(WIPO code: MY) (last revised September 2022)

by SHEARN DELAMORE & CO., Kuala Lumpur - Michelle Loi Choi Yoke and Elisia Engku Kangon

General Information

Area

330,000 sq. km.

Population

33.8 million (2022).

Capital

Kuala Lumpur.

Administrative capital

Putrajaya.

Languages

(Malay) Bahasa Malaysia is the official language, with English as the language of commerce. Cantonese, Tamil and a variety of local dialects are also spoken.

Currency

Ringgit Malaysia (RM).

General Remarks

Malaysia comprises the Peninsula of Malaya (West Malaysia) and the States of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo (East Malaysia). West Malaysia is separated from East Malaysia by about 400 miles of South China Sea.

The Malays or Bumiputeras make up the majority of the population. Together with the Chinese and Indians they form the main racial composition of the country. East Malaysia is also populated by a large number of Sea and Land Dayaks, Melanaus, Kadazans, Muruts, Bajaus, and other indigenous races.

Malaysia has been an independent country since August 31, 1957. It was formed on September 16, 1963 and comprises thirteen States.

The average daily temperature throughout Malaysia varies from 15.5°C in the highlands to above 36.3°C in the lowlands. Humidity is high and averages more than 60%. The average rainfall is about 2,500 mm a year.

Resources and industries 

Malaysia has upgraded itself from an agriculture-based domestic-centric economy into an industrialized export-oriented nation in the recent years. The Government is committed to achieving the goal of Vision 2020 with a new growth trajectory under the foundation "Shared Prosperity Vision 2030" as initiated by the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad. Such commitment has also been affirmed by the current government which announced that the 12th Malaysia Plan will be aligned with the Shared Prosperity Vision. It has good telecommunications facilities and a stable government, which are requisites for promoting and sustaining manufacturing industries. It has an established and acknowledged electronics industry and a lot of effort has been expended by the government to develop the country as a research hub in the field of biotechnology and life sciences.

Some of the major exports from the agricultural sector are rubber, palm oil, pineapple and pepper. Prominent among Malaysia's mineral resources is tin, although copper and some iron ore are also mined.

The petroleum industry is continuing to grow both in terms of upstream and downstream activities. The national oil company is Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS).

Malaysia's timber industry continues to remain important. Timber exports consist of log, sawn timber and wooden furniture.

Malaysia's main trading partners are China, U.S.A., Japan, the Asean nations and Europe.

Intellectual Property Courts

In July 2007, Malaysia launched its first specialized Intellectual Property Court in the commercial division of the Kuala Lumpur High Court. Up to November 2019, there were approximately 400 suits filed at the Kuala Lumpur Intellectual Property High Court.