Located in the tropics, Malaysia is a mega diverse country, with large numbers of endemic flora and fauna. Malaysia is the only country with territory on both the Asian mainland and the Malay archipelago. Malaysia’s territory also contains Tanjung Piai, the southernmost point of continental Eurasia. The currency in Malaysia is the Ringgit (MYR).
Total area: 329,847 km² (127,355 sq. miles)
Population: 28,334,135 (2010 census)
Malaysia consists of three federal territories and thirteen states. South China Sea separates Malaysia into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. Land borders are shared with Indonesia, Thailand and Brunei, and maritime borders are there with Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, where Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government.
Malaysia's land area is separated in two by the South China Sea so Peninsular and East Malaysia share a largely similar landscape and thus feature coastal plains rising to hills and mountains.
Peninsular Malaysia contains about 40 per cent of Malaysia's land area, extends 740 kilometres (460 mi) from north to south, and its maximum width is 322 kilometres (200 mi). It is divided between its east and west coasts by the Titiwangsa Mountains, part of a series of mountain ranges running down the centre of the peninsula. These mountains are heavily forested and mainly composed of granite and other igneous rocks. Much of it however has been eroded, creating a karst landscape. The range is the origin of some of Peninsular Malaysia's river systems. The coastal plains surrounding the peninsula reach a maximum width of 50 kilometres (31 mi), and the peninsula's coastline is nearly 1,931 kilometres (1,200 mi) long. Harbours for yachting are only available on the western side.
Malaysia is a federal constitutional elective monarchy. The system of government is closely modelled on that of the Westminster parliamentary system, a legacy of British colonial rule. The head of state is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, commonly referred to as the king. As opposed to the UK though, the King is an elected monarch chosen from the hereditary rulers of the nine Malay states every five years. The head of government is the Prime Minister.
The country is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural and the government system is closely similar to the Westminster parliamentary system; the legal system is based on English Common Law. The constitution declares Islam the state religion while protecting freedom of religion.
The local climate in general is equatorial and characterised by the annual southwest (April to October) and northeast monsoons (October to February). The climates of the Peninsula and the East differ, as the climate on the peninsula is directly affected by wind from the mainland, as opposed to the more maritime weather of the East. Local climates can be divided into three regions, highland, lowland, and coastal. Climate change is likely to affect sea levels and rainfall, increasing flood risks and leading to droughts.
The temperature is moderated by the presence of the surrounding oceans.Humidity is usually high, and the average annual rainfall is 250 centimetres (98 in).
Malaysia is a relatively open state-oriented and newly industrialised market economy.The state still plays a significant but declining role in guiding economic activity through macroeconomic plans. Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with GDP growing an average 6.5 per cent annually from 1957 to 2005. In 2010 the GDP (PPP) was $414,400 billion, the 3rd largest economy in ASEAN and 29th largest in the world.
The country is one of the world's largest exporters of semiconductor devices, information and communication technology products and electrical goods. Malaysia began developing its own space programme in 2002, and the country is actively promoting its defence industry. International trade, facilitated by the adjacent Strait of Malacca shipping route, and manufacturing are key sectors of the country's economy, all while the Tourist industry is continuing its impressive growth.
So, in trying to diversify the economy and make it less dependent on exported goods, the government is pushing to increase tourism to Malaysia. Manufacturing still has a large influence in the country's economy, but the direction Malaysia’s economic structure has been moving away from it. As a result, tourism has become Malaysia’s third largest source of income from foreign exchange. In recent years, tourism is being threatened by the negative effects of the growing industrial economy, with large amounts of air and water pollution along with deforestation, activities that harm tourism. The country has developed into an Islamic banking centre, and it is the country with the highest numbers of female workers in that industry where knowledge-based services are also expanding.
Malaysia is also an exporter of natural and agricultural resources, the most valuable exported resource being petroleum. At one time, it was the largest producer of rubber, tin and palm oil in the world. Malaysia remains one of the world's largest producers of palm oil.
Malaysia had around 24.6 million tourists in 2010. Malaysia expects to have around 36 Million tourists by 2020 (eturbonews). World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) World Tourism Barometer released in January 2011 reported that Asia and the Pacific has been the first region to recover from the economic downturn and has been growing strongly with a new historic record of 204 million international tourist arrivals in 2010. With this rebound, Malaysia is continuing to emerge as a top travel destination of the Asian region, appearing on several travel-trend forecasts.
