Malaysia is one of the world’s most peaceful and politically stable countries. It boasts of being one of Southeast Asia’s most vibrant economies, which is the fruit of decades of industrial growth and political stability.
Consisting of two regions – Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia, which are separated by 1,030km of the South China Sea, Malaysia is a federation of 13 states and three federal territories where the Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans, Kadazans and other ethnic groups live in harmony. This plural society comprises many races and faiths that speak a variety of mother tongues, and each continues to maintain its respective traditional culture. There is an atmosphere of mutual respect and tolerance that has ensured peace and stability for the nation through the decades.
Since independence in 1957, Malaya – as it was known then – has grown into Malaysia. Its primarily agricultural economy has been transformed, with the country becoming, over the years, a major manufacturing centre, a global energy and financial sector player, as well as an often-cited role model for other nations on the road to development. The country continues its quest to develop further into a high-income, knowledge- and innovation-based economy.
For more than half a century, Malaysia has been a federal constitutional monarchy with a multi-party system and a democratically-elected parliamentary government. The structure of government allows the diversity of the country’s peoples and regions, its long-standing traditions, its contemporary pluralism and its sense of consensus to be encompassed within the political system. Since Malaysia achieved independence, preservation of the balance between the main ethnic groups and access to the national wealth have been delicately balanced with concessions and compromises reached between the political parties that make up the ruling government. This has strengthened the people’s resolve in calling Malaysia their home.
The stable relationships between the ethnic groups is one of the key ingredients to political and economic stability in Malaysia. A powerful sense of being Malaysian prevails among the population. A common language – Bahasa Malaysia – binds the Malaysian people together, while English is widely spoken. The government has, over the years, successfully implemented a successful policy of economic reforms and taken an active role in the development and industrialisation of the nation.
Today, Malaysia has emerged as a confident and vibrant entity that is secure, stable and increasingly prosperous at home, and at peace with its neighbours.
With its history of political stability, there are strong foundations on which Malaysia can rely as it moves ahead with efforts to become a high-income, innovation-based society.