Peninsular Malaysia

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Coordinates: 4°0′N 102°30′E / 4.000°N 102.500°E / 4.000; 102.500

Landsat false-colour mosaic of Peninsular Malaysia.

Peninsular Malaysia, also known as Malaya or West Malaysia, is the part of Malaysia which lies on the Malay Peninsula and surrounding islands. Its area is 132,265 square kilometres (51,068 sq mi), which is nearly 40% of the total area of the country - or slightly larger than England (130,395 km²). It shares a land border with Thailand to the north and Singapore at the southernmost tip.[1]

Across the Strait of Malacca to the west lies the Sumatra Island (Indonesia) and across the South China Sea to the east lies the Natuna Islands (Indonesia). Peninsular Malaysia accounts for the majority (roughly 81.3%) of Malaysia's population and economy; as of 2017 its population is roughly 26 million (92% of total population).

States and territories[edit]

A map of Malaya.

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


The topography of Peninsular Malaysia.

Peninsular Malaysia is also known as West Malaysia (Malaysia Barat) or the States of Malaya (Negeri-negeri Tanah Melayu).[2][3]


Ethnicity in Peninsular Malaysia (2017)

  Bumiputera (Malay) (64.3%)
  Chinese (25.1%)
  Indian (9.0%)
  Indigenous (Aslian) / Non - Malay Bumiputera (0.5%)
  Others (1.1%)
Religion in Peninsular Malaysia – 2017 Census
Religion Percent
Chinese folk religion
Unknown / None
No religion

The majority of people on Peninsular Malaysia are ethnic Malays, predominantly Muslim.[4] Large Chinese and Indian populations exist. The Orang Asli are the indigenous people of Peninsular Malaysia; they number around 140,000 and mostly lived in inland parts of the region.[citation needed]


As of 2012, Peninsular Malaysia oil production stood at 520,000 barrel of oil equivalent per day.[5]

Other features[edit]

East Coast and West Coast[edit]

The term East Coast is particularly used in Malaysia to describe the following states in Peninsular Malaysia facing the South China Sea, a component of the Pacific Ocean:

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 which is a component of the Indian Ocean, 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 on the Pacific Ocean, it is not generally regarded as an East Coast state, since the main coastline of the state is located on the Straits of Johor of the Indian Ocean.

West and East Malaysia[edit]

The distinction between West and East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak) is significant beyond the sphere of geography, because as well as they were separate regions before the formation of The Federation of Malaysia, thus having a different court structure, and the eastern states have more autonomy than the original States of Malaya, for example, autonomy in immigration. These rights were granted as part of Sarawak's 18-point agreement and Sabah's 20-point agreement with Federation of Malaya in forming the Federation of Malaysia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Malaya". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ Mohamed Anwar Omar Din (2012). "Legitimacy of the Malays as the Sons of the Soil". Canadian Center of Science and Education. pp. 80–81. ISSN 1911-2025.
  3. ^ Reid, Anthony (2010). Imperial alchemy : nationalism and political identity in Southeast Asia. Cambridge University Press. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-521-87237-9.
  4. ^ "Some aspects of Malay-Muslim Ethnicity in Malaya". June 1981. JSTOR 25797648. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ "Petronas sees growth slowdown until 2014". The Star (Malaysia). 6 March 2012. Archived from the original on 1 September 2019. Retrieved 1 September 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to Peninsular Malaysia at Wikimedia Commons