Did you know this about Malaysia?
A country that offers equal amounts of sunshine, seaside and scenic views, Malaysia also comes with a number of interesting facts, which surprisingly are quite unknown among the common crowd. Read on to learn more about these fun facts about Malaysia that make up the country's history and the pride that shaped it into the wonderful place we know it today.
When the Federation of Malaya replaced the Federation of Malaya, a competition was held to design the flag. The Malaysian flag was designed by 29-year-old architect Mohamed Hamza, who won the competition in 1963.
Ethnic Malays make up only half of Malaysia's population of over 31 million people. The rest include other groups including Chinese, Indians and other indigenous peoples.
Malaysia follows a unique rotating monarchical system, according to which nine ethnic Malay state rulers become kings for a term of five years.
Malaysia's national currency, the ringgit, means 'toothed' in Malay; and refers to the serrated edges of Spanish silver dollars that were used in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Auria Chersonus, one of the old names in Malaysia, means 'peninsula of gold'. This name was given by the Greco-Roman geographer Ptolemy in his book Geographia, which he wrote in about 150 AD.
A bird's eye view of the city of KL (source)
As of 2004, Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Towers, which stood at 1,483 feet high with 88 floors, was the tallest building in the world. To date, the Petronas Towers are the tallest twin buildings in the world and are connected by a sky bridge at levels 41 and 42, which are 558 feet off the ground.
The highest point in Malaysia is Mount Kinabulu, which is located on the island of Borneo at an altitude of 13,435 feet. UNESCO has also given this peak the status of a World Heritage Site.
Malaysia is home to four UNESCO-designated World Heritage Sites, including Gunung Mulu National Park, Kinabalu Park, the important cities of Melaka and Georgetown, and the Lenggong Valley, an important archaeological heritage site.
The world's largest cave chamber, the Sarawak Cave Room, is located in Gunung Mulu National Park on the island of Borneo. This cave chamber is so vast that, by rough math, it can accommodate 40 Boeing 747s without planes even needing their wings to overlap in order to fit.
In terms of land area, Malaysia is roughly the same size as New Mexico!
Malaysia is the only country in the world to include territory on the mainland of Southeast Asia as well as the islands spread between Asia and Oceania.
Borneo is the third largest island in the whole world after Greenland and New Guinea. The island is shared by three countries: Indonesia, Malaysia and the independent Sultanate of Brunei.
There are a total of 65,877 km of roads in Malaysia, which is more than the circumference of the earth (40,075 km).
Putrajaya is the world's largest roundabout, whose total diameter is 3.5 kilometers.
Penang, or Georgetown, as it is often called, is the food capital of the country.
Established in 1136 AD on the Malay Peninsula, the Kedah Sultanate is one of the oldest sultanates in the world.
Malaysian law allows cane as a punishment. The maximum number of strokes that can be ordered is 24; And women and boys under 10 years of age or men over 50 years of age cannot be beaten with a cane, except when an allegation of rape has been made.
Between 1963 and 1965, Singapore was also part of the fourteen states that together made up Malaysia. However, on 9 August, Singapore was expelled due to riots over economic and political matters between various cultural groups. Since then, Singapore has become a city-state in its own right. One theory suggests that the 'C' in Malaysia actually refers to Singapore, among other facts about Malaysia, although the name has not changed since separation.
The Malaysian state of Kelantan ordered in 1997 that lights would now be turned off in movie theaters, to prevent people from befriending and kissing.
Malaysia's Kinabalu National Park is home to the parasite Rafflesia arnoldi or corpse flower. This flower is known to contain itself completely in the host flower, so much so that the only part visible is the flower. The flower is 3 feet wide and weighs about 7 kg.
Malaysia is also home to its own unique species of a striped giant orange cat, known as the Malayan Tiger. These tigers are found on the Malay Peninsula and have also been seen in Kelantan, Pahang and Johor. Unfortunately, this species is now critically endangered, and only 350 of these tigers now exist on the entire planet.
Bingator trees, which are found only on Sarawak, are believed to have properties that can actually cure AIDS.