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  • The red Hibiscus is the national flower of Malaysia.

    There are two parts to Malaysia: the mainland Asia peninsular part with the national capital, Kuala Lumpur, and including the island Pulau Pinang (Penang Island, or Areca Nut Island) and other beautiful tropical islands such as Pulau Tioman - and the Borneo Island part comprising the states of Sabah and Sarawak. (Kalimantan which is Indonesian, and Brunei are the two others on Borneo Island.) The two parts were former British settlements.

    The Malay Peninsula, in ancient history, the Golden Chersonese ('chersonese' meaning peninsula), became independent through efforts locally led by Tunku Abdul Rahman. On August 31, 1957, Malaya celebrated the first Merdeka Day or Independence Day. (Malaya in Sanskrit means ‘mountain.’ It is also said to mean ‘sandalwood trees.’ The word Malay is said to translate to ‘soft-spoken.’)

    British North Borneo, which became known as Sabah, and Sarawak which used to be ruled by the British Rajah James Brooke, joined Malaya to form the new nation of the Commonwealth, Malaysia, on September 16, 1963. Malaysia Day is celebrated annually on September 16 in commemoration.

    The Island of Singapore, led by Lee Kuan Yew, eventually withdrew from Malaysia but maintained common interests such as a regional airline, Malaysia-Singapore Airlines, MSA. As business burgeoned, the airline became two separate national airlines, respectively, Singapore Airlines, and Malaysian Airline System (MAS which in Malay translates to ‘gold’).

    Brunei remained a British protectorate until recent years when it formed the independent country of Brunei Darussalam (Brunei, Abode of Peace).

    HRH Duchess Kate, Spouse of HRH Prince William, made her first official speech abroad in the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, during the Royal Couple’s Asia Pacific Tour of the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were royally welcomed by His Majesty The Agung, the reigning Sultan of Malaysia, Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, at his palace, the opulent Istana. In the state dinner of 400 guests for the Royal guests-of-honour, Prince William in a dinner suit of blue was complemented by his Duchess in an evening gown embroidered with golden hibiscus, gold or yellow being the colour of royalty.
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