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Thailand vs. Malaysia

Introduction

ThailandMalaysia
BackgroundA unified Thai kingdom was established in the mid-14th century. Known as Siam until 1939, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been colonized by a European power. A bloodless revolution in 1932 led to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy. In alliance with Japan during World War II, Thailand became a US treaty ally in 1954 after sending troops to Korea and later fighting alongside the US in Vietnam. Thailand since 2005 has experienced several rounds of political turmoil including a military coup in 2006 that ousted then Prime Minister THAKSIN Chinnawat, followed by large-scale street protests by competing political factions in 2008, 2009, and 2010. THAKSIN's youngest sister, YINGLAK Chinnawat, in 2011 led the Puea Thai Party to an electoral win and assumed control of the government. A blanket amnesty bill for individuals involved in street protests, altered at the last minute to include all political crimes - including all convictions against THAKSIN - triggered months of large-scale anti-government protests in Bangkok beginning in November 2013.
In early May 2014, YINGLAK was removed from office by the Constitutional Court and in late May 2014 the Royal Thai Army, led by Royal Thai Army Gen. PRAYUT Chan-ocha, staged a coup against the caretaker government. PRAYUT was appointed prime minister in August 2014. The interim military government created several interim institutions to promote reform and draft a new constitution, which was passed in a national referendum in August 2016. Elections are tentatively set for mid-2018. King PHUMIPHON Adunyadet passed away in October 2016 after 70 years on the throne; his only son, WACHIRALONGKON Bodinthrathepphayawarangkun, ascended the throne in December 2016. He signed the new constitution in April 2017. Thailand has also experienced violence associated with the ethno-nationalist insurgency in its southern Malay-Muslim majority provinces. Since January 2004, thousands have been killed and wounded in the insurgency.
During the late 18th and 19th centuries, Great Britain established colonies and protectorates in the area of current Malaysia; these were occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945. In 1948, the British-ruled territories on the Malay Peninsula except Singapore formed the Federation of Malaya, which became independent in 1957. Malaysia was formed in 1963 when the former British colonies of Singapore, as well as Sabah and Sarawak on the northern coast of Borneo, joined the Federation. The first several years of the country's independence were marred by a communist insurgency, Indonesian confrontation with Malaysia, Philippine claims to Sabah, and Singapore's withdrawal in 1965. During the 22-year term of Prime Minister MAHATHIR bin Mohamad (1981-2003), Malaysia was successful in diversifying its economy from dependence on exports of raw materials to the development of manufacturing, services, and tourism. Prime Minister Mohamed NAJIB bin Abdul Razak (in office since April 2009) has continued these pro-business policies.

Geography

ThailandMalaysia
LocationSoutheastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Burma
Southeastern Asia, peninsula bordering Thailand and northern one-third of the island of Borneo, bordering Indonesia, Brunei, and the South China Sea, south of Vietnam
Geographic coordinates15 00 N, 100 00 E
2 30 N, 112 30 E
Map referencesSoutheast Asia
Southeast Asia
Areatotal: 513,120 sq km
land: 510,890 sq km
water: 2,230 sq km
total: 329,847 sq km
land: 328,657 sq km
water: 1,190 sq km
Area - comparativeabout three times the size of Florida; slightly more than twice the size of Wyoming
slightly larger than New Mexico
Land boundariestotal: 5,673 km
border countries (4): Burma 2,416 km, Cambodia 817 km, Laos 1,845 km, Malaysia 595 km
total: 2,742 km
border countries (3): Brunei 266 km, Indonesia 1,881 km, Thailand 595 km
Coastline3,219 km
4,675 km (Peninsular Malaysia 2,068 km, East Malaysia 2,607 km)
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation; specified boundary in the South China Sea
Climatetropical; rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoon (mid-May to September); dry, cool northeast monsoon (November to mid-March); southern isthmus always hot and humid
tropical; annual southwest (April to October) and northeast (October to February) monsoons
Terraincentral plain; Khorat Plateau in the east; mountains elsewhere
coastal plains rising to hills and mountains
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 287 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Gulf of Thailand 0 m
highest point: Doi Inthanon 2,576 m
mean elevation: 419 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Gunung Kinabalu 4,100 m
Natural resourcestin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, tantalum, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite, fluorite, arable land
tin, petroleum, timber, copper, iron ore, natural gas, bauxite
Land useagricultural land: 41.2%
arable land 30.8%; permanent crops 8.8%; permanent pasture 1.6%
forest: 37.2%
other: 21.6% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 23.2%
arable land 2.9%; permanent crops 19.4%; permanent pasture 0.9%
forest: 62%
other: 14.8% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land64,150 sq km (2012)
3,800 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsland subsidence in Bangkok area resulting from the depletion of the water table; droughts
flooding; landslides; forest fires
Environment - current issuesair pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from organic and factory wastes; deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by illegal hunting
air pollution from industrial and vehicular emissions; water pollution from raw sewage; deforestation; smoke/haze from Indonesian forest fires
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notecontrols only land route from Asia to Malaysia and Singapore
strategic location along Strait of Malacca and southern South China Sea
Population distributionhighest population density is found in and around Bangkok; significant population clusters found througout large parts of the country, particularly east / northeast of Bankok and in the extreme southern region of the country
a highly uneven distribution with over 80% of the population residing on the Malay Peninsula

