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"Malaysia offers two tantalizing choices for divers: world-famous Sipadan and Mabul Islands at the north of Borneo, or Tioman, Redang and the Perhentian Islands in Peninsular Malaysia's South China Sea. Sipadan Island sits atop a pinnacle that juts straight up from the ocean depths ensuring superb visibility and plentiful steep walls. Mabul is famous for its rare marine critters and muck diving. Malaysia's Peninsular Islands are some of the most beautiful in the world, with crystal clear turquoise bays, sugar-white beaches, and some of the planet's oldest rainforests. And, importantly, Malaysia is perhaps the safest and friendliest country for travelers in all of Asia."
Location: Southeastern Asia, peninsula bordering Thailand and northern one-third of the island of Borneo, bordering Indonesia, Brunei, and the South China Sea, south of Vietnam
Geographic coordinates: 2° 18' N, 112° 18' E
Coastline km: 4,675 km (Peninsular Malaysia 2,068 km, East Malaysia 2,607 km) km
Climate: tropical; annual southwest (April to October) and northeast (October to February) monsoons
Terrain: coastal plains rising to hills and mountains
Elevation: highest point: Gunung Kinabalu 4,100 m
Natural hazards: flooding, landslides, forest fires
Currency: ringgit (MYR)
Population: 23,953,136 (July 2005 est.)
Languages: Bahasa Melayu (official), English, Chinese dialects (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow), Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Panjabi, Thai note: in addition, in East Malaysia several indigenous languages are spoken, the largest are Iban and Kadazan
Capital: Kuala Lumpur. Note: Putrajaya is referred to as administrative center not capital; Parliament meets in Kuala Lumpur
Divisions: 13 states (negeri-negeri, singular - negeri) Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, and Terengganu; and one federal territory (wilayah persekutuan) with three components, city of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, and Putrajaya
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