World Facts

The States and Federal Territories of Malaysia

Malaysia is divided into thirteen states and three federal territories.

Malaysia is divided into thirteen states, called Negeri, and three federal territories referred to as Wilayah Persekutuan. These states and territories are the main governmental divisions of the country. The type of government in 9 of these territories is monarchial.

Eleven of these states and two federal territories are geographically situated on the Malay Peninsula, and together they are called Peninsular Malaysia. The two remaining states are found on the Island of Borneo while the last federal territory is made up of islands on the shores of Borneo. This last batch is collectively referred to as East Malaysia.

The States and Federal Territories of Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur is one of Malaysia's three federal territories. It is located on the Malay Peninsula, and is entirely surrounded by the state of Selangor. Kuala Lumpur became Malaysia's first federal territory when it separated from Selangor in 1974. It is Malaysia's capital city, and houses the Istana Negara (National Palace) of the monarch, as well as the parliament. As of 2016, the population of Kuala Lumpur was 1,768,000.

The state of Johor Darul Ta'zim is located on the southern section of Peninsular Malaysia. Johor is also a hereditary monarch with its state capital being Johor Bahru while the royal city of the state is Muar. The state has the second largest population size standing at 3,553,600. Johor stands to gain economically with the Iskandar development region that is meant to draw business to the state.The state of Selangor, also referred to as Darul Ehsan, is located along the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The state is headed by an inherited monarchy that is supported by the constitution. The state capital is Shah Alam, while Klangg serves as the royal capital of the state. Selangor has the highest GDP in Malaysia and it has the highest population of 5,874,100 people.

The state of Sabah is located one northern section of Borneo Island.The region has an equatorial kind of climate with an abundance of animal and plant species. Kota Kinabalu is the capital city and the economical center of the state. It also acts as the office for the Sabah state government. Sabah has a population of 3,543,500.

The state of Sarawak is located in the northwest of Borneo Island. Its capital city is Kuching which acts as the states economical center and also as the state government's center of operation. Sarawak’s head of state is the governor, also known as the Yang di-Pertua Negeri, while the head of government is the chief minister. The estimated population according to the 2015 census was 2,636,000.

Perak Darul Ridzuan, also referred to as “Abode of Grace,” is the fourth biggest state in Malaysia. The state is governed by a constitutional monarch with the royal capital and home of the sultan located in Kuala Kangsar. The state capital is Ipoh, a city that was once famous for tin mining activities. Perak’s population size is the fifth among the states standing at 2,477,700.

Government of Malaysia

It is important to note that the governance of the states is undertaken by the federal government and the state government. The responsibilities for the state and federal governments are clearly stated by the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution of Malaysia. Issues that are not covered by the Ninth Schedule are left to be deliberated on by the individual state governments.

The States and Federal Territories of Malaysia

RankState or Federal Territory Capital Population
1Selangor Darul EhsanShah Alam5,874,100
2Johor Darul Ta'zimJohor Bahru3,553,600
3SabahKota Kinabalu3,543,500
4SarawakKuching2,636,000
5Perak Darul RidzuanKuala Kangsar2,477,700
6Kedah Darual AmanAlor Setar2,071,900
7Kelantan Darul NaimKota Bharu1,718,200
8PenangGeorge Town1,663,000
9Pahang Darul MakmurKuantan1,623,200
10Terrengganu Darul ImanKuala Terengganu1,153,500
11Negeri Sembilan Darul KhususSeremban1,098,400
12MalaccaMalacca City872,900
13Perlis Indera KayanganKangar246,000
14Kuala LumpurKuala Lumpur1,768,000
15LabuanVictoria96,800
16PutrajayaPutrajaya88,300

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