Peninsular Malaysia

Peninsular Malaysia

Coordinates: 4°0′N 102°30′E / 4°N 102.5°E / 4; 102.5

Map of Peninsular Malaysia

Peninsular Malaysia (Malay: Semenanjung Malaysia), also known as West Malaysia (formerly Malaya), is the part of Malaysia which lies on the Malay Peninsula. Its area is 131,598 square kilometers (50,810 sq mi). It shares a land border with Thailand in the north. To the south is the island of Singapore. Across the Strait of Malacca to the west lies the island of Sumatra. East Malaysia (on the island of Borneo) is to the east across the South China Sea. With an estimated population of 21 million, it accounts for the majority (roughly 80%) of Malaysia's population and economy.


States and territories

It consists of the following 11 states and two federal territories (starting from the North going to the South):

Origin of name

The name "Malaya" is derived from the name of a river of a similar name found in Sumatra.[citation needed]

The name "Malaysia" was vaguely used in the 19th century by some British colonists as an alternative name describing the Malay Archipelago. In 1963, the name was adopted by the new federation uniting the Federation of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore. At the time, the Philippines had been contemplating adopting the name as well.

Peninsular Malaysia is also known as West Malaysia (Malaysia Barat) or Malaya (Tanah Melayu). The term "Peninsular Malaysia" is used more often than "West Malaysia" (to avoid the idea that West and East Malaysia are separate countries like West Germany and East Germany used to be until 1990), or "Malaya" (which is now becoming obsolete due to its connotations of the British colonial era).

Nonetheless, all three terms are correct, and the older term "Malaya" can still be found in many institutional titles, e.g. the High Court of Malaya, the University of Malaya, Malayan Railway, etc., as well as in legal contexts in the phrase the "States of Malaya" (Negeri-negeri Tanah Melayu), which should not be confused with the Malay states. In current everyday usage the word Malaya is almost always used jocularly, e.g. "Gempar satu Malaya!" which roughly means "(This news) shakes the whole of Malaya!"


Note that until 1946, and for some time afterwards, the term Malaya included Singapore. In Singaporean law, the term "Malaya" includes Singapore, but the term "States of Malaya" does not.


The majority of people on Peninsular Malaysia are ethnic Malays, predominantly Muslim. Large Chinese and Tamil populations exist.

Other features

East Coast and West Coast

The term East Coast is particularly used in Malaysia to describe the following states in Peninsular Malaysia facing the South China Sea:

The term West Coast refers informally to a collection of states in Peninsular Malaysia situated towards the western coast generally facing the Strait of Malacca, as opposed to the East Coast. Unlike the East Coast, the West Coast is partitioned further into three regions (as seen in #States and territories), including:

Even though Johor has a coastline facing the South China Sea, it is not generally regarded as an East Coast state.

West and East Malaysia

The distinction between West and East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak) is significant beyond the sphere of geography, because as well as having a different court structure, the eastern states have more autonomy than the original States of Malaya, for example, maintaining restrictions on immigration from the peninsula.

See also

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Peninsular Malaysia — territory of Malaysia comprising the former federation of states on the S end of the Malay Peninsula: see MALAYA Federation of * * * ▪ region, Malaysia Malaysian  Semenanjung Malaysia , also called  West Malaysia  or  Malaysian  Malaysia Barat … …   Universalium

  • Peninsular Malaysia — territory of Malaysia comprising the former federation of states on the S end of the Malay Peninsula: see MALAYA Federation of …   English World dictionary

  • Peninsular Malaysia — States of the Federation of Malaysia (Federated Malay States also known as Malaya) …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • Peninsular Malaysia — /pəˌnɪnʃələ məˈleɪʒə/ (say puh.ninshuhluh muh layzhuh) noun → West Malaysia …   Australian English dictionary

  • Peninsular Malaysia — geographical name see Malaya 3 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Nepenthes of Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia —   …   Wikipedia

  • 1996 Peninsular Malaysia electricity blackout crisis — The 1996 Peninsular Malaysia electricity blackout crisis was a notable event in Malaysia. It occurred at 17:17 on 3 August 1996. The whole of Peninsular Malaysia including Kuala Lumpur suddenly plunged into darkness …   Wikipedia

  • Malaysia Agreement — Agreement relating to Malaysia between United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Federation of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore Agreement relating to Malaysia Signed …   Wikipedia

  • Malaysia — /meuh lay zheuh, sheuh/, n. 1. a constitutional monarchy in SE Asia: a federation, comprising the former British territories of Malaya, Sabah, and Sarawak: member of the Commonwealth of Nations. 20,376,235; 126,310 sq. mi. (327,143 sq. km). Cap …   Universalium

  • Malaysia — This article is about the country. For the biogeographical region, see Malesia. Malaysia …   Wikipedia

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