Asia Education Foundation




Malaysia is part of Southeast Asia and lies just north of the equator. It borders Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei. Malaysia is culturally and linguistically diverse and has many natural resources and strong manufacturing industries. It is one of the larger economies in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) with an economy that is steadily growing, assisted by the production of natural commodities such as oil, gas and palm oil. Since independence in 1957, Malaysia has developed a large middle class and its capital city, Kuala Lumpur is one of the world's vibrant mega cities.

Australia has a strong relationship with Malaysia and has links that focus on education, defence and trade as well as cooperation on a range of security issues. In fact, Malaysia is Australia's third largest trading partner in ASEAN and tenth largest overall further enhanced by the signing of the Malaysia–Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) in May 2012.

KL master

Capital City
Kuala Lumpur

Bahasa Malaysia, English, Chinese, Indian dialects

Official language

Bahasa Malaysia

Political system

Federal constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy

Value of Australia exports
AUD$5080 million (per year)

Curated digital content lists

Access Malaysia-focused digital resource lists designed to support teachers to implement the Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia cross-curriculum priority of the Australian Curriculum in the learning areas of English, History, Geography, Science, Mathematics and The Arts.


Year 4Traditional Malaysian tales

Year 7 Malaysian poetry

Year 9 Malaysian youth magazines

Year 10Australia–Malaysia connections


Year 3 National Days and Celebrations - Malaysia

Year 4 – First contacts - Macassans

Year 9 – Colonial Malaysia


Year 7 Liveability: Urban Malaysia


Year 2 - Caring for the environment in Malaysia

The Arts

Years 7-8 Malaysian films 

Years 9-10 Malaysian media artists



Learning sequences

Access five new learning sequences with a focus on Malaysia:

Geography                                              Science                                              English           

Explore the connections between Australia and Malaysia.

Activity 2 Borneos natural env image

Investigate food webs and the impact of human activity in Borneo rainforests.


Year 8 Contemporary Short Stories Rats and Cats

Analyse four contemporary short stories and how they reflect life in Malaysia.

The Arts                                                   Mathematics                                       

Star wars

Discover Malaysian wayang puppet theatre and its contemporary revival.

Construct and interpret climate graphs for cities in the Asia region.


Useful weblinks

Australia and Malaysia

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – background information about Malaysia and its connections with Australia

Travel advisory information – travel advice about Malaysia

Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur – advice about Malaysia and news about current events

Malaysian High Commission in Canberra – news and events about Malaysia and its connections with Australia

Malaysia–Australia Free Trade Agreement – information about the Free Trade Agreement

Australia Malaysia Institute – news and information about the institutes current activities

Malaysia in the Media 

The Star – provides current events and articles about issues impacting on Malaysia and its people

New Straits Times – current events and articles about issues impacting on Malaysia and its people

The Sun – current events and articles about issues impacting on Malaysia and its people

Radio Televisyen Malaysia – provides live-stream news items

BBC country profiles – provides and overview, facts, figures and current media information

The Economist topic index – provides current informstion about business and the economy

CIA world factbook – maps, images, facts and figures 

Map, facts and figures





View larger image

29.5 million (2012)


West Malaysia (area 131,794 square km) and East Malaysia (198,000 square km)


Equatorial, hot and humid all year

World heritage sites

Kinabalu National Park and Gunung Mulu National Park

View larger map

Filling the Gap: Teaching about Malaysia through the Australian Curriculum is supported by the Commwealth through the Australia-Malaysia Institute of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.