329,758 sq km (127,320 sq miles).
Kuala Lumpur. Population: 1,627,172 (2010).
Malaysia is situated in central South-East Asia, bordering on Thailand in the north, with Singapore and Indonesia to the south and the Philippines to the east. It is composed of Peninsular Malaysia and the states of Sabah and Sarawak on the north coast of the island of Borneo, 650-950km (404-600 miles) across the South China Sea. Peninsular Malaysia is an area of forested mountain ranges running north-south, on either side of which are low-lying coastal plains. The coastline extends some 1900km (1200 miles).
Bahasa Malaysia is the national and official language, but English is widely spoken. Other languages such as Chinese (Cantonese and Hokkien), Iban and Tamil are spoken by minorities.
Muslim (53 per cent) and Buddhist (19 per cent) majorities. The remainder are Christian, Taoist, Confucianist, Hindu and Animist.
GMT + 8.
220 volts AC, 50Hz. Square three-pin plugs and bayonet-type light fittings are generally used.
Full IDD is available. Country code: 60. Outgoing international code: 00. Public coin-operated phones can be found in many areas, such as supermarkets and post offices. Local calls cost 10 sen. Public cardphones can be found throughout the country. Cards can be purchased at airports, petrol stations and some shops for amounts ranging from RM3-50. There are currently two types – Kadfon and Unicard – and these can only be used in their appropriate marked phone booths.
GSM 900 and 1800 networks cover practically the whole country. Network operators include Celcom (website: www.celcom.com/my).
Centres for public use are located in the main post offices of all large towns. Most main hotels also have facilities.
ISPs include Jaring (website: www.jaring.net.my), TMnet (website: www.tm.net.my) and Maxis (website: www.maxis.com.my). There are numerous cybercafés. Hotels and hostels often have facilities.
There are post offices in the commercial centre of all towns, open Mon-Sat 0800-1700.