Demographics

ThailandMalaysia
Population68,200,824
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)
30,949,962 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 17.18% (male 6,000,434/female 5,714,464)
15-24 years: 14.47% (male 5,030,930/female 4,839,931)
25-54 years: 46.5% (male 15,678,250/female 16,038,155)
55-64 years: 11.64% (male 3,728,028/female 4,208,624)
65 years and over: 10.21% (male 3,047,938/female 3,914,070) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 28.16% (male 4,484,188/female 4,231,557)
15-24 years: 16.86% (male 2,647,105/female 2,571,883)
25-54 years: 41.06% (male 6,430,455/female 6,276,427)
55-64 years: 8.06% (male 1,266,415/female 1,227,690)
65 years and over: 5.86% (male 861,151/female 953,091) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 37.2 years
male: 36.2 years
female: 38.2 years (2016 est.)
total: 28.2 years
male: 28 years
female: 28.5 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate0.32% (2016 est.)
1.4% (2016 est.)
Birth rate11.1 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
19.4 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate7.9 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
5.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
-0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 9.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 10.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 12.9 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 14.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 74.7 years
male: 71.5 years
female: 78 years (2016 est.)
total population: 75 years
male: 72.2 years
female: 78 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate1.51 children born/woman (2016 est.)
2.53 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate1.12% (2015 est.)
0.4% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Thai (singular and plural)
adjective: Thai
noun: Malaysian(s)
adjective: Malaysian
Ethnic groupsThai 97.5%, Burmese 1.3%, other 1.1%, unspecified <.1% (2015 est.)
Malay 50.1%, Chinese 22.6%, indigenous 11.8%, Indian 6.7%, other 0.7%, non-citizens 8.2% (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS438,100 (2015 est.)
91,600 (2015 est.)
ReligionsBuddhist 94.6%, Muslim 4.3%, Christian 1%, other <.1%, none <.1% (2015 est.)
Muslim (official) 61.3%, Buddhist 19.8%, Christian 9.2%, Hindu 6.3%, Confucianism, Taoism, other traditional Chinese religions 1.3%, other 0.4%, none 0.8%, unspecified 1% (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths14,200 (2015 est.)
7,200 (2015 est.)
LanguagesThai (official) 90.7%, Burmese 1.3%, other 8%
note: English is a secondary language of the elite (2010 est.)
Bahasa Malaysia (official), English, Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow), Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Panjabi, Thai
note: in East Malaysia there are several indigenous languages; most widely spoken are Iban and Kadazan
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.7%
male: 96.6%
female: 96.7% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94.6%
male: 96.2%
female: 93.2% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria (2016)
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever
water contact disease: leptospirosis (2016)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 16 years (2015)
total: 13 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2015)
Education expenditures4.1% of GDP (2013)
5% of GDP (2015)
Urbanizationurban population: 50.4% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.97% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 74.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.66% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 97.6% of population
rural: 98% of population
total: 97.8% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2.4% of population
rural: 2% of population
total: 2.2% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 93% of population
total: 98.2% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 7% of population
total: 1.8% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 89.9% of population
rural: 96.1% of population
total: 93% of population
unimproved:
urban: 10.1% of population
rural: 3.9% of population
total: 7% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 96.1% of population
rural: 95.9% of population
total: 96% of population
unimproved:
urban: 3.9% of population
rural: 4.1% of population
total: 4% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationBANGKOK (capital) 9.27 million; Samut Prakan 1.814 million (2015)
KUALA LUMPUR (capital) 6.837 million; Johor Bahru 912,000 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate20 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
40 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight9.2% (2012)
12.9% (2006)
Health expenditures6.5% of GDP (2014)
4.2% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density0.39 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
1.28 physicians/1,000 population (2011)
Hospital bed density2.1 beds/1,000 population (2010)
1.9 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate9.2% (2014)
12.9% (2014)
Contraceptive prevalence rate79.3% (2012)
52.2% (2014)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 39.2
youth dependency ratio: 24.7
elderly dependency ratio: 14.6
potential support ratio: 6.9 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 43.6
youth dependency ratio: 35.2
elderly dependency ratio: 8.4
potential support ratio: 11.9 (2015 est.)

