Country Profile
From The Report: Malaysia 2012
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Split between Peninsular Malaysia and the island of Borneo, Malaysia has a diverse population of 29m, mainly ethnic Malays, Chinese and Indians. Bahasa Malayu is the official national language, but Indian and Chinese languages are spoken by their respective native communities, and English is widely used even beyond the business community. Malaysia, which gained real independence in 1957, is a federated constitutional monarchy that delegates considerable autonomy to states, with special status for Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo. The current head of government is Prime Minister Najib Razak of the Barisan Nasional coalition, which has ruled since the country’s founding, although opposition party Pakatan Rakyat looks competitive in upcoming elections.
This chapter contains interviews with Mohamed Mahathir, former Prime Minister of Malaysia; William Hague, UK Foreign Secretary; Sebastian Pinera, President of Chile; Alessandro Golombiewski Teixeira, Deputy Minister of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade of Brazil; and Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN.