About Malaysia (Munn, Foo, & Spilling, 2012):


Population: 29 844 680 million

GDP: $383.6 billion (2009)

Land Area: 330, 242 km2

Geography: East and West Malaysia

Capital: Kuala Lumpur


Islam (national), Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Christianity.


Bahasa (standardized form of Malay). Also, Malaysian English has developed due to the many languages and it is based on British English mixed with Malay, Chinese and Indian.




Malaysia shares with Indonesia the tradition of batik– a wax resistant fabric printing used in the production of cloth, it has unique patterns and vibrant colours. Today, young local artists experiment with batik in order to create modern art pieces. Malaysia has plans to establish itself as a regional hub for contemporary art, which is why the Kuala Lumpur Galeri Petronas has been founded.




Industries: oil and gas, electronics, processing and manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, medical technology, etc.

In 2007, Malaysia’s economy was the 3rd largest in South East Asia and the 30th largest in the world. In the 70’s, Malaysia’s economy was based on the production and export of raw materials; today, it is industrialized with a diversified economy. With now three quarters of the country’s population as urban, Malaysia plans to become a fully developed nation by 2020. Its main objectives are to have full employment by creating a private sector-led economy and supporting innovation-led growth.




Historical Milestones

–       Portugal was the first western nation to occupy Malaysia (Melaka).

–       The Dutch established in the early 17th century

–       British occupied Penang in 1786

–       Malays National Organization is founded in 1946

–       The Federation of Malaya is formed in 1948

–       1957 – Independence of Malaya

–       Singapore leaves the Federation in 1965

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Landmark: Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

The Petronas Towers are the central element of Kuala Lumpur’s City Centre development. Designed by Argentinean architect Cesar Pelli, the twin towers are a modern expression of Malaysia’s culture, history, climate and work as a symbol of the country’s economic growth (they were the tallest buildings in the world until 2004). Pelli was inspired by Islamic culture, the city’s climate and light, as well as Malaysian craft and design.


Malaysia Design Innovation Centre 

The Malaysia Design Innovation Centre is a government-private sector initiative to apply creativity and innovation to business in today’s competitive globalised environment. MDI helps to generate ideas on building and managing brands, as well as brand quality. MDI is looking to achieve alliances with design guilds, universities and professional institutions to approach the world’s network of designers, engineers and specialists in order to give solutions to the needs of innovative business.



1. Munn, H, Foo, Y, & Spilling, J 2012, Malaysia, Marshall Canvendish, New York, veiwed 28 August 2013,




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