Government

ThailandMalaysia
Country name"conventional long form: Kingdom of Thailand
conventional short form: Thailand
local long form: Ratcha Anachak Thai
local short form: Prathet Thai
former: Siam
etymology: ""Land of the Tai [People]""; the meaning of ""tai"" is uncertain, but may originally have meant ""human beings,"" ""people,"" or ""free people""
"
"conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Malaysia
local long form: none
local short form: Malaysia
former: Federation of Malaya
etymology: the name means ""Land of the Malays""
"
Government typeconstitutional monarchy; note - interim military-affiliated government since May 2014
federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy
note: all Peninsular Malaysian states have hereditary rulers (commonly referred to as sultans) except Melaka (Malacca) and Pulau Pinang (Penang); those two states along with Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia have governors appointed by government; powers of state governments are limited by federal constitution; under terms of federation, Sabah and Sarawak retain certain constitutional prerogatives (e.g., right to maintain their own immigration controls)
Capitalname: Bangkok
geographic coordinates: 13 45 N, 100 31 E
time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Kuala Lumpur; note - nearby Putrajaya is referred to as a federal government administrative center but not the capital; Parliament meets in Kuala Lumpur
geographic coordinates: 3 10 N, 101 42 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions76 provinces (changwat, singular and plural) and 1 municipality* (maha nakhon); Amnat Charoen, Ang Thong, Bueng Kan, Buri Ram, Chachoengsao, Chai Nat, Chaiyaphum, Chanthaburi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Chon Buri, Chumphon, Kalasin, Kamphaeng Phet, Kanchanaburi, Khon Kaen, Krabi, Krung Thep* (Bangkok), Lampang, Lamphun, Loei, Lop Buri, Mae Hong Son, Maha Sarakham, Mukdahan, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Sawan, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nan, Narathiwat, Nong Bua Lamphu, Nong Khai, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Pattani, Phangnga, Phatthalung, Phayao, Phetchabun, Phetchaburi, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Phrae, Phuket, Prachin Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ranong, Ratchaburi, Rayong, Roi Et, Sa Kaeo, Sakon Nakhon, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Sara Buri, Satun, Sing Buri, Si Sa Ket, Songkhla, Sukhothai, Suphan Buri, Surat Thani, Surin, Tak, Trang, Trat, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Uthai Thani, Uttaradit, Yala, Yasothon
13 states (negeri-negeri, singular - negeri); Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Terengganu; and 1 federal territory (Wilayah Persekutuan) with 3 components, Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, and Putrajaya
Independence1238 (traditional founding date; never colonized)
31 August 1957 (from the UK)
National holidayBirthday of King Maha VAJIRALONGKORN, 28 July (1952)
Independence Day (or Merdeka Day), 31 August (1957) (independence of Malaya); Malaysia Day, 16 September (1963) (formation of Malaysia)
Constitutionmany previous; draft of latest completed 29 March 2016, approved by referendum 7 August 2016, signed by the king 6 April 2017; note - the final version has several changes not reflected in the one passed by referendum (2016)
previous 1948; latest drafted 21 February 1957, effective 27 August 1957; amended many times, last in 2010 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system with common law influences
mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law, and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Federal Court at request of supreme head of the federation
Suffrage18 years of age; universal and compulsory
21 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: King WACHIRALONGKON Bodinthrathepphayawarangkun (since 1 December 2016); note - King PHUMIPHON Adunyadet, also spelled BHUMIBOL Adulyadej (since 9 June 1946) died 13 October 2016
head of government: Interim Prime Minister Gen. PRAYUT Chan-ocha (since 25 August 2014); Deputy Prime Ministers PRAWIT Wongsuwan, Gen. (since 31 August 2014), THANASAK Patimaprakon, Gen. (since 31 August 2014), WISSANU Kruea-ngam (since 31 August 2014), SOMKHIT Chatusiphithak (since 20 August 2015), PRACHIN Chantong, Air Chief Mar. (since 20 August 2015), NARONG Phiphatthanasai, Adm. (since 20 August 2015)
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister, appointed by the king; a Privy Council advises the king
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; the House of Representatives approves a person for Prime Minister who must then by appointed by the King (as stated in the transitory provision of the 2017 constitution); the office of prime minister can be held for up to a total of 8 years
note: Prime Minister YINGLAK Chinnawat, also spelled YINGLUCK Shinawatra, was removed from office on 7 May 2014 after the Constitutional Court ruled she illegally transferred a government official; Thai army declared martial law on 20 May 2014 followed by a coup on 22 May 2014
chief of state: King MUHAMMAD V (formerly known as Tuanku Muhammad Faris Petra) (selected on 14 October 2016; installed on 13 December 2016); the position of the king is primarily ceremonial but he is the final arbiter on the appointment of the prime minister
head of government: Prime Minister Mohamed NAJIB bin Abdul Najib Razak (since 3 April 2009); Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad ZAHID Hamidi (since 29 July 2015)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister from among members of Parliament with the consent of the king
elections/appointments: king elected by and from the hereditary rulers of 9 states for a 5-year term; election is on a rotational basis among rulers of the 9 states; election last held on 14 October 2016 (next to be held in 2021); prime minister designated from among members of the House of Representatives; following legislative elections, the leader who commands support of the majority of members in the House becomes prime minister
election results: Mohamed NAJIB bin Abdul Najib Razak (UMNO) sworn in as prime minister for second term on 3 April 2009
Legislative branchdescription: in transition; following the May 2014 military coup, a National Legislative Assembly or Sapha Nitibanyat Haeng Chat of no more than 220 members replaced the bicameral National Assembly; expanded to 250 members in September 2016; elections for a permanent legislative body are currently unscheduled and probably will not occur until mid-2017; the 2017 constitution calls for a 250-member military-appointed Senate with 5-year terms and a 500-member elected House of Representatives with 4-year terms
elections: Senate - last held on 30 March 2014; House of Representatives - last held on 2 February 2014, but later declared invalid by the Constitutional Court
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA
description: bicameral Parliament or Parlimen consists of the Senate or Dewan Negara (70 seats; 44 members appointed by the king and 26 indirectly elected by 13 state legislatures; members serve 3-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Dewan Rakyat (222 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)
elections: House of Representatives - last held on 5 May 2013 (next to be held by May 2018)
election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party/coalition - BN 47.4%, People's Alliance (DAP, PAS, PKR) 50.9%, other 1.7%; seats by party/coalition - BN 133, People's Alliance (DAP, PAS, PKR) 89
note: seats by party/coalition as of October 2016 - BN 132, PH 72 (DAP 37, PKR 28, AMANAH 6, PPBM 1), PAS 14, WARISAN 2, PSM 1, independent 1
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice (consists of court president, 6 vice-presidents, and 60-70 judges, and organized into 10 divisions); Constitutional Court (consists of court president and 8 judges); Supreme Administrative Court (number of judges determined by Judicial Commission of the Administrative Courts)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges selected by the Judicial Commission of the Courts of Justice and approved by the monarch; judge term determined by the monarch; Constitutional Court justices - 3 judges drawn from the Supreme Court, 2 judges drawn from the Administrative Court, and 4 judge candidates selected by the Selective Committee for Judges of the Constitutional Court and confirmed by the Senate; judges appointed by the monarch to serve single 9-year terms; Supreme Administrative Court judges selected by the Judicial Commission of the Administrative Courts and appointed by the monarch; judges appointed for life
subordinate courts: courts of first instance and appeals courts within both the judicial and administrative systems; military courts
highest court(s): Federal Court (consists of the chief justice, president of the Court of Appeal, chief justice of the High Court of Malaya, chief judge of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak and 7 judges); note - Malaysia has a dual judicial hierarchy of civil and religious (sharia) courts
judge selection and term of office: Federal Court justices appointed by the monarch on advice of the prime minister; judges serve until mandatory retirement at age 65
subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; Sessions Court; Magistrates' Court
Political parties and leadersChat Patthana Party or CPN (National Development Party) [WANNARAT Channukun]
Chat Thai Phatthana Party or CTP (Thai Nation Development Party) [THEERA Wongsamut]
Mahachon Party or Mass Party [APHIRAT Sirinawin]
Matuphum Party (Motherland Party) [Gen. SONTHI Bunyaratkalin]
Phalang Chon Party (People Chonburi Power Party) [SONTHAYA Khunpluem]
Phumchai (Bhumjai) Thai Party or PJT (Thai Pride) [ANUTHIN Chanwirakun]
Prachathipat Party or DP (Democrat Party) [ABHISIT Wechachiwa, also spelled ABHISIT Vejjajiva]
Prachathipatai Mai Party (New Democracy Party) [SURATIN Phichan]
Puea Thai Party (For Thais Party) or PTP [acting leader VIROT Paoin]
Rak Prathet Thai Party (Love Thailand Party) [acting leader Surapong WETCHAKORN]
Rak Santi Party (Peace Conservation Party) [Pol. Lt. Gen. THAWIN Surachetphong]
National Front (Barisan Nasional) or BN::
Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Party or GERAKAN [MAH Siew Keong]
Liberal Democratic Party (Parti Liberal Demokratik - Sabah) or LDP [TEO Chee Kang]
Malaysian Chinese Association (Persatuan China Malaysia) or MCA [LIOW Tiong Lai]
Malaysian Indian Congress (Kongres India Malaysia) or MIC [S. SUBRAMANIAM]
Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah or PBRS [Joseph KURUP]
Parti Bersatu Sabah or PBS [Joseph PAIRIN Kitingan]
Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu or PBB [Adenan SATEM]
Parti Rakyat Sarawak or PRS [James MASING]
Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party or SPDP [TIONG King Sing]
Sarawak United People's Party (Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sarawak) or SUPP [Dr. SIM Kui Hian]
United Malays National Organization or UMNO [NAJIB bin Abdul Razak]
United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organization (Pertubuhan Pasko Momogun Kadazan Dusun Bersatu) or UPKO [Wilfred Madius TANGAU]
People's Progressive Party (Parti Progresif Penduduk Malaysia) or PPP [M. Kayveas]

