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Malaysia

Malaysia is a South-East Asian country. Peninsular Malaysia lies south of Thailand. The states of Sabah and Sarawak are located across the South China Sea and form part of the island of Borneo. They border the small country of Brunei and the Indonesian part of the island, Kalimantan. Malaysia’s environment features mountains, mangrove swamps, low plains and sandy beaches. More than 60% is covered by rainforest. 

Key facts

  • Region: Asia 
  • Population: 32 million (2018) 
  • Area: 330,000 square kilometres 
  • Capital: Kuala Lumpur 
  • Joined Commonwealth: 1957, following the Federation of Malaya’s independence from Britain 
  • Commonwealth Youth Index: 9 out of 49 countries 

Secretariat support for Malaysia 

Countering violent extremism 

In 2017 and 2018, the Secretariat helped young people, teachers and government officials from Malaysia learn about preventing violent extremism. 

In April 2019, the Secretariat helped Malaysia build the skills of young leaders to use dialogue, community and social responsibility to challenge extremist views. 

Youth 

The Secretariat helped young people from Malaysia learn skills to set up and run a business. 

In June 2018 and August 2019, the Secretariat worked with Universiti Putra Malaysia to develop and deliver youth work skills and qualifications, including a youth work degree. 

Digital economy 

The Secretariat worked with Malaysia on its approach to government policy-making for technological development and internet connectivity. Workshops and meetings focused in particular on encouraging women’s participation, impact assessment and regulatory practices. 

Connectivity Agenda

Malaysia is a member of the Physical, Digital and Regulatory Connectivity clusters of the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda. The Connectivity Agenda is a platform for countries to exchange best practices and experiences to trade and investment and undertake domestic reform.

Blue Charter

Malaysia is a member of the Sustainable Aquaculture Action Group.

Malaysia in the Commonwealth 

In 2014, Malaysia hosted the tenth biennial conference of the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management and the fifth Forum of Commonwealth Public Service Ministers. 

In 2006, Tash Aw won a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize with The Harmony Silk Factory. In 2003, Sri Lankan Rani Manicka, who was born and educated in Malaysia, won a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize with her novel, The Rice Mother. 

Find out more 

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