Malaysia Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Malaysia?

Overview:

Peninsular Malaysia extends south for 800 kilometers from Thailand’s Isthmus of Kra to Singapore and the Indonesian Archipelago. Sabah and Sarawak, the States of East Malaysia lie 600 kilometers to the east across the South China Sea. These two States, former British colonies on the northeast coast of Borneo, stretch for 1,000 kilometers to the southern islands of the Philippines.

A central mountain range with peaks rising to 2,100 meters divides Peninsular Malaysia. Scenic coastal plains lie on either side of the mountains; most of the population lives in the plains and foothills of the western coast along the Straits of Malacca. The eastern coast, along the South China Sea, has beautiful white, sandy beaches, but fewer people. Between the two coasts lie the mountains and an often-impenetrable jungle. Primary forest covers 60% of Malaysia and contains a variety of flowering plants and immense, but now diminishing, timber reserves. Vegetation, even in the cities, is lush and tropical. Forest wildlife includes gibbons; tigers; elephants; mouse deer; countless species of birds, monkeys and insects; and, in Sabah and Sarawak, the orangutan.

Geography - note:

strategic location along Strait of Malacca and southern South China Sea

Climate:

The weather in Kuala Lumpur varies little throughout the year. Daily minimum and maximum temperatures remain fairly constant averaging 27°C (80°F) and 38°C (100°F). With the heat, there is high humidity as the average annual rainfall is 250 centimeters.


Although Kuala Lumpur is not subject to typhoons or cyclones, brief rainy seasons occur each year and bring scattered flooding. About 1-2 months of relatively dry weather usually precede the rainy seasons, although afternoon and evening thundershowers occur regularly throughout the year. The east coast and East Malaysia experience longer rainy seasons, and more widespread flooding as a result.

Malaysia Use of Natural Resources

Malaysia Environment

Climate:

The weather in Kuala Lumpur varies little throughout the year. Daily minimum and maximum temperatures remain fairly constant averaging 27°C (80°F) and 38°C (100°F). With the heat, there is high humidity as the average annual rainfall is 250 centimeters.


Although Kuala Lumpur is not subject to typhoons or cyclones, brief rainy seasons occur each year and bring scattered flooding. About 1-2 months of relatively dry weather usually precede the rainy seasons, although afternoon and evening thundershowers occur regularly throughout the year. The east coast and East Malaysia experience longer rainy seasons, and more widespread flooding as a result.

Terrain:

coastal plains rising to hills and mountains

Natural Resources:

tin, petroleum, timber, copper, iron ore, natural gas, bauxite

Natural Hazards:

flooding, landslides, forest fires

Irrigated Land:

1,467 Square Miles
3,800 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

air pollution from industrial and vehicular emissions; water pollution from raw sewage; deforestation; smoke/haze from Indonesian forest fires

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Malaysia Geography

Geographic Location Southeast Asia
Total Area 127,354 Square Miles
329,847 Square Kilometers
Land Area 126,894 Square Miles
328,657 Square Kilometers
Water Area 459 Square Miles
1,190 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 1,658 Miles
2,669 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 1,467 Square Miles
3,800 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Brunei 381 km, Indonesia 1,782 km, Thailand 506 km
Coastline 2,905 Miles
4,675 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 2 30 N, 112 30 E
Terrain coastal plains rising to hills and mountains
Highest Point 4,100 Meters
Highest Point Location Gunung Kinabalu 4,100 m
Lowest Point Location Indian Ocean 0 m
Natural Resources tin, petroleum, timber, copper, iron ore, natural gas, bauxite
Time Zone UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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