include Thailand, Borneo, Indonesia, Brunei, and the South China Sea.
Population: 33,871,431 (July 2022 est.)
Ethnic groups: Malay and indigenous 62.5%, Chinese 20.6%, Indian 6.2%, other 0.9%, non-citizens 9.8% (2019 est.)
Worship : Muslim 61.3%, Buddhist 19.8%, Christian 9.2%, Hindu 6.3%, Confucianism, Taoism and other traditional Chinese religions 1.3%, Other or unspecified 1.4%, None 0.8 % (2010 est.)
Unemployment: 3.3% (2019 estimate)
Malaysia is made up of two non-contiguous regions: West Malaysia on the Malay Peninsula, which consists of 11 states, and East Malaysia, on the island of Borneo, which consists of two states.
Since Malaysia’s independence in 1957, the sultans who are the hereditary monarchs of nine of the country’s 13 states have chosen one of them to serve a five-year term as king. The king’s role is largely ceremonial in Malaysia, and power to govern rests with the Federal Parliament and the Prime Minister.
1942-1945 – During World War II, the British protectorates Malaya and Borneo were occupied by Japan.
1946 – The Malay Union is established and is originally made up of 11 states.
1948 – The Malay Union becomes the Federation of Malaysia.
1957 – The Federation of Malaya becomes independent from Great Britain.
September 16, 1963 – Malaysia is established and includes the Federation of Malaysia, Singapore and the colonies of Sarawak and Sabah.
September 17, 1963 – The Philippines sever diplomatic relations with Malaysia over disputes over the territory of Sabah.
April 23, 1964 – The Malaysian Ministry of Defense reports that Indonesian terrorists and guerrillas were responsible for the deaths of nearly three dozen Malaysians between September and March.
May 1964 – The Philippines and Malaysia resume diplomatic relations with consular missions in Manila and Kuala Lumpur.
November 19, 1964 – Malaysia bans ships and planes bound for Indonesia carrying arms and ammunition from its airfields and ports.
August 1965 – Singapore separates from the Malaysian federation.
July 1981 – Mahathir becomes Malaysia’s fourth prime minister, interior minister and justice minister.
2009 – Prime Minister Najib Razak takes office. He is the son and nephew of former prime ministers.
July 18, 2011 – After a meeting between Najib and Pope Benedict XVI, Malaysia becomes the 179th country to establish official diplomatic relations with the Vatican.
April 11, 2012 – Supreme Ruler Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah takes office as Head of State.
January 2014 – After a long court battle that began in 1998, opposition leader and former deputy prime minister and finance minister Anwar is acquitted of a sodomy charge.
March 8, 2014 – Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, disappears from radar in airspace over the Gulf of Thailand.
December 2016 – Muhammad V is sworn in as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Head of State of Malaysia. Previously, he ruled as Sultan of Kelantan Province for six years.
May 9, 2018 – Former Prime Minister Mahathir, who ruled from 1981 to 2003, won 121 seats in the country’s parliament, enough to form a simple majority and take control of the House.
May 15, 2018 – King Muhammad V grants Anwar a pardon for his sodomy conviction. Anwar was initially sentenced to five years in prison and was due to be released in June 2018.
July 30, 2019 – Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah is sworn in as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
February 29, 2020 – Muhyiddin Yassin is appointed Prime Minister.
August 16, 2021 – Muhyiddin resigns as Prime Minister.
August 21, 2021 – Ismail Sabri Yaakob is sworn in as the new Prime Minister.
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