Use Information

Country :

The Federation of Malaysia comprises Peninsular Malaysia and the states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo.

Geographical Location :

Located between 2 and 7 degrees north of the Equator, Peninsular Malaysia is separated from the states of Sabah and Sarawak by the South China Sea. To the north of Peninsular Malaysia is Thailand while its southern neighbour is Singapore. Sabah and Sarawak are bounded by Indonesia white Sarawak also shares a border with Brunei.

Area : 329,758 sq km.
Population : 22.7 million.
Capital : Kuala Lumpur.
People :

Malays who make up about 57% of the population are the predominant group with Chinese, Indians and other ethnic groups making up the rest.

Language :

Bahasa Melayu (Malay) is the national language but English is widely spoken. The ethnic groups also speak various languages and dialects.

Religion : Islam is the official religion but all other religions are practised freely.
Government :

Parliamentary democracy with a bicameral legislative system. The Head of State is the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong and the Head of Government is the Prime Minister.

Climate :

Tropical climate with warm weather all year round. Temperatures range from 21C to 32C. Annual rainfall varies from 2000mm to 2500mm.

What to wear :

As Malaysia's climate is sunny almost year round, light clothing is ideal. It is advisable for ladies, when entering mosques and temples, to wear long sleeves and loose pants or long skirts.

Major Holidays :

New Year's Day (January I)* Hari Raya Aidil Fitri (December)* Chinese New Year (January/ February) * Federal Territory Day (February 1)** Labour Day (May I )* Wesak Day (May)* King's Birthday (June) National Day (August 31)* Deepavali (October or November)# Christmas* (December 25)*.
Note: (* )- National holidays (* *) KL & Labuan only s (#) - Except Sarawak & Labuan

Economic Profile :

Manufacturing constitutes the largest single component of Malaysia's economy. Tourism and primary commodities such as petroleum, palm oil, natural rubber and timber are major contributors to its economy.

Currency :

The unit of currency is the Malaysian Ringgit indicated as RM.The Malaysian Ringgit (RM), the standard unit is worth 100 sen (cents). Currency notes are in denominations of RM1, RM2, RM5, RM10, RM20, RM50,and RM100, while the denomination of RM500 and RM1000 is no longer be valid tender. Coins are in denominations of 1 sen, 10 sen, 20 sen, 50sen and RM1.

Foreign currencies can be converted at banks and money changers. All travellers, both residents and non-residents, are required to complete the Traveller's Declaration Form (TDF). The revised TDF has two separate sections and columns for residents and non-residents to declare their currencies, the blue section for residents and the white section for non-residents,

Residents are only required to declare in detail the exact amount of ringgit carried when they enter or leave the country only if the amount is in excess of RM 1,000. They are also required to declare in detail the exact amount in foreign currency, including traveller's cheques carried, when they leave the country only if the amount exceeds the equivalent of RM I0,000. Nonresidents are required to declare the exact amount of foreign currency carried when they enter or leave the country only if the amount exceeds the equivalent of 

Business Hours


Government offices
8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and
2 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday to Thursday.
8 a.m. to 12 noon and
2:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Friday
8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Saturday.
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.

Commercial firms in Kuala Lumpur
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.
(In the states of Kelantan and Kedah, Thursdays is a half working day and Friday is a holiday. Saturday and Sunday