Health in Malaysia

General information

Lying north of the equator in central South-East Asia, above Singapore and south of Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia is separated by about 540 km of the South China Sea from the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, which share the island of Borneo with Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam. Malaysian islands include Labuan, Penang and the Langkawi Islands.

The Federation of Malaysia comprises three federal territories (Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan) and 13 states (Sabah, Sarawak and the 11 states of Peninsular Malaysia). The peninsular states are the nine sultanates of Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor and Terengganu, plus Melaka and Penang.


Tropical, with heavy annual rainfall and high humidity.
The daily temperature throughout Malaysia varies from 21-32°C. In Kuala Lumpur, April and May are the hottest months, December the coldest and April the wettest.
Environment: The most significant environmental issues are deforestation; air pollution by industrial and motor emissions; water pollution by raw sewage; and smoke or haze from Indonesian forest fires.


29,240,000 (2012); 80 per cent of people live in Peninsular Malaysia, 73 per cent in urban areas and nine per cent in urban agglomerations of more than a million people. The population growth rate stood at 2.2 per cent p.a. between the years 1990 and 2012. In 2012, the birth rate was 18 per 1,000 people (37 in 1970) and life expectancy was 75 years (61 in 1970).

The society is multiracial with an estimated 53 per cent Malays, 25 per cent Chinese, 11 per cent indigenous peoples and ten per cent Indians. In Sarawak, the main indigenous peoples – collectively known in that state as the Dayaks – are the Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu; and in Sabah, the Kadazan Dusan, Bajau, Melanaus and Murut. Other ethnic groups in Malaysia include Europeans and Eurasians.


Malaysia is classified as an upper-middle-income economy by the World Bank.