Malaysia consists of two regions divided by the South China Sea: Peninsular Malaysia, and east Malaysia (on the island of Borneo). Its total land area is about 329,750 square kilometers. The total population is about 25 million, of which 20 million live in Peninsular Malaysia. The population growth rate is 1.78 percent, with a birth rate of 22.86 births per 1,000 people. The capital city (and largest city, with 1.5 million people) is Kuala Lumpur. The prime minister's office relocated to Putrjaya in 1999, but the parliament still meets in Kuala Lumpur.

In 1948 the British-ruled territories on Peninsular Malaysia formed the Federation of Malaysia, which gained independence from the United Kingdom within the Commonwealth on August 31, 1957. In 1963 the Federation was expanded with ...

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