Coalition of Hope (Pakatan Harapan) or PH::
Democratic Action Party (Parti Tindakan Demokratik) or DAP [TAN Kok Wai, Acting National Chairman]
National Trust Party (Parti Amanah Negara) or Amanah [Mohamad SABU]
People's Justice Party (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) or PKR [WAN AZIZAH Wan Ismail]
Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia or PPBM [MAHATHIR Mohamad]

Other::
Islamic Party of Malaysia (Parti Islam se Malaysia) or PAS [Abdul HADI Awang]
Sabah Heritage Party or WARISAN [Shafie APDAL]
Socialist Party of Malaysia (Parti Sosialis Malaysia) or PSM [Mohd Nasir HASHIM]
Political pressure groups and leadersMulticolor Group
People's Democratic Reform Committee or PDRC
Student and People Network for Thailand's Reform or STR
United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship or UDD
Bar Council
BERSIH (electoral reform coalition)
ISMA (Muslim NGO)
PERKASA (defense of Malay rights)
other: religious groups; women's groups; youth groups
International organization participationADB, APEC, ARF, ASEAN, BIMSTEC, BIS, CD, CICA, CP, EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, PIF (partner), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMOGIP, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
ADB, APEC, ARF, ASEAN, BIS, C, CICA (observer), CP, D-8, EAS, FAO, G-15, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NAM, OIC, OPCW, PCA, PIF (partner), UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador PHISAN Manawaphat (since 23 February 2015)
chancery: 1024 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 401, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 944-3600
FAX: [1] (202) 944-3611
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
chief of mission: Ambassador ZULHASNAN Rafique (since 9 January 2017)
chancery: 3516 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 572-9700
FAX: [1] (202) 572-9882
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Glyn T. DAVIES (since 27 November 2015)
embassy: 95 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330
mailing address: APO AP 96546
telephone: [66] (2) 205-4000
FAX: [66] (2) 254-2990, 205-4131
consulate(s) general: Chiang Mai
chief of mission: Ambassador Joseph Y. YUN (since 2 October 2013)
embassy: 376 Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur
mailing address: US Embassy Kuala Lumpur, APO AP 96535-8152
telephone: [60] (3) 2168-5000
FAX: [60] (3) 2142-2207
Flag descriptionfive horizontal bands of red (top), white, blue (double width), white, and red; the red color symbolizes the nation and the blood of life; white represents religion and the purity of Buddhism; blue stands for the monarchy
note: similar to the flag of Costa Rica but with the blue and red colors reversed
14 equal horizontal stripes of red (top) alternating with white (bottom); there is a dark blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a yellow crescent and a yellow 14-pointed star; the flag is often referred to as Jalur Gemilang (Stripes of Glory); the 14 stripes stand for the equal status in the federation of the 13 member states and the federal government; the 14 points on the star represent the unity between these entities; the crescent is a traditional symbol of Islam; blue symbolizes the unity of the Malay people and yellow is the royal color of Malay rulers
note: the design is based on the flag of the US
National anthem"name: ""Phleng Chat Thai"" (National Anthem of Thailand)
lyrics/music: Luang SARANUPRAPAN/Phra JENDURIYANG
note: music adopted 1932, lyrics adopted 1939; by law, people are required to stand for the national anthem at 0800 and 1800 every day; the anthem is played in schools, offices, theaters, and on television and radio during this time; ""Phleng Sanlasoen Phra Barami"" (A Salute to the Monarch) serves as the royal anthem and is played in the presence of the royal family and during certain state ceremonies
"
"name: ""Negaraku"" (My Country)
lyrics/music: collective, led by Tunku ABDUL RAHMAN/Pierre Jean DE BERANGER
note: adopted 1957; full version only performed in the presence of the king; the tune, which was adopted from a popular French melody titled ""La Rosalie,"" was originally the anthem of Perak, one of Malaysia's 13 states
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)garuda (mythical half-man, half-bird figure), elephant; national colors: red, white, blue
tiger, hibiscus; national colors: red, white, blue, yellow
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Thailand
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Malaysia
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 out 12 years preceding application

Economy

ThailandMalaysia
Economy - overviewWith a relatively well-developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, and generally pro-investment policies, Thailand is highly dependent on international trade, with exports accounting for about two-thirds of GDP. Thailand’s exports include electronics, agricultural commodities, automobiles and parts, and processed foods. The industry and service sectors produce about 90% of GDP. The agricultural sector, comprised mostly of small-scale farmers, contributes only 10% of GDP but employs about one-third of the labor force. Thailand has attracted an estimated 3.0-4.5 million migrant workers, mostly from neighboring countries.

