Malaysia is one of the countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). It is divided into two regions, known as West Malaysia and East Malaysia. They are separated by about 640 kni of the sea and together comprise an area of 329,758 sq km. Malaysia enjoys tropical climate. The Malaysian unit of currency is the ringgit, consisting of 100 sen.
The capital of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur and it is also the largest city in the country. The population in 2001 was over 22 million. Islam is the country’s official religion. In addition, there are other religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. The national language is Bahasa Malaysia (also known simply as Malay). English, Chinese, and Tamil are also widely spoken. The language of instruction for primary school children is Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese, or Tamil. Bahasa Malaysia is the primary language of instruction in all secondary schools, although some students may continue learning in Chinese or Tamil. And English is a compulsory second language.