Located in South Asia, Malaysia consists of two separate regions. West Malaysia connects to the Asian continent and borders Thailand to the north. East Malaysia, which is across the South China Sea from the West Malaysia, lies on an island and shares borders with Indonesia to the south.
Population: 29 million (2013 est.)
Ethnic Groups: Malay (50.4%), Chinese (23.7%), indigenous (11%), Indian (7.1%), others (7.8%)
Languages: Bahasa Malaysia (official), English, Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, others), Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Panjabi, Thai
Religions: Muslim (official) (60.4%), Buddhist (19.2%), Christian (9.1%), Hindu (6.3%), Confucianism, Taoism, other traditional Chinese religions (2.6%), other or unknown (1.5%), none (0.8%)
MALAYSIANS IN TORONTO
In Canada: 12,165
In the GTA: 4,165
In the City of Toronto: 1,830
Primary Areas of Settlement in the GTA (Social Atlas):
City of Toronto (Ward 42 Scarborough-Rouge River, Markham, Mississauga, Aurora)
Malaysia became independent from Britain in 1957. When Sabah and Sarawak (now East Malaysia) joined in 1963, the country became known as Malaysia. Today, Malaysia's economy is quickly growing. Consequently, the improvement of living conditions and the reduction of poverty have both been significant in recent years. Sunni Islam is the official religion and there is legislation that discriminates against religious minorities. It is illegal in 10 of the 13 states for someone to attempt to convert Muslims to a different religion. In fact, it is illegal for a Muslim to decide to convert in 12 of the 13 states. This is despite the fact that the constitution guarantees religious freedom for all faiths.
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