Over the last few decades, Thailand has had strong growth and has reduced poverty substantially. In 2013, the Thai Government implemented a nationwide 300 baht (roughly $10) per day minimum wage policy and deployed new tax reforms designed to lower rates on middle-income earners.

Growth has slowed in the last few years, however, due to domestic political turmoil and sluggish global demand. Nevertheless, Thailand’s economic fundamentals are sound, with low inflation, low unemployment, and reasonable public and external debt levels. Tourism and government spending - mostly on infrastructure and short-term stimulus measures – have helped to boost the economy, and The Bank of Thailand has been supportive, with several interest rate reductions.

Over the longer-term, Thailand faces labor shortages, and domestic debt levels, political uncertainty, and an aging population pose risks to growth.
Malaysia, an upper middle-income country, has transformed itself since the 1970s from a producer of raw materials into a multi-sector economy. Under current Prime Minister NAJIB, Malaysia is attempting to achieve high-income status by 2020 and to move farther up the value-added production chain by attracting investments in high technology, knowledge-based industries and services. NAJIB's Economic Transformation Program is a series of projects and policy measures intended to accelerate the country's economic growth. The government has also taken steps to liberalize some services sub-sectors. Malaysia is vulnerable to a fall in world commodity prices or a general slowdown in global economic activity.

The NAJIB administration is continuing efforts to boost domestic demand and reduce the economy's dependence on exports. Domestic demand continues to anchor economic growth, supported mainly by private consumption, which accounts for 53% of GDP. Nevertheless, exports - particularly of electronics, oil and gas, and palm oil - remain a significant driver of the economy. In 2015, gross exports of goods and services were equivalent to 73% of GDP. The oil and gas sector supplied about 22% of government revenue in 2015, down significantly from prior years amid a decline in commodity prices and diversification of government revenues. Malaysia has embarked on a fiscal reform program with the aim of achieving a balanced budget by 2020, including rationalization of subsidies and the 2015 introduction of a 6% value added tax. Sustained low commodity prices throughout the period not only strained government finances, but also shrunk Malaysia’s current account surplus and weighed heavily on the Malaysian ringgit, which was among the region’s worst performing currencies during 2015. The ringgit rebounded in early 2016, but hit new lows following U.S. presidential elections amid a broader selloff of emerging market assets.

Bank Negara Malaysia (the central bank) maintains adequate foreign exchange reserves; a well-developed regulatory regime has limited Malaysia's exposure to riskier financial instruments, although it remains vulnerable to volatile global capital flows. In order to increase Malaysia’s competitiveness, NAJIB raised possible revisions to the special economic and social preferences accorded to ethnic Malays under the New Economic Policy of 1970, but retreated in 2013 after he encountered significant opposition from Malay nationalists and other vested interests. In September 2013 NAJIB launched the new Bumiputra Economic Empowerment Program, policies that favor and advance the economic condition of ethnic Malays.

