The Malay Archipelago is not only by far the largest group of islands in the world, but it is also from the standpoint of its vegetation one of the very richest regions on the globe. In this paper the term Malaysia is used to cover not only the Sunda Islands that form the center of the Netherlands East Indies—Sumatra, Java, and Borneo—but also the Malay Peninsula, in itself almost an island and biologically a part of the region, the Philippine Islands to the northeast, the Lesser Sunda Islands, Celebes, the Moluccas, and New Guinea. From northern Sumatra to eastern New Guinea the distance is approximately 3,000 miles and the land area of the region designated herein as Malaysia is somewhat in excess of 1,200,000 square miles.

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