The International tourist number of arrivals in Malaysia was 23,646,000.00 in 2009, according to a World Bank report, published in 2010.
For the Year 2008, there have been 22,052,488 overseas visitors to Malaysia and according to the official figures presented just above, there is clearly a significant increase of international arrivals to Malaysia in the last 3 years leading to 2011.
The nationalities of visitors to Malaysia vary greatly, but the top 10 countries by number of arrivals providing tourists to Malaysia in 2008 were:
(2008 Top Ten Markets-Source: scribd.com)
Car Hire in Malaysia with MisterHire.Com
For avid motorists, it is now more possible than ever to drive to Malaysia and Thailand. It may sound daunting because of the slight unawareness on the subject by westerners, but driving up to Malaysia (and Thailand) is not only very possible, it's also becoming increasingly popular as a drive-up holiday for the few adventurous spirits out there. Malaysia with its new North South Expressway and developing tourism plus a relaxation of car importation restrictions mean that not only is a road trip now possible but also enjoyable. Whether it be a quick jaunt over the causeway to Johor Bahru or an epic journey to Bangkok, it will sure be an adventurous one.
From small toyota's to the bigger and the tougher Jeep options, without forgetting the comfortable feel of our luxury sedans, there's bound to be a car for you at a competitive all inclusive price, whatever your destination in Malaysia. We supply hire cars in numerous locations in Malaysia where you may easily collect your rental car. Pick up points include Kuala Lumpur Airport, Kuala Lumpur's city centre, Penang city and Airport. Whether you are travelling to Malaysia for business or a combination of business and pleasure, we offer a wide selection of rental cars for you to choose from. We did the hard work and constantly monitor and present to you the best inclusive car rental rates in Malaysia, so you don't have to by comparing and presenting the best prices from all the main suppliers like Avis, Hertz, Dollar as well as other carefully selected associates with local knowledge and support.
Our rates include insurance, collision damage and theft waiver, local taxes and unlimited mileage so there are no costly and hidden surprises when you have reached your pre-selected Malaysia rental car pick up location. If you would require some optional extras for your trip such as baby seats and/or extra drivers, these options are easily found and neatly presented to you during our secure Online Booking Process.
The fact that Malaysia has some of the best roads in Southeast Asia is often attributed to it having once been a British colony. Whether this is indeed true or not, the roads are in considerably good condition and getting from one end of the peninsula to the other usually does not pose a problem.
Driving in Malaysia is not always free of charge: Apart from state or federal roads, there is also a network of toll roads. You can pay using ‘touch-n-go’ cards or cash cards, both of which can be bought at toll kiosks along the highway.
Obviously, accidents and mishaps can also happen to anyone driving in Malaysia. Should your car break down on the highway, do not fear. There are emergency phones located along the road every two kilometers.
Age and License Requirements
To rent a car, you must be at least 23 years old and maximum 70 years old and have held your driver's license for at least 1 year (age and restrictions can vary by car category). Seat belts are mandatory.
You must have an international driving permit if you are planning on driving in Malaysia for up to six months. Afterwards you must apply for a Malaysian one. Licenses issued in Thailand or Singapore are valid without any restrictions for driving in Malaysia. Unfortunately, no other countries have an agreement with Malaysia that enables them to simply exchange their licenses.
Speed limits in Malaysia
Generally speaking, speed limits in Malaysia are:
• Town and city: 50 km/h (30 mph)
• Open Roads : 80 km/h (50 mph)
• Motorways :110 km/h (68 mph)
In Malaysia you drive on the left side of the road. Always remember to take it extremely easy and avoid driving in the city centre. Avoid driving in the night. Keep an extra eye on all motorcyclists as they often drive recklessly.
General Motoring Useful notes on Malaysia
-Petrol stations are easy to find along the motorways
-Malaysia has many toll roads. They are mostly found around the bigger cities.
-Like in most other huge cities finding a free parking spot is hard. Check if your hotel has a secure parking. -Never leave any valuable items in your rental car.