Geographical aspects of South East Asian countries – 9

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.

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 Kaput, 100km up stream. 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.