Malaysia is located in Southeast Asia and is made up of 13 states and 3 federal territories divided between Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. Kuala Lumpur is the national capital and largest city while Putrajaya is home to the federal government.
The country is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural. Malaysians can be roughly divided into four groups: the Malays, the Indigenous, the Chinese, and the South Asians. There are also small numbers of Europeans, Americans, Eurasians, Arabs, and Thai. Islam is the country's official religion, and is practiced by about three-fifths of the population, however the constitution grants freedom of religion to all.
Found artifacts show the region was inhabited by Homo sapiens about 40,000 years ago. From the 16th to18th centuries European powers such as the Portuguese, Dutch, and British came to dominate the different parts of the country. In 1957 Malaysia gained its independence from the Brits and became a country in 1963.