Geography of Malaysia

Malaysia, a federation of thirteen states in South-East Asia on the Malay Peninsula, consists of two geographical regions divided by the South China Sea, the Peninsular Malaysia or West Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo or East Malaysia.


Malaysia is situated in South-eastern Asia with Thailand and one-third of the island of Borneo bordering the north the peninsula and girdled by Indonesia, Brunei , and the South China Sea and the south of Vietnam . The nation also includes Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo to the east. Its area somewhat exceeds that of New Mexico . It's geographically 2'30 N and 112'30 E.

Land Boundaries

Malaysia borders a total of 2,669 km of land with Brunei covering 381 km, Indonesia 1,782 km and Thailand 506 km. The coastline covers a total of 4,675 km with the Peninsular Malaysia bordering 2,068 km in south of Thailand, north of Singapore and east of the Indonesian island of Sumatra and East Malaysia with 2,607 km located on the island of Borneo and sharing borders with Brunei and Indonesia.

•  Area: Total area covered: 329,750 sq km

•  Land: 328,550 sq km

•  Water: 1,200 sq km

Land Topography

The geography of Malaysia with its overwhelmingly beautiful natural landscape and spectacular topographical formations covering hills and mountains, jungles, rivers and highlands holds one spellbound. The Banjaran Titiwangsa or the Main Range running between Malaysia-Thai border in the north to the southern state of Negeri Sembilan successfully separates the eastern and western part of the Peninsula. Gunung Tahan , with 2,187m is the highest peak in the state of Pahang. Mount Gunung Jerai in Kedah, Bukit Larut in Perak and the legendary Gunung Ledang (Mount Ophir) which straddles the Melaka-Johor border are some of the other high peaks.

One of the prominent highlands of Sabah is the Crocker Range with an average height of 457 to 914m. Even the three highest mountains in Malaysia the Mount Kinabalu (4,101m), Gunung Trus Madi (2,597m) and Gunung Tambuyukon (2,579m) are present in this range. Gunung Murud (2,425m) and Gunung Mulu (2,371m) are the two highest peaks of Sarawak . The world's largest natural cave system is also present here. The longest river Sungai Rejang (563km) flows through Sarawak and is navigable by small coastal steamers as far as Kapit, 100km upstream . Malaysia covered with forested hills and 18 mountains ranges make it one of the most jungle-covered mountainous countries in the region. Malaysian terrain changes systematically offering richness in resources and biological diversity.

Land Usage

Malaysia's natural resources include tin, petroleum, iron ore, natural gas, timber, copper and bauxite.

•  Arable land: 5.46%

•  Permanent crops: 17.54%

•  Other:77%


As Malaysia is close to the Equator, it has a tropical climate that is quite hot and humid throughout the year with an average temperature of 27° C . Annual rainfall at 2,500mm is usually accompanied with thunder and lightning which lasts for about an hour or two. The Peninsular Malaysia in the east coast and the coastal areas of Sabah and Sarawak is greatly influenced by the monsoon season from November till March, where sweeping wind brings heavy rainfall throughout the season. The western side protected by the soaring mountain ranges is not as much affected by the monsoon and thus enjoys moderate rainfall throughout the year.

Normally Malaysia has two distinct seasons, the dry season which occurs during the south-west monsoon from May to September and the north-east monsoon which brings rain during November till March.

Natural Hazards

The common natural calamities faced by the Malaysians are floods, landslides and forest fires. It's free from earthquakes and typhoons.


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