Malaysia signed the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement in February 2016, although the future of the TPP remains unclear following the US withdrawal from the agreement. Along with nine other ASEAN members, Malaysia established the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, which aims to advance regional economic integration.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$1.161 trillion (2016 est.)
$1.125 trillion (2015 est.)
$1.093 trillion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$863 billion (2016 est.)
$828.2 billion (2015 est.)
$789 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate3.2% (2016 est.)
2.9% (2015 est.)
0.9% (2014 est.)
4.2% (2016 est.)
5% (2015 est.)
6% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$16,800 (2016 est.)
$16,300 (2015 est.)
$15,900 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$27,200 (2016 est.)
$26,600 (2015 est.)
$25,700 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 8.9%
industry: 35.9%
services: 55.3% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 8.2%
industry: 37.8%
services: 54% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line7.2% (2015 est.)
3.8% (2009 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 31.5% (2009 est.)
lowest 10%: 1.8%
highest 10%: 34.7% (2009 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)0.2% (2016 est.)
-0.9% (2015 est.)
2% (2016 est.)
2.1% (2015 est.)
note: approximately 30% of goods are price-controlled
Labor force38.45 million (2016 est.)
14.77 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 31.8%
industry: 16.7%
services: 51.5% (2015 est.)
agriculture: 11%
industry: 36%
services: 53% (2012 est.)
Unemployment rate0.9% (2016 est.)
0.9% (2015 est.)
3.3% (2016 est.)
3.2% (2015 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index44.5 (2015)
48.4 (2011)
46.2 (2009)
49.2 (1997)
Budgetrevenues: $76.69 billion
expenditures: $86.94 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $52.66 billion
expenditures: $63.01 billion (2016 est.)
Industriestourism, textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing such as jewelry and electric appliances, computers and parts, integrated circuits, furniture, plastics, automobiles and automotive parts, agricultural machinery, air conditioning and refrigeration, ceramics, aluminum, chemical, environmental management, glass, granite and marble, leather, machinery and metal work, petrochemical, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals, printing, pulp and paper, rubber, sugar, rice, fishing, cassava, world's second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer
Peninsular Malaysia - rubber and oil palm processing and manufacturing, petroleum and natural gas, light manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, medical technology, electronics and semiconductors, timber processing; Sabah - logging, petroleum and natural gas production; Sarawak - agriculture processing, petroleum and natural gas production, logging
Industrial production growth rate3.1% (2016 est.)
4.2% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsrice, cassava (manioc, tapioca), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, palm oil, pineapple, livestock, fish products
Peninsular Malaysia - palm oil, rubber, cocoa, rice; Sabah - palm oil, subsistence crops; rubber, timber; Sarawak - palm oil, rubber, timber; pepper
Exports$215.3 billion (2016 est.)
$214.4 billion (2015 est.)
$167.3 billion (2016 est.)
$175.7 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesautomobiles and parts, computer and parts, jewelry and precious stones, polymers of ethylene in primary forms, refine fuels, electronic integrated circuits, chemical products, rice, fish products, rubber products, sugar, cassava, poultry, machinery and parts, iron and steel and their products
semiconductors and electronic equipment, palm oil, petroleum and liquefied natural gas, wood and wood products, palm oil, rubber, textiles, chemicals, solar panels
Exports - partnersUS 11.2%, China 11.1%, Japan 9.4%, Hong Kong 5.5%, Malaysia 4.8%, Australia 4.6%, Vietnam 4.2%, Singapore 4.1% (2015)
Singapore 13.9%, China 13%, Japan 9.5%, US 9.4%, Thailand 5.7%, Hong Kong 4.7%, India 4.1% (2015)
Imports$194.7 billion (2016 est.)
$202.7 billion (2015 est.)
$139.5 billion (2016 est.)
$147.7 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and parts, crude oil, electrical machinery and parts, chemicals, iron & steel and product, electronic integrated circuit, automobile’s parts, jewelry including silver bars and gold, computers and parts, electrical household appliances, soybean, soybean meal, wheat, cotton, dairy products
electronics, machinery, petroleum products, plastics, vehicles, iron and steel products, chemicals
Imports - partnersChina 20.3%, Japan 15.4%, US 6.9%, Malaysia 5.9%, UAE 4% (2015)
China 18.8%, Singapore 12%, US 8.1%, Japan 7.8%, Thailand 6.1%, South Korea 4.5%, Indonesia 4.5% (2015)
Debt - external$131.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$131.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$187.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$186.5 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesbaht per US dollar -
35.4 (2016 est.)
34.248 (2015 est.)
34.248 (2014 est.)
32.48 (2013 est.)
31.08 (2012 est.)
ringgits (MYR) per US dollar -
4.079 (2016 est.)
3.91 (2015 est.)
3.91 (2014 est.)
3.27 (2013 est.)
3.09 (2012 est.)
Fiscal year1 October - 30 September
calendar year
Public debt50.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
46% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are sold at public auctions
55.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
54.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: this figure is based on the amount of federal government debt, RM501.6 billion ($167.2 billion) in 2012; this includes Malaysian Treasury bills and other government securities, as well as loans raised externally and bonds and notes issued overseas; this figure excludes debt issued by non-financial public enterprises and guaranteed by the federal government, which was an additional $47.7 billion in 2012
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$171.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$156.5 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$97.38 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$95.29 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance$46.41 billion (2016 est.)
$32.15 billion (2015 est.)
$6.067 billion (2016 est.)
$8.874 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$406.8 billion (2016 est.)
$302.7 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$197.4 billion (31 Decenber 2016 est.)
$188.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$154.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$144.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$94.37 billion (31 Decenber 2016 est.)
$75.95 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$155.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$145.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$348.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$430.4 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$354.4 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$383 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$459 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$500.4 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Central bank discount rate1.5% (31 December 2016)
1.5% (31 December 2015)
3% (31 December 2011)
2.83% (31 December 2010)
Commercial bank prime lending rate6.4% (31 December 2016 est.)
6.56% (31 December 2015 est.)
4.4% (31 December 2016 est.)
4.57% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$501.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$486.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$437.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$390.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$50.36 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$49.27 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$91.28 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$83.97 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$518.1 billion (31 Decenber 2016 est.)
$512.5 billion (31 Decenber 2015 est.)
$478.7 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$440.3 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues18.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
17.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-2.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
-3.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 3.4%
male: 2.8%
female: 4.4% (2013 est.)
total: 10.2%
male: 9.3%
female: 11.6% (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 50.9%
government consumption: 17.9%
investment in fixed capital: 24.1%
investment in inventories: -1.4%
exports of goods and services: 65.4%
imports of goods and services: -56.9% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 55.2%
government consumption: 12.9%
investment in fixed capital: 26%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 66.5%
imports of goods and services: -60.7% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving34.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
32% of GDP (2015 est.)
27.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
27.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
28.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
29.4% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

ThailandMalaysia
Electricity - production177.6 billion kWh (2014 est.)
139 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption164 billion kWh (2014 est.)
131 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports1.6 billion kWh (2014 est.)
12 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports12 billion kWh (2014 est.)
23 million kWh (2014 est.)
Oil - production248,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
654,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports897,800 bbl/day (2013 est.)
180,200 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports30,010 bbl/day (2013 est.)
299,100 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves400 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
3.6 billion bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves219.5 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
1.183 trillion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production42.15 billion cu m (2014 est.)
65.42 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption53.75 billion cu m (2014 est.)
35.18 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2013 est.)
34.87 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - imports11.6 billion cu m (2014 est.)
4.63 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity40 million kW (2014 est.)
30 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels90.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
87.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants6.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
11.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources3.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production1.273 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
544,900 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption1.231 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
745,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports241,800 bbl/day (2013 est.)
243,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports75,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)
410,200 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy301 million Mt (2013 est.)
208 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 700,000
electrification - total population: 99%
electrification - urban areas: 99.7%
electrification - rural areas: 98.3% (2013)
population without electricity: 100,000
electrification - total population: 99.5%
electrification - urban areas: 99.8%
electrification - rural areas: 98.7% (2013)

Telecommunications

ThailandMalaysia
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 5.309 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 4,394,559
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 14 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 84.797 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 125 (July 2015 est.)
total: 44.111 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 145 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: high quality system, especially in urban areas like Bangkok
domestic: fixed-line system provided by both a government-owned and commercial provider; wireless service expanding rapidly
international: country code - 66; connected to major submarine cable systems providing links throughout Asia, Australia, Middle East, Europe, and US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean, 1 Pacific Ocean) (2015)
general assessment: modern system featuring good intercity service on Peninsular Malaysia provided mainly by microwave radio relay and an adequate intercity microwave radio relay network between Sabah and Sarawak via Brunei; international service excellent
domestic: domestic satellite system with 2 earth stations; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 160 per 100 persons
international: country code - 60; landing point for several major international submarine cable networks that provide connectivity to Asia, Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean, 1 Pacific Ocean) (2015)
Internet country code.th
.my
Internet userstotal: 26.726 million
percent of population: 39.3% (July 2015 est.)
total: 21.684 million
percent of population: 71.1% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast media26 digital TV stations in Bangkok broadcast nationally, 6 terrestrial TV stations in Bangkok broadcast nationally via relay stations - 2 of the stations are owned by the military, the other 4 are government-owned or controlled, leased to private enterprise, and all are required to broadcast government-produced news programs twice a day; multi-channel satellite and cable TV subscription services are available; radio frequencies have been allotted for more than 500 government and commercial radio stations; many small community radio stations operate with low-power transmitters (2017)
state-owned TV broadcaster operates 2 TV networks with relays throughout the country, and the leading private commercial media group operates 4 TV stations with numerous relays throughout the country; satellite TV subscription service is available; state-owned radio broadcaster operates multiple national networks, as well as regional and local stations; many private commercial radio broadcasters and some subscription satellite radio services are available; about 55 radio stations overall (2012)

