10 Things You Might Not Know About MALAYSIA

1. Standardisation of time between Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah & Sarawak – Malaysia declared that people in West Malaysia would move their clocks ahead by 30 minutes to match the time in use in East Malaysia on 31 December 1981 (at 2330 hours local time of 31 December 1981, the people in Peninsular Malaysia adjusted their clocks and watches ahead by 30 minutes to become 00:00 hours local time).

2. Before the launching of Proton Saga in 1985, a contest was held to choose the name of the first national car. When the winner of the contest, Ismail Jaafar, a retired military soldier, was asked why he chose this particular name, he replied it was because “saga” (Abrus precatorius) is a type of soft, fragile but productive seed commonly found in Malaysia. Hmm…soft and fragile! How true!

3. The next election can be held as late as the last part of June 2013 because a general election need not be held immediately once Parliament is dissolved by virtue of Article 55(4) of the Constitution which permits a delay of 60 days from the date of dissolution. However, the timing is not for the PM to determine. The determination of the nomination date, the date of polling and the campaign period lies with the Election Commission, which is bound to act with independence and impartiality.

4. Najib & Rosmah’s marriage is a second one for both of them.

5. Men’s doubles shuttler Tan Boon Heong holds the world record of the fastest smash at 421km/h (261.6mph) using “Yonex Arcsaber Z-slash’. This record was created in Tokyo, Japan on Sept 26, 2009.

6. Malaysia holds the world record for the longest known abbreviation: S.K.O.M.K.H.P.K.J.C.D.P.W.B. , which is the acronym for Syarikat Kerjasama Orang- Orang Melayu Kerajaan Hilir Perak Kerana Jimat Cermat Dan Pinjam-Meminjam Wang Berhad. The shorter version of this abbreaviation reads S.K.O.M.K.

7. The Lubang Nasib Bagus Chamber in Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, is the largest in the world at 700m long, 70m high and an average width of 300m. It is big enough to accommodate 40 Boeing 747s.

8. Bestari Jaya is a town in Kuala Selangor district which was formerly known as Batang Berjuntai. In 2007, the name Batang Berjuntai, which means a dangling branch in Malay, was renamed ‘Bestari Jaya’ as the former has connotations of the male reproductive organ.

9. The word ringgit means “jagged” in Malay and was originally used to refer to the serrated edges of silver Spanish dollars which circulated widely in the area during the 16th and 17th century Portuguese colonial era.

10. In 2002, a Toyota advertisement featuring Brad Pitt was banned in Malaysia because it is “an insult to Asians”. In an official sanction, the Malaysian government ordered the ads to be pulled because the sight of non-Asian faces such as the actor’s would “plant a sense of inferiority among Asians”, according to the county’s Deputy Information Minister at that time, Zainuddin Maidin.

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