This term was applied to describe the strong current of the river Melayu in Sumatra.Following the expedition of French navigator Jules Dumont d'Urville to Oceania in 1826, he later proposed the terms of "Malaysia", "Micronesia" and "Melanesia" to the Société de Géographie in 1831, distinguishing these Pacific cultures and island groups from the existing term "Polynesia".Malaysia's unprecedented and recent rapid development has attracted millions of migrant workers from across Asia in the recent years.
About half the population is ethnically Malay, with large minorities of Malaysian Chinese which also form the second largest community of Overseas Chinese in the world, Malaysian Indians, and indigenous peoples.
The territories on Peninsular Malaysia were first unified as the Malayan Union in 1946.
Malaya was restructured as the Federation of Malaya in 1948, and achieved independence on 31 August 1957.
The head of state is the king, known as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
He is an elected monarch chosen from the hereditary rulers of the nine Malay states every five years. The country official language is Bahasa Melayu or commonly known as Malay language. English proficiency in Malaysia has been highly ranked as the second best in Asia after Singapore and 13th best in the world as of 2017.