Transportation

ThailandMalaysia
Railwaystotal: 4,127 km
standard gauge: 84 km 1.435-m gauge (84 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 4,043 km 1.000-m gauge (2017)
total: 1,849 km
standard gauge: 59 km 1.435-m gauge (59 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,792 km 1.000-m gauge (339 km electrified) (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 180,053 km (includes 450 km of expressways) (2006)
total: 144,403 km (excludes local roads)
paved: 116,169 km (includes 1,821 km of expressways)
unpaved: 28,234 km (2010)
Waterways4,000 km (3,701 km navigable by boats with drafts up to 0.9 m) (2011)
7,200 km (Peninsular Malaysia 3,200 km; Sabah 1,500 km; Sarawak 2,500 km) (2011)
Pipelinescondensate 2 km; gas 5,900 km; liquid petroleum gas 85 km; oil 1 km; refined products 1,097 km (2013)
condensate 354 km; gas 6,439 km; liquid petroleum gas 155 km; oil 1,937 km; oil/gas/water 43 km; refined products 114 km; water 26 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Map Ta Phut, Prachuap Port, Si Racha
container port(s) (TEUs): Bangkok (1,305,229), Laem Chabang (5,731,063)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Map Ta Phut
major seaport(s): Bintulu, Johor Bahru, George Town (Penang), Port Kelang (Port Klang), Tanjung Pelepas
container port(s) (TEUs): George Town (Penang) (1,202,180), Port Kelang (Port Klang) (9,435,403), Tanjung Pelepas (7,302,461)
LNG terminal(s) (export): Bintulu (Sarawak)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Sungei Udang
Merchant marinetotal: 363
by type: bulk carrier 31, cargo 99, chemical tanker 28, container 18, liquefied gas 36, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 10, petroleum tanker 114, refrigerated cargo 24, roll on/roll off 1, vehicle carrier 1
foreign-owned: 13 (China 1, Hong Kong 1, Malaysia 3, Singapore 1, Taiwan 1, UK 6)
registered in other countries: 46 (Bahamas 4, Belize 1, Honduras 2, Panama 6, Singapore 33) (2010)
total: 315
by type: bulk carrier 11, cargo 83, carrier 2, chemical tanker 47, container 41, liquefied gas 34, passenger/cargo 4, petroleum tanker 86, roll on/roll off 2, vehicle carrier 5
foreign-owned: 26 (Denmark 1, Hong Kong 8, Japan 2, Russia 2, Singapore 13)
registered in other countries: 82 (Bahamas 13, India 1, Indonesia 1, Isle of Man 6, Malta 1, Marshall Islands 11, Panama 12, Papua New Guinea 1, Philippines 1, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Singapore 27, Thailand 3, US 2, unknown 2) (2010)
Airports101 (2013)
114 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 63
over 3,047 m: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 12
1,524 to 2,437 m: 23
914 to 1,523 m: 14
under 914 m: 6 (2013)
total: 39
over 3,047 m: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 8
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 8
under 914 m: 8 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 38
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 26 (2013)
total: 75
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 69 (2013)
Heliports7 (2013)
4 (2013)

Military

ThailandMalaysia
Military branchesRoyal Thai Armed Forces (Kongthap Thai, RTARF): Royal Thai Army (Kongthap Bok Thai, RTA), Royal Thai Navy (Kongthap Ruea Thai, RTN, includes Royal Thai Marine Corps), Royal Thai Air Force (Kongthap Agard Thai, RTAF) (2017)
Malaysian Armed Forces (Angkatan Tentera Malaysia, ATM): Malaysian Army (Tentera Darat Malaysia), Royal Malaysian Navy (Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia, TLDM), Royal Malaysian Air Force (Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia, TUDM) (2013)
Military service age and obligation21 years of age for compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary military service; males register at 18 years of age; 2-year conscript service obligation (2012)
17 years 6 months of age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent and proof of age); mandatory retirement age 60; women serve in the Malaysian Armed Forces; no conscription (2013)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP1.45% of GDP (2015)
1.42% of GDP (2014)
1.41% of GDP (2013)
1.38% of GDP (2012)
1.49% of GDP (2011)
1.54% of GDP (2015)
1.46% of GDP (2014)
1.52% of GDP (2013)
1.43% of GDP (2012)
1.57% of GDP (2011)

Transnational Issues

ThailandMalaysia
Disputes - internationalseparatist violence in Thailand's predominantly Malay-Muslim southern provinces prompt border closures and controls with Malaysia to stem insurgent activities; Southeast Asian states have enhanced border surveillance to check the spread of avian flu; talks continue on completion of demarcation with Laos but disputes remain over several islands in the Mekong River; despite continuing border committee talks, Thailand must deal with Karen and other ethnic rebels, refugees, and illegal cross-border activities; Cambodia and Thailand dispute sections of boundary; in 2011, Thailand and Cambodia resorted to arms in the dispute over the location of the boundary on the precipice surmounted by Preah Vihear temple ruins, awarded to Cambodia by ICJ decision in 1962 and part of a planned UN World Heritage site; Thailand is studying the feasibility of jointly constructing the Hatgyi Dam on the Salween river near the border with Burma; in 2004, international environmentalist pressure prompted China to halt construction of 13 dams on the Salween River that flows through China, Burma, and Thailand; approximately 105,000 mostly Karen refugees fleeing civil strife, political upheaval and economic stagnation in Burma live in remote camps in Thailand near the border
"while the 2002 ""Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea"" has eased tensions over the Spratly Islands, it is not the legally binding ""code of conduct"" sought by some parties; Malaysia was not party to the March 2005 joint accord among the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam on conducting marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands; disputes continue over deliveries of fresh water to Singapore, Singapore's land reclamation, bridge construction, and maritime boundaries in the Johor and Singapore Straits; in 2008, ICJ awarded sovereignty of Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh/Horsburgh Island) to Singapore, and Middle Rocks to Malaysia, but did not rule on maritime regimes, boundaries, or disposition of South Ledge; land and maritime negotiations with Indonesia are ongoing, and disputed areas include the controversial Tanjung Datu and Camar Wulan border area in Borneo and the maritime boundary in the Ambalat oil block in the Celebes Sea; separatist violence in Thailand's predominantly Muslim southern provinces prompts measures to close and monitor border with Malaysia to stem terrorist activities; Philippines retains a dormant claim to Malaysia's Sabah State in northern Borneo; per Letters of Exchange signed in 2009, Malaysia in 2010 ceded two hydrocarbon concession blocks to Brunei in exchange for Brunei's sultan dropping claims to the Limbang corridor, which divides Brunei; piracy remains a problem in the Malacca Strait
"
Illicit drugsa minor producer of opium, heroin, and marijuana; transit point for illicit heroin en route to the international drug market from Burma and Laos; eradication efforts have reduced the area of cannabis cultivation and shifted some production to neighboring countries; opium poppy cultivation has been reduced by eradication efforts; also a drug money-laundering center; minor role in methamphetamine production for regional consumption; major consumer of methamphetamine since the 1990s despite a series of government crackdowns
drug trafficking prosecuted vigorously, including enforcement of the death penalty; heroin still primary drug of abuse, but synthetic drug demand remains strong; continued ecstasy and methamphetamine producer for domestic users and, to a lesser extent, the regional drug market
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 102,633 (Burma) (2016)
IDPs: 35,000 (resurgence in ethno-nationalist violence in south of country since 2004) (2016)
stateless persons: 487,741 (2016); note - about half of Thailand's northern hill tribe people do not have citizenship and make up the bulk of Thailand's stateless population; most lack documentation showing they or one of their parents were born in Thailand; children born to Burmese refugees are not eligible for Burmese or Thai citizenship and are stateless; most Chao Lay, maritime nomadic peoples, who travel from island to island in the Andaman Sea west of Thailand are also stateless; stateless Rohingya refugees from Burma are considered illegal migrants by Thai authorities and are detained in inhumane conditions or expelled; stateless persons are denied access to voting, property, education, employment, healthcare, and driving
note: Thai nationality was granted to more than 18,000 stateless persons in the last 3 years (2015)
"refugees (country of origin): 87,036 (Burma) (2016)
stateless persons: 10,931 (2016); note - Malaysia's stateless population consists of Rohingya refugees from Burma, ethnic Indians, and the children of Filipino and Indonesian illegal migrants; Burma stripped the Rohingya of their nationality in 1982; Filipino and Indonesian children who have not have been registered for birth certificates by their parents or who received birth certificates stamped ""foreigner"" are not eligible to attend government schools; these children are vulnerable to statelessness should they not be able to apply to their parents' country of origin for passports
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Trafficking in personscurrent situation: Thailand is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; victims from Burma, Cambodia, Laos, China, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, and India, migrate to Thailand in search of jobs but are forced, coerced, or defrauded into labor in commercial fishing, fishing-related industries, factories, domestic work, street begging, or the sex trade; some Thai, Burmese, Cambodian, and Indonesian men forced to work on fishing boats are kept at sea for years; sex trafficking of adults and children from Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Burma remains a significant problem; Thailand is a transit country for victims from China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Burma subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Russia, South Korea, the US, and countries in Western Europe; Thai victims are also trafficked in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Thailand does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, authorities investigated, prosecuted, and convicted fewer traffickers and identified fewer victims; some cases of official complicity were investigated and prosecuted, but trafficking-related corruption continues to hinder progress in combatting trafficking; authorities’ efforts to screen for victims among vulnerable populations remained inadequate due to a poor understanding of trafficking indicators, a failure to recognize non-physical forms of coercion, and a shortage of language interpreters; the government passed new labor laws increasing the minimum age in the fishing industry to 18 years old, guaranteeing the minimum wage, and requiring work contracts, but weak law enforcement and poor coordination among regulatory agencies enabled exploitive labor practices to continue; the government increased efforts to raise public awareness to the dangers of human trafficking and to deny entry to foreign sex tourists (2015)
current situation: Malaysia is a destination and, to a lesser extent, a source and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and women and children subjected to sex trafficking; Malaysia is mainly a destination country for foreign workers who migrate willingly from countries, including Indonesia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Nepal, Burma, and other Southeast Asian countries, but subsequently encounter forced labor or debt bondage in agriculture, construction, factories, and domestic service at the hands of employers, employment agents, and labor recruiters; women from Southeast Asia and, to a much lesser extent, Africa, are recruited for legal work in restaurants, hotels, and salons but are forced into prostitution; refugees, including Rohingya adults and children, are not legally permitted to work and are vulnerable to trafficking; a small number of Malaysians are trafficked internally and subjected to sex trafficking abroad
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch list - Malaysia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, amendments to strengthen existing anti-trafficking laws, including enabling victims to move freely and to work and for NGOs to run protective facilities, were drafted by the government and are pending approval from Parliament; authorities more than doubled investigations and prosecutions but convicted only three traffickers for forced labor and none for sex trafficking, a decline from 2013 and a disproportionately small number compared to the scale of the country’s trafficking problem; NGOs provided the majority of victim rehabilitation and counseling services with no financial support from the government (2015)

Source: CIA Factbook