Peninsular Malaysia ( ),
also known as Malaya or West
Malaysia, is the part of Malaysia which lies
on the Malay Peninsula, and shares a
land border with Thailand in the
north. To the south is the island of Singapore.
Map of Peninsular Malaysia
Its area is 50,810 square miles (131,598
square kilometers). It accounts for the majority of Malaysia's
population and economy. Across the Strait of Malacca to the west lies the island of Sumatra.
East Malaysia (on the island of Borneo) is to the
east across the South China
Peninsular Malaysia has an estimated
population of 21 million, roughly 80% of the total population in
States and territories
It consists of the following 11 state
and two federal territories
(starting from the North going to the South):
Origin of name
'Malaya' is derived from the name of a river
of a similar name found in Sumatra.
is now widely believed by the Malay world that such origins are the
sole truth for the basis of the name.
'Malaysia' was vaguely used in the 19th century by some
British colonists as an alternative name describing the Malay Archipelago. In 1963, the name was
adopted by the new federation uniting Malaya,
Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore. At the time, the Philippines had been contemplating adopting the name as
Peninsular Malaysia is also known as West Malaysia
Peninsular Malaysia is used more often than West Malaysia (to avoid
the idea that West and East Malaysia are separate countries like West Germany and East
Germany used to be until 1990), or Malaya
(which is now becoming obsolete due to
its connotations of the British colonial era).
Nonetheless, all three terms are correct,
and the older term Malaya can still be found in many institutional
titles, e.g. the High Court of
Malaya, the University of Malaya, Malayan Railway,
etc., as well as in legal contexts in the phrase the States
of Malaya (Negeri-negeri Tanah
Melayu), which should not be confused with the
everyday usage the word Malaya is almost always used jocularly,
e.g. "Gempar satu Malaya!
" which roughly means "(This
news) shakes the whole of Malaya!"
Malaya is also used in the Philippine national language, Filipino
and means free or freedom.
until 1946, and for some time afterwards, the term Malaya included
In Singaporean law, the term "Malaya"
includes Singapore, but the term "States of Malaya" does not.
East Coast and West Coast
East Coast is particularly used in Malaysia to
describe either one of the following states in Peninsular Malaysia
facing the South China
It is not uncommon to describe Pahang as a state on the East Coast,
as, geographically, most of Pahang is located on the eastern side
of peninsular Malaysia, and only part of it is located towards the
central portion of Peninsular Malaysia.
West Coast refers informally to a collection of
states in Peninsular Malaysia situated towards the western coast
generally facing the Strait of Malacca, as opposed to the East Coast of Peninsular
Unlike the East Coast, the West Coast is
partitioned further into three regions (as seen in #States and territories
West and East Malaysia
The distinction between West and East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak)
is significant beyond the sphere of geography
, because as well as having a different
court structure, the eastern states have more autonomy
than the original States of Malaya,
for example, maintaining restrictions on immigration
from the peninsula