- +15% Global trade power
- +10% Morale of armies
- +20 Global settler increase
- +25% Galley combat ability
- +15% Trade efficiency
- +15% Morale of navies
- +1 Naval combat bonus off owned coast
- +1 Merchant
- +20% Ship tradepower propagation
- +25% Trade steering
- +10% Goods produced modifier
- +10% Ship durability
Malaya does not exist. The country:
If the country is AI-controlled, then it:
To form Malaya, the player's nation must belong to the Malay culture group and the player must own all the provinces in any two of the following regions: Borneo, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra. Unlike many formable nations, it doesn't require Administrative technology 10. The provinces of Banten, Demak, Kalapa and Pakuan on the island of Java are also required. At the start of the game Brunei, Kutai, Sunda, Majapahit, Pasai, Pagarruyung, Siak, Palembang and Malacca all own parts of this territory and therefore have a head start on forming Malaya. Of these, Malacca is a good choice as it starts out owning a large part of the Malay Peninsula and has easy access to Sumatra and easy early conquests in Kedah and Pattani. Alternatively Majapahit is also a good choice as they start out with a significant amount of territory, easy to conquer neighbors of the same religion ( Sunda, Kutai), easier access to Borneo and the Philippines, and lots of control over their respective trade node. The latter option, however, comes with a great burden in the form of Majapahit's new signature disaster, The Fall of Majapahit, to be added in 1.31, which will make any Majapahit campaign all the more challenging.
While the player must still own Banten, Demak, Kalapa and Pakuan in addition to all the provinces in 2 of the following regions: Borneo, Malay Peninsula, and Sumatra; the player could begin in the Philippines and build a good trade-based economy that, while it would take longer to form Malaya (as the player begins in a region not required to form Malaya), could be coupled with the Philippine Tiger achievement as Cebu. Starting as a nation in the Philippines, depending on the player, could be perceived as harder or easier taking into account that Cebu starts as a Hindu nation (this being dependent on whether or not the player has the Wealth of Nations DLC, which provides powerful deities), as opposed to the majority of the powerhouses of the region, the Sunni countries of Brunei, Pasai, and Malacca. However, there is also one Hindu powerhouse of the region as well, Majapahit, who could prove to be an valuable ally, or another rival to conquer. If the player doesn't have the Wealth of Nations DLC then they might see it as more viable to convert Sikh, which gives powerful military bonuses and some arguably decent events. Should the player so choose to play as Cebu, Kutai could make a very useful ally during the conquest of the Philippines, and perhaps against Brunei as well.
Since Borneo and Sumatra both start the game with some uncolonized provinces the player will need to do some colonization to form Malaya. This makes continuing into a colonization-heavy strategy a natural choice afterwards. Note that although several of Malaya's potential starting nations (Malacca, Brunei, Kedah, and Ligor) get a colonist as one of their national ideas, it is their last (seventh) idea so it would be quicker to acquire Exploration Ideas to get started sooner. Note that the colonies in Sumatra or Borneo do not need to be finished to take the formation decision.
The best direction for exploration after forming Malaya is west into Africa. The quickest way of gaining land in Africa without the help of other countries is to colonize Cocos Island (which is in the sea space south of the Cocos Island sea space), Diego Garcia, and either Mauritius or Bourbon. From there, Africa proper can be colonized directly via Madagascar. Alternatively, Malaya can gain land in Africa by landing a conquistador, e.g., by invading Kilwa and its vassal Sofala. Furthermore, a conquistador can be ferried around the Cape of Good Hope and conquer Kongo.
There are few things to watch out for. Provinces cannot be cored unless they are within colonial range. Annexing Mutapa may thus be tricky unless an adjacent colony is conquered first. At least one friendly port in Africa is required to reliably send transports around the Cape of Good Hope. This will entail either fleet basing rights from Kilwa or Sofala, or a cored coastal province somewhere on the east coast of Africa.
Distances are much further in the Pacific Ocean than the Indian or Atlantic Ocean, and there are no countries to get fleet basing rights from. Therefore, the fastest way to the Americas is actually via Africa. This also allows an earlier meeting of Western powers and thus faster institution spread. Once Kongo is conquered, fleet basing rights from them and Mali will allow reaching the east coast of South America even with only level 3 Diplomatic Technology, provided Western colonies have not already blocked off the coast there.
If Malaya must go the Pacific route, the far north (via Kamchatka and Alaska) requires less colonial range than the southern Pacific route, but is further from the New World nations. This meshes well with colonizing in Asia too.
Even if focusing on colonization early, conquering the Malay Archipelago can be done while waiting to unlock Exploration Ideas. Ayutthaya is the predominant power in Southeast Asia at the start of the game. It can therefore be risky to conquer Malacca too early. The Indian subcontinent is less predictable than East Asia. It is usually not as attractive a target for conquest as East Asia since you can not divert indian trade into malacca. But it should be noted that taking the bengal node reduces the amount of money leaving it.