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Malaysia ( i/mle/ m-LAY-zh or i/mlesi/ m-LAY-see-) (Malaysian pronunciation: [malasi] or Malay pronunciation: [malajsi]) is a federal constitutional monarchy in Asia. It consists of thirteen states and three federal territories and has a total landmass of 3 !"#$% s&uare 'ilometres (( %"3)* s& mi) separated +y the ,outh -hina ,ea into t.o similarly si/ed re0ions" 1eninsular Malaysia and Malaysian 2orneo. 3and +orders are shared .ith 4hailand" Indonesia" and 2runei" and maritime +orders e5ist .ith ,in0apore" 6ietnam" and the 1hilippines. 4he capital city is 7uala 3umpur" .hile 1utrajaya is the seat of the federal 0o8ernment. In *(* the population .as #.33 million" .ith .9 million li8in0 on the 1eninsula. 4he southernmost point of continental :urasia" 4anjun0 1iai is in Malaysia" located in the tropics. It is one of (% me0adi8erse countries on earth" .ith lar0e num+ers of endemic species. Malaysia has its ori0ins in the Malay 7in0doms present in the area .hich" from the (#th century" +ecame su+ject to the 2ritish :mpire. 4he first 2ritish territories .ere 'no.n as the ,traits ,ettlements" .hose esta+lishment .as follo.ed +y the Malay 'in0doms +ecomin0 2ritish protectorates. 4he territories on 1eninsular Malaysia .ere first unified as the Malayan ;nion in (!$9. Malaya .as restructured as the <ederation of Malaya in (!$#" and achie8ed independence on 3( Au0ust (!)%. Malaya united .ith =orth 2orneo" ,ara.a'" and ,in0apore on (9 ,eptem+er (!93" .ith si +ein0 added to 0i8e the ne. country the name Malaysia. 3ess than t.o years later in (!9)" ,in0apore .as e5pelled from the federation. 4he country is multi>ethnic and multi>cultural" .hich plays a lar0e role in politics. 4he constitution declares Islam the state reli0ion .hile protectin0 freedom of reli0ion. 4he 0o8ernment system is closely modelled on the ?estminster parliamentary system and the le0al system is +ased on common la.. 4he head of state is the 'in0" 'no.n as the @an0 di>1ertuan A0on0. Ae is an elected monarch chosen from the hereditary rulers of the nine Malay states e8ery fi8e years. 4he head of 0o8ernment is the 1rime Minister. ,ince independence" Malaysia has had one of the +est economic records in Asia" .ith BC1 0ro.in0 an a8era0e 9.)D for almost )* years. 4he economy has traditionally +een fueled +y its natural resources" +ut is e5pandin0 in the sectors of science" tourism" commerce and medical tourism. 4oday" Malaysia has a industrialised mar'et economy" ran'ed third lar0est in ,outheast Asia and !th lar0est in the .orld. It is a foundin0 mem+er of the Association of ,outheast Asian =ations" the :ast Asia ,ummit and the Er0anisation of Islamic -ooperation" and a mem+er of Asia>1acific :conomic -ooperation" the -ommon.ealth of =ations" and the =on>Ali0ned Mo8ement.