The highest mountain is believed to be Gunong Tahan, which forms part of an isolated range on the eastern side, between Pahang and Kelantan, and is estimated at about 8000 ft.
On the east coast the principal streams are the Petani, Telubin, Kelantan, Besut, Trengganu, Dungun, Kmamun, Kuantan, Pahang, Rompin, Endau and Sedeli, all guarded by difficult bars at their mouths, and dangerous during the continuance of the north-east monsoon.
The deepest rivers are the Kuantan and Rompin; the largest are the Kelantan and the Pahang, both of which are navigable for native boats for a distance of over 250 m.
Magnificent caves are found on both slopes of the peninsula, those at Batu in Selangor being the finest on the west coast, while those of Chadu and Koto Glanggi in Pahang are the most extensive yet visited by Europeans on the east coast.
Only two tin lodes are worked, however, and both are situated on the east coast, the one at Kuantan in Pahang, the other at Bandi in Trengganu territory.
Gold is worked with success in Pahang, and has been exploited from time immemorial by the natives of that state and of Kelantan.
Politically the Malay Peninsula is divided into four sections: the colony of the Straits Settlements and the Federated Malay States; the independent Malay State of Johor, which is within the British sphere of influence; the non-federated states under British protection; and the groups of states to the north of Perak and Pahang which are now recognized as lying within the sphere of influence of Siam.
The Federated Malay States under British protection consist of the sultanates of Perak, Selangor and the Negri Sambilan on the west coast, and the sultanate of Pahang on the east coast.
The Sakai still inhabit in greatest numbers the country which forms the interior of Pahang, the Plus and Kinta districts of Perak, and the valley of Nenggiri in Kelantan.
In 1874 the Malay state of Perak was placed under British protection by a treaty entered into with its sultan; and this eventually led to the inclusion in a British protectorate of the neighbouring Malay States of Selangor, Sungei Ujong, the cluster of small states called the Negri Sembilan and Pahang, which now form the Federated Malay States.
It attained its climax of power in the time of Sultan Iskandar Muda (1607-1636), under whom the subject coast extended from Aru opposite Malacca round by the north to Benkulen on the west coast, a sea-board of not less than 110o miles; and besides this, the king's supremacy was owned by the large island of Nias, and by the continental Malay states of Johor, Pahang, Kedah and Perak.
The best silks are produced by the natives of Pahang, Kelantan and Johor in the Malay Peninsula.