According to i Type Job, Malaysia is a Polymeric state with a federal structure (329,758 km 2), consisting of two fundamental units: the Malaysia peninsulare (131,598 km 2), made up of 11 states and a federal territory (Kuala Lumpur), and the eastern Malaysia (198,160 km 2)), comprising the states of Sabah and Sarawak, both in North Kalimantan. Therefore the land borders concern Thailand for the peninsular part and Indonesia for the eastern part. A meridian mountain range distinguishes two sides along the peninsula and, although the altitudes are mostly lower than 2000 m, it has represented a reason for historical and social separation that still today, despite the rebalancing policy and the strengthening of the transversal road network, continues to subsist. On the other hand, the European penetration (Portuguese, Dutch and English) began from the West, from Georgetown on the island of Pinang and from Malacca, always on the homonymous strait, to which Singapore, the ” gateway to the East ‘, was later added. ‘.
The population (13,436,000 at the 1980 census) is now estimated close to the threshold of 18 million residents, distinguished as it is by an annual increase of 2.7%, a value that seems to contrast with the role of a modern country. and specimen taken by Malaysia in recent times. In fact, while, thanks to an efficient health prevention service, mortality has been reduced to rather low values (4.6 ‰), the birth rate continues to remain high (28 ‰) as an effect of tradition and, also, of the rivalry between ethnic groups. The Malay, Chinese and Indian racial triangle is not easily integrated, and the competition is played out not only on the economic and political level, but also on the numerical and cultural one.
Over 82% of the population lives in the continental region, and a large part of this is concentrated in the West where, along the Federal Route n. 1, the most important and industrious cities follow one another. National and international political and administrative power is also concentrated in the continental section: Kuala Lumpur, the federal capital of about 1,100,000 residents, Is located in this region, home to an airport of great centrality for Southeast Asia and close to a port (Port Kelang) undergoing continuous expansion. Among the most important cities are: Ipoh (301,000 residents), Georgetown (251,000 residents), Johor Baharu (250,000 residents), Seremban (136,000 residents) In the Negeri Sembilan. On the east coast they have seen a conspicuous increase in the last decade: Kuala Terengganu (187,000 residents), Kota Baharu (171,000 residents) and Kuantan (137,000 residents)). Of minor importance are the centers of eastern Malaysia: Kota Kinabalu (56,000 residents) And Kuching (74,000 residents).
The Malaysian economy is organized on five-year plans that are based on the twenty-year plan known as the New Economic Policy (NEP), and which propose the regional rebalancing between East and West (also and above all within the Malay peninsula, where the East is still backward and mainly agricultural) and the rebalancing of wealth between the three ethnic groups. The primary sector, with a traditional structure, is always in Malaysian hands, together with the administrative and military sectors, while crafts, trade, tourism and a large part of industry are in Chinese hands. Hence the incentives and funding granted by the government to the Malays, with inevitable resentments especially on the part of the Chinese community which for years has insisted on having its own high schools and universities. D ‘
Alongside traditional agriculture (rice, corn, peanuts, small farms), speculative planting is widespread (hevea, oil palm, spices, pineapple, bananas), so that it is the first country in the world for the production of palm oil, rubber and spices, Malaysia is forced to import food products (it buys 35% of its rice needs abroad, especially from Thailand). Always holding the world record of tin production (despite the collapse after 1984, partially caused by international economic conditions), it also continues to extract iron, copper, titanium (from ilmenite), bauxite, oil and gas ores, mostly sourced from the shallows of the South China Sea and processed at the Port Dickson refinery: today a quarter of exports are made up of petroleum products. The metallurgical industry has greatly modernized and developed at old (Georgetown and Butterworth) and new (Kelang) poles. Shipyards have established themselves at the port of Georgetown (Pinang). The Rawang cement plant produces over 3.7 million tonnes of cement. In addition there are sugar refineries, oil mills, soap factories, car assembly and tire manufacturing. Tourism is growing considerably, attracting a conspicuous current from Australia, as well as from Europe, Japan and North America; it is favored by good national and international air connections and by the improvement of the road network.
Distinguished by a decent gross domestic product per capita (US $ 2,500 in 1991, according to World Bank estimates), modest inflation and a small population, as well as fairly rich soil and subsoil, Malaysia appears as a fortunate country, endowed with efficiency, so as to be considered a leader in Asia. But Islamic fundamentalism, which has recently risen to levels of anachronistic intolerance, exalts the country’s weak point, consisting of the triple racial structure and the impossibility of integration, which is in itself difficult and in any case is not wanted by any of the three ethnic groups.