Malaysia (English: ( listen) mə-LAY-zee-ə, --zhə; Malay pronunciation: [məlejsiə]) is a federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia. It consists of thirteen states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. Peninsular Malaysia borders Thailand in the north and Singapore in the south, Vietnam in the northeast, and Indonesia in the west; Malaysian Borneo borders Brunei and Indonesia. The capital city is Kuala Lumpur. With a population of over 30 million, Malaysia is the world's 44th most populous country. The southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, is in Malaysia. In the tropics, Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries, with large numbers of endemic species. Malaysia has its origins in the Malay kingdoms which, from the 18th century, became subject to the British Empire when the Straits Settlements became British protectorates. Peninsular Malaysia was unified as the Malayan Union in 1946. Malaya was restructured as the Federation of Malaya in 1948, and achieved independence on 31 August 1957.
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