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Geography of Malaysia

Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India
Geographic coordinates: 24 00 N, 90 00 E
Map references: Asia
Area:

  • Total: 143,998 sq km
  • Land: 130,168 sq km
  • Water: 13,830 sq km

Area – comparative: Slightly smaller than Iowa
Land boundaries:

  • Total: 4,413 km
  • Border Countries: Burma 271 km, India 4,142 km

Coastline: 580 km
Maritime claims:

  • Territorial sea: 12 nm
  • Contiguous zone: 18 nm
  • Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
  • Continental shelf: up to the outer limits of the continental margin

Climate: Tropical; mild winter (October to March); hot, humid summer (March to June); humid, warm rainy monsoon (June to October)
Terrain: Mostly flat alluvial plain; hilly in southeast
Elevation extremes:

  • Lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
  • Highest point: Keokradong 1,230 m

Natural resources: Natural gas, arable land, timber, coal
Land use:

  • Arable land: 52.97%
  • Permanent crops: 6.25%
  • Other: 40.78% (2011)

Irrigated land: 50,500 sq km (2008)
Total renewable water resources: 1,227 cu km (2011)
Freshwater withdrawal:

  • Total: 35.87 cu km/yr (10%/2%/88%) (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
  • Per capita: 238.3 cu m/yr (2008)

Natural hazards: Droughts; cyclones; much of the country routinely inundated during the summer monsoon season
Environment - current issues: Many people are landless and forced to live on and cultivate flood-prone land; waterborne diseases prevalent in surface water; water pollution, especially of fishing areas, results from the use of commercial pesticides; ground water contaminated by naturally occurring arsenic; intermittent water shortages because of falling water tables in the northern and central parts of the country; soil degradation and erosion; deforestation; severe overpopulation

Environment - international agreements: Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: Most of the country is situated on deltas of large rivers flowing from the Himalayas: the Ganges unites with the Jamuna (main channel of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna to eventually empty into the Bay of Bengal

 
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