Ships Passing. Straights of Malacca.
       
     
Coastline. Straits of Malacca, Malaysia.
       
     
Westport. Port Klang, Selangor, Malaysia.
       
     
Sime Darby palm oil plantation. Carey Island, Selangor, Malaysia.
       
     
Ships Passing. Straights of Malacca.
       
     
Ships Passing. Straights of Malacca.

The Straits of Malacca is a narrow, 805 km stretch of water between Peninsular Malaysia and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. From an economic perspective, it is one of the most important shipping lanes in the world. Historically, this strategic position brought trade and foreign influences that fundamentally determined Malaysia’s history. The strait is the main shipping channel between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, linking major Asian economies such as India, China, Japan and South Korea. One-quarter of the world's traded goods including oil, are shipped through these waters.
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Coastline. Straits of Malacca, Malaysia.
       
     
Coastline. Straits of Malacca, Malaysia.

Malaysia’s ethnic and cultural makeup is largely due to several centuries of migration resulting from its uniquely important position as a maritime trading hub. Hindu and Buddhist cultures imported from India dominated early Malaysian history for centuries. Although Muslims passed through Malaysia as early as the 10th century, it was not until the 14th and 15th centuries that Islam first established itself on the Malay Peninsula. The adoption of Islam by the 15th century saw the rise of a number of sultanates. Trade with China and India during this period saw the first Chinese and Indians settling and adopting aspects of the Malay culture into their own. The descendants of these early ancestors are today's Baba-Nyonya and Chetti community.The Portuguese were the first European colonial powers to establish themselves in Malaysia in 1511, followed by the Dutch. However, it was the British who ultimately secured their hegemony across the territory. The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 defined the boundaries between British Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies which then became Indonesia. A fourth phase of influence was the immigration of Chinese and Indian workers to meet the needs of the colonial economy created by the British in the Malay Peninsula and Borneo.
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Westport. Port Klang, Selangor, Malaysia.
       
     
Westport. Port Klang, Selangor, Malaysia.

Port Klang is the main gateway by sea into Malaysia. Colonially known as Port Swettenham, it is the largest port in the country. It is located about 6 kilometers southwest of the town of Klang, and 38 kilometers southwest of Kuala Lumpur.
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Sime Darby palm oil plantation. Carey Island, Selangor, Malaysia.
       
     
Sime Darby palm oil plantation. Carey Island, Selangor, Malaysia.

Today, Sime Darby is one of the largest palm oil producers in the world, producing about 6% of global supply. The company has a total planted area over 500,000 hectares and a land bank over 900,000 hectares. About two-thirds of Sime Darby's palm oil production comes from Malaysia, and one-third from Indonesia. Since 1960, palm oil plantations have increased at a rapid pace and palm oil has become the most important commodity crop in Malaysia. In 2011, the total planted area was 4.9 million hectares. Malaysia is the world’s second largest producer of palm oil.
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