National Geographic : 1963 Nov
Malaysia plan unites Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, and North Borneo ALL were formerly British territories. Under the leadership of Malaya-in dependent since 1957-they signed an agreement on July 9, 1963, to band to gether in a federation. They set August 31, 1963, as the birth date for the new nation, to be called Malaysia, but neigh boring Indonesia and the Philippines won agreement to delay its formation pending a United Nations report on whether the union fulfilled the wishes of the people of Sarawak, a British protectorate, and North Borneo, or Sabah, a Crown colony. AREA: 130,000 square miles. POPULATION: 11,000,000 Malays, Chinese, Indians, Pakista nis, Ceylonese, aborigines. LANGUAGE: Ma lay, Chinese, Tamil, Urdu, Ceylonese, many dialects. English taught in schools and widely spoken. RELIGIONS: Moslem, Buddhist, Hin du, Christian, animist. ECONOMY: Leads world in tin and natural rubber production. Also has oil, iron, timber, copra, palm oil, rice, pineapples. MAJOR CITIES: Singapore (pop. 1,023,700), key port in Southeast Asia, has extensive trade in tin, rubber, manufactures; Kuala Lumpur (pop. 350,000), capital of Malaya and of the new Malaysia; Kuching (pop. 60,000), capital of Sarawak, and Jesselton (pop. 21,700), capital of North Borneo. CLIMATE: tropical; average high temperature 88° F., low 74° F., average mean 81° F.; cooler in mountains; heavy rains dur ing April-July and September-November mon soons in Malaya; peak rains during October January along Borneo's wet north coasts.