Malaysia is a member of the Southeast Asian Nations. It is located just about north of the equator and is divided into two regions. One is the Peninsular Malaysia or the West Malaysia and the other is East Malaysia that is situated in the island of Borneo. Kuala Lumpur is the country’s capital but the administrative center is situated in Putrajaya. It has a population of 32,650,000 people.
Let us explore deeper into some of the most fascinating facts in Malaysia.
1. It was once called, “Aurea Chersonesus” or “Peninsula of Gold”
In the olden times, about AD 150, Malaysia was referred to as “Peninsula of Gold. “ It was taken from the book, “Geographia” written by Ptolemy, an Egyptian astronomer and geographer of Greek descent. It is interesting to note that today, while it continues to mine gold, the country is more popular for being one of the largest producers of refined tin.
2. Malaysia shares Borneo, the third largest island in the world, with Brunei and Indonesia
The island of Borneo has a total area of 743,000 square kilometers making it the largest in Asia and the third in the world. Twenty-eight percent of it belongs to Malaysia, one percent to Brunei, and the rest of it is Indonesian land, a fun Malaysia fact.
3. Drive around the world’s largest roundabout
One of the fascinating landmarks in Malaysia is its massive roundabout located in Putrajaya, the administrative center of the country. With a diameter of 3.5 kilometers or 2.2 miles, it is considered the largest in the world.
4. Main highway in Malaysia is longer than the Earth’s circumference
The country boasts of beautifully constructed highways. One of these highways has an amazing length of about 40,934 miles (65,877 kilometers). An interesting fact about Malaysia is that it is far longer than the Earth’s circumference of 24,901 miles (40,075 kilometers).
5. It adjusted its local time several times
Due to geographical reasons, daylight saving time amendments, Japanese occupation, and economic issues, Malaysia has changed its local time numerous times. The last modification was in January of 1982 when former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad finally decided to use a standard time. He decreed that the rest of the 80% of its population adjust their clocks to the 30-minute difference that the islands of Sabah and Sarawak were following in the East.
6. Malaysia’s underground cave can accommodate 40 Boeing 747 airplanes
By surface area, the Sarawak Chamber Cave in Malaysia is regarded as the largest cave chamber in the world. It was discovered in 1981 by a joint British-Malaysian expedition and was only recently laser-mapped. The mapping revealed that it is so massive that it can hold twice the number of people occupying the Wembley Stadium and that 40 Boeing 747 airplanes can be parked inside the Sarawak Cave from nose to tail.
7. Ride the elevator to the world’s tallest twin towers, The Petronas Towers, in Kuala Lumpur
Between the years 1998 to 2004, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia was home to the world’s tallest buildings but it was eclipsed by numerous mammoth landmarks around the world by 2005 and onwards. However, The Petronas Towers with 88 floors are still regarded as the tallest twin towers in the world, a fun Malaysia fact. These two identical buildings measuring at 451.9 meters in height are connected by a sky bridge in the 41st floor. Another elevator ride to the observation deck at the 86th floor in Tower 2 will give stunning views of the city.
8. Enjoy Malaysia by staying at world’s largest hotel, the Genting Highland’s First World Hotel
In 2006, the Guinness World Record declared that Genting Highland’s First World Hotel in Malaysia was the largest in the world with 6,118 rooms. By 2008 up until 2015, the record went to The Venetian in Las Vegas. However, the hotel management decided to add 1,233 rooms and it was able to get the record again for having a total of 7,351 rooms.
9. It is home to endangered Orangutan Apes
‘Man of the Jungle’ is the literal translation of Orangutan. Its man-like features are excellent proof why humans shared almost 97% DNA with them. These apes are found in the forests of Borneo in Malaysia, but their numbers are dwindling. Due to deforestation of the tropical rainforests in the country, these orangutans lost most of their natural habitats and are now declared endangered species.
10. Newborn babies of Iban tribe in Malaysia are called, “Ulat” or worm in English
The Ibans are part of the Dayak indigenous tribe in Sarawak, one of the provinces in Malaysia. Traditionally, the natives call all the newborn babies in the community “Ulat,” which means worm. It is a general term for the babies before they are named by the parents, an interesting fact about Malaysia. In the Iban culture, a baby should never be named after any living relative. It is their belief that if they do that, it will shorten the baby’s life.
11. It has buildings without 4th floors or number 4
Due to superstitious beliefs by the Malaysian Chinese, some buildings in Malaysia do not have 4th floors or anything with the digit 4, an interesting Malaysia fact. It is also known as Tetraphobia, which means the fear of the number 4. The number’s pronunciation in Chinese is similar to the word death. Instead of using 4, people would use the previous number and add a letter to it. For instance, 4 would be replaced by 3A and the number 44 by 43A.
12. The world’s largest flower blooms in Malaysia
A rare flower called Rafflesia Arnoldii can be found in the rainforests of Borneo. This unique and huge flower can grow up to 106.7 cm in diameter which is roughly about 41 inches and weighs up to 11 kilos. It is also nicknamed Corpse Lily because of its stinking smell similar to that of the smell of rotting meat. With the continuous cutting down of tropical rainforests, it is close to extinction.
This country in many different ways and forms lived up to its tourism brand of being “Truly Asia.” A mixture of rich cultural heritage and modern living is very evident in most of the cities. Malaysia also boasts of brilliant engineering structures and stunning architectural designs along with tropical rainforests and massive caves. It has also one of the strongest and fast-growing economies in the Asian region making it a favorite destination of global wanderers.
I hope that this article on Malaysia facts was helpful! If you are interested, visit the Country Facts Page!