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中国株レポート
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新興成長国基礎データ
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Geography

The Federation of Malaysia consists of two parts: Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Peninsular Malaysia adjoins Thailand to the north and is connected by a causeway to Singapore in the south. Its total land area is 131,000 square kilometres. East Malaysia lies some 600 kilometres east of Peninsular Malaysia and occupies a broad strip running from the westernmost to the northernmost tip of the island of Borneo, with a land area of some 198,000 square kilometres.

Demography

The population was estimated to be approximately 18.6 million in 1992, and the rate of growth was 2.5% per annum between 1982 and 1989. The urban population accounts for some 35% of the total. The principal urban concentration is in the Klang Valley, around the Federal capital city of Kuala Lumpur (1.2 million inhabitants), where the population is growing annually at a rate of 7%. Peninsular Malaysia's population is 14.8 million, against 3.2 million in East Malaysia. Some 76% of the adult population is claimed to be literate, and 38% of the total population is under the age of 15.

Malays and other indigenous ethnic groups (together known as "Bumiputras") account for 59% of the population, the Chinese for 32% and Indians for 8%. The official language is Bahasa Malaysia (Malay), but English still predominates in industry and commerce. The official religion of the country is Islam, but there is freedom of worship.

In 1991, the total labour force was 7.05 million. The agricultural sector still has the largest share of employment (31% in 1991), and 28% of the workforce was engaged in commerce and services, 17% in manufacturing, 14% in the public sector and 6% in construction. With the emergence of labour shortages, the government announced in late 1991 that more foreign workers could be recruited in the plantation, construction and domestic service sectors under the Foreign Labour Recruitment Policy. The rate of unemployment in 1992 was just over 4%.

History and Political Situation

In 1957, the Federation of Malaya, comprising the 11 states of Peninsular Malaysia gained independence from the United Kingdom The Federation became known as Malaysia with the accession of three further states, Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah in September 1963. In August 1965 Singapore withdrew from the Federation to become an independent sovereign state.

Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy. Its head of state is the king who is elected for a five year term by the nine hereditary Sultans of the eleven states of Peninsular Malaysia. The King (the Yang-di-Petuan Agong), advised by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, has powers to delay legislation, though not to reject it. The Malaysian Parliament consists of a House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat) and a Senate (Dewan Negara); the former consists of 180 members chosen in general elections held at no more than five year intervals; the Senate is composed of 26 elected members, two from each of the 13 states, and 43 members appointed by the King on the advice of the Prime Minister. Each of the 13 states has its own constitution and assembly to handle matters not dealt with by the federal government, thereby permitting a degree of autonomy. The four states of Melaka, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak are each headed by a governor who is appointed for a term of four years by the King on the advice of the Prime Minister.

The Barisan Nasional (National Front), a multi-racial coalition currently comprising thirteen parties, has governed Malaysia since 1957. The largest party, The United Malays National Organisation (UNMO), representing the biggest ethnic group, the Malays, has headed each coalition government since independence. There is therefore a generally very stable political environment.

The other main parties in the coalition are the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), the Gerakan Party, the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), the Democratic Action Party (DAP), the dominant party in Sarawak, and the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS). The prime minister and leader of UMNO, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, is Malaysia's fourth elected prime minister and has been leader of the National Front government since 1981.

In the last elections in October 1990, the Barisan National won 127 out of 180 seats in the lower House of Parliament, a reduction of 21 seats from the previous elections in 1986. Its share of the popular vote fell from 57% to 52%. This largely reflected UMNO's loss of Malay support to its breakaway faction Semangat '46. It also lost control of the state assemblies of Kelantan and Sabah.

Economy

Malaysia has historically been an exporter of primary products such as rubber, tin palm oil and timber. In 1991 Malaysia accounted for some 50% of world palm oil production, generating exports of about US$ 1.8 billion. Tin products in 1991 were estimated at US$ 251 million, but Malaysia's relatively high extraction costs have led output to decline from 61,400 tonnes in 1980, to 20,710 tonnes in 1991. In the mid 1970s export manufacturing, in particular of textiles and electronics, began to develop, based on an accommodative government attitude towards incoming foreign investment and a skilled low-cost labour force. Malaysia has become one of the world's three largest manufacturers of semi-conductors and air conditioners. The New Economic Policy (NEP) was adopted in 1971, as part of the response to the 1969 race riots, to ameliorate the economic plight of the numerically superior Malays and to eradicate poverty, irrespective of race. To this end "Bumiputras" (or native Malays) were to increase their ownership of the corporate sector to 30% by 1990, with other Malaysians holding 40% and the stake of foreigners in corporate equity falling to 30%. The NEP has been the cornerstone of government policy since 1971, with an increase in spending on basic services and education and the setting up of trust agencies to finance "Bumiputra" enterprises.

Following the expiry of the NEP in 1990, the government introduced the New Development Policy (NDP) in 1991 as the framework for economic policy between 1991 and 2000. While still holding the NEP's twin objectives of poverty eradication and ethnic redistribution of wealth, NDP places greater emphasis on redistribution through rapid growth rather than outright favouritism, with, as its overriding goal, rapid industrialisation.

Malaysia's economy has enjoyed real annual growth at an average rate of 8.4% in the last 5 years, with the manufacturing sector contributing more than 40% of the total growth and the finance, agriculture and transport sectors each contributing about 10% each. This rapid growth continued in 1992 when the economy began showing signs of overheating as a consequence of successive years of rapid expansion - inflation and wages rose relatively rapidly, by 4.7% and approximately 10% respectively and labour shortages emerged in the plantation, construction and manufacturing sectors. After several years of successfully attracting huge direct foreign investment inflows (approximately US$ 6.5 billion of approvals in 1991 alone), the government is increasingly encouraging higher value-added manufacturing projects, as well as those which exploit the national resource base.

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