Malay Peninsula

views updated Jun 11 2018

Malay Peninsula Promontory of se Asia, stretching for c.1100km (700mi) between the Strait of Malacca and the South China Sea. The n part of the Peninsula is now s Thailand and the s part is Malaya (w Malaysia): Singapore lies off its s tip. A mountain range forms the backbone of the Peninsula, rising to 2190m (7186ft) at Mount Gunong Tahang. Most of the vegetation is dense tropical rainforest. Malay Peninsula is one of the world's largest producers of tin and rubber. Today, it is populated equally by Malays and Chinese. The Buddhist Sailendra dynasty from Sumatra controlled the region almost continuously from the 8th to the 13th century. In the 15th century, the Malaccan Empire held sway. For the next three centuries, the region came under the control of various European imperial powers. In 1909, Britain assumed control of a majority of the states and reached a border agreement with Siam (Thailand). Area: c.180,000sq km (70,000sq mi).