48 Interesting Facts About Malaysia
Welcome to my little corner about Malaysia. This page lists 48 interesting facts about Malaysia that even most Malaysians do not know about.
- TUNKU Abdul Rahman first announced the date of Malaya’s Independence at Padang Pahlawan in Bandar Hilir, Malacca, on Feb 20, 1956.
- MALAYSIA’S first experiment with national service was in 1962, during the Indonesian Confrontation. Youths between 21 and 28 were eligible for a two-year call-up.
- LEMBAH Bujang in the foothills of Gunung Jerai is believed to be the location of an old Malay Langkasuka empire, holding ruins that may date back 1,500 years.
- “TUN” is the most senior federal title and there can be no more than 25 living recipients at any one time.
- THE village of Wang Kelian in Perlis is the only place in the world where large-scale cave tin-mining was conducted.6. THE largest cave chamber in the world is the Sarawak Chamber in Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak, which can easily accommodate a Boeing 747-200.7. MALAYSIA shares with Qatar the world’s lowest death rate of respiratory diseases, at 7.5 death per annum per 100 000 people.8. TANJUNG Piai in sounthern Johor is the southernmost tip of continental Asia.9. SABAH is home to the Rafflesia, the lagest flower in the world.
10. The Malaysian flag was adopted on Sept 16,1963. The flag was designed by Mohamed Hamzah, a 29-year old Public Works Department architect in Johor Baru who entered a design competition with two designs.
11. KUALA Kangsar district office is the site of the last surviving rubber tree from the original batch H. N. Ridley brought from London’s Kew Gardens in 1877.
12. CHINESE documents written as far back as the 6th century refer to Kelantan as “Ho Lan Tan” and other names like “Tan-Tan” or “Chich Tu”
13. MALAYSIA has 65,877 km of highway. This is more than the Earth’s circumference of 40,075 km.
14. There are more than 60 sub-ethnic groups in Sabah and Sarawak.
15. CINEMA came to Malaya in 1933 with the screening of Laila Majnum, based n a Sanskrit play of two ill-fated loves, directed by B.S. Rajhans and produced by the Singapore-bsed Motilal Chemical Company.
16. BURSA Malaysia, formerly known as the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, dates back to 1930 when the Singapore Stockbroker’s Accociation was set up to deal in securities in Malaya.
17. THE Belum rainforest has more Malayan tigers per square kilometer than any other animal sanctuary here.
18. THE largest insect egg in Malaysia comes from the 15 cm Malaysian Stick Insect (Heteopteryx dilitata), which lays eggs that measure 1.3 cm, making them larger than a peanut.
This picture is courtesy of Jen Para of theUnited States Gayong Federation.
20. PENANG Free School is the oldest English school in Southeast Asia, founded by Rev. Sparke Hutchings in 1816.
21. NASI Kandar, a dish unique to Malaysia and brought my the imgrating Indian Muslims, is the favourite food of many Malaysians. The best is in Penang and everyone has their favourite dishes. Among the top raned outlets are the Kampong Melayu Flats in Air Hitam, Line Clear in Penang Road and opposite the market in Jelutung.
22. THE Bintagor trees, found only in Sarawak, is believed to contain properties that could help fight the virus that causes AIDS.
23. MALAYSIA produces a meagre 15 feature films annually but churns out 300 to 400 television dramas and serials. There are 250 movie theatres and cineplexes nationwide.
24. ONLY 0.85% of 218,004 people in Malaysia use broadband services.
25. THE largest undivided leaf in the world, Alocasia macrorrhiza, comes from Sabah. A specimen found in 1966 was 3.02 metres long and 1.92 metres wide.
26. The life expectancy of Malaysian men and women in 1957 was 55.8 years and 58.2 years respectively. Today, it is 71 for men and 74 for women.
27. MALAYSIA is home to 14,500 species of flowering plants and trees, more than 200 species of mammals, 600 species of bids, 140 species of snakes and 60 species of lizards.
28. LOCAL time has been adjusted on several occasions. On Dec 31, 1932, clocks were adanced by 20 minutes to “lengthen” daylight; Sept 1, 1941, sped up another 10 minutes; 1942, fast forwarded two hours to follow Tokyo time; 1945, reverted to the time observed in 1941, and on Jan 1, 1982, pushed forward 30 minutes so that Sabah, Sarawak and the peninsula followed Malaysian Standard Time.
29. SIPADAN Island off Sabah is one of the world’s top diving spots.
30. MALAYSIA has 18 ports : Bintulu, Kota Kinabalu, Kuantan, Kuching, Kudat, Labuan, Lahad Datu, Lumut, Miri, Pasir Gudang, George Town, Port Dickson, Port Kelang, Sandakan, Sibu, Tanjung Berhala, Tanjung Kidurong and Tawau.
31. KOTA Baru was the landing point for the Japanese invasion of Malaya during World War II in 1941. Riding bicyles, Japanese soldiers took an amazing 45 days to reach Singapore.
Read more here : Bicycle Blitzkreig
32. AT 421 metres high, the Kuala Lumpur Tower is the fourth tallest in the world and tallest in Southeast Asia.
33. PENANG’S St. George Church, built in 1818, is the oldest Anglican church in Southeast Asia.
34. CAPTAIN Tristram Speedy, who was acting Bitish Resident for Perak, was responsible for bringing in the first batch of 110 Sikhs to Malaya in 1873.
35. THE first railroad in Malaya was between Port Weld (now Kuala Sepetang) and Taiping, built by the British in 1885 and covering a distance of 13.6 km.
36. MANY global brands are produced in Malaysia, including Intel Pentium chips and Brooks Brother’s shirts.
37. BANK Negara (Malaysia’s Central Bank) has been managed by six governors since its establishment in 1959.
38. The spiritual pop group Raihan holds the record for the best-selling local album, 700,000 units of their Puji-Pujian album in 1996.
39. THE longest King Cobra in the world, measuring 5.54 metres, was captured alive in Port Dickson in April 1937 but later grew to 5.71 metres in captivity in London Zoo.
40. THE Penang Bridge is the third longest in Asia at 13.7 km
41. DR. Mani Jegathesan became the first Malaysian to win the Asian Games gold medal in the 1962 Games in Jakarta.
42. THE country’s only Jewish cemetery is in Penang, in Jalan Zainal Abidin, with 120 graves.
43. THE Sungai Besi airport (now an RMAF base) was the county’s first international airport.
44. The first five general elections after the Barisan Nasional’s formation were always held in a World Cup year:
1974 (Germany), 1978 (Argentina), 1982 (Spain), 1986 (Mexico) and 1990 (Italy).
This tradition ended at the next polls/tournament.
45. The word ringgit means “jagged” in Malay, and originally referred to the seperated edges of Spanish silver dollars widely circulated in the region.
46. KELANTAN holds the record for the largest number of flood evacuees : 33,000 in 1982.
47. SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD Kok Shoo Yin became the first Malaysian citizenship certificate holder when he received the document on Nov 14, 1957.
48. The Mapping and Survey Department has been maintaining the Sultan Abdul Samad Clock Tower for 108 years.
49. Latest geographical information about Malaysia.
View of Kuala Lumpur from the 34th floor of the Crown Princess Hotel, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur (right across the US embassy)
This is how Kuala Lumpur looks like. I took this shot during a recent trip on the Putra LRT, going from KL Central to KLCC