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The constitution grants freedom of religion but recognises Islam as the established religion of the state.
The government system is closely modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system and the legal system is based on common law.
The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government.
With a population of over 30 million, Malaysia is the 44th most populous country.
It is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the East Asia Summit, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Malaysia is also a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Non-Aligned Movement.
The southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, is in Malaysia.
Whether or not it originated from these roots, the word "melayu" or "mlayu" may have been used in early Malay/Javanese to mean to steadily accelerate or run.
The head of state is the king, known as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
He is an elected monarch chosen from the hereditary rulers of the nine Malay states every five years. The country official language is Bahasa Melayu or commonly known as Malay language. English proficiency in Malaysia has been highly ranked as the second best in Asia after Singapore and 13th best in the world as of 2017.
The country is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, which plays a large role in politics.
About half the population is ethnically Malay, with large minorities of Malaysian Chinese which also form the second largest community of Overseas Chinese in the world, Malaysian Indians, and indigenous peoples.