Peninsular Malaysia

Peninsular Malaysia (Semenanjung 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. 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 Sea.

States and territories

It consists of the following 11 states and two federal territories (starting from the North going to the South):

Origin of name

The name 'Malaya' is derived from the name of a river of a similar name found in Sumatra. It is now widely believed by the Malay world that such origins are the sole truth for the basis of the name.

Peninsular Malaysia is also known as West Malaysia (Malaysia Barat) or Malaya (Tanah Melayu). The term 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 Malay states.

Malaya is also a term or word in the Philippine national language, Tagalog (pronunciation: [tɐˈgaːlog]). In the Tagalog language the word malaya means free or freedom.


Note that until 1946, and for some time afterwards, the term Malaya included Singapore. In Singapore legislation, the term "Malaya" includes Singapore, but the term "States of Malaya" does not.

Other features

East Coast and West Coast

The word(s) East Coast is particularly used in Malaysia to describe either one of the following states in Peninsular Malaysia facing the South China Sea:

It is not uncommon to describe Pahang as a state in 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.

The term 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 Malaysia. Unlike the East Coast, the West Coast is partitioned further into three regions (as seen in #States and territories), including:

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.

See also

External links

Search another word or see Peninsular_Malaysiaon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature