During the late 18th and 19th centuries, Great Britain established colonies and protectorates in the area of current Malaysia; these were occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945. In 1948, the British-ruled territories on the Malay Peninsula except Singapore formed the Federation of Malaya, which became independent in 1957. Malaysia was formed in 1963 when the former British colonies of Singapore, as well as Sabah and Sarawak on the northern coast of Borneo, joined the Federation. The first several years of the country’s independence were marred by a Communist insurgency, Indonesian confrontation with Malaysia, Philippine claims to Sabah, and Singapore’s departure in 1965. During the 22-year term of Prime Minister MAHATHIR bin Mohamad (1981-2003), Malaysia was successful in diversifying its economy from dependence on exports of raw materials to the development of manufacturing, services, and tourism. Prime Minister Mohamed NAJIB bin Abdul Razak (in office since April 2009) has continued these pro-business policies. And although he has introduced some civil reforms, corruption and ruling party BN-UMNO manipulation of the police, media, and judiciary has lead to a sharp and vocal increase in public challenges to their 56 years of political and economic control of the federal government. -CIA World Factbook and The Economist
The Petronas Towers were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004, however they remain the tallest twin towers to date at 1,483 feet. It took 12 months and tons of concrete to lay the world’s deepest foundation of 120-meters (393 feet). It has 88 floors and cost $1.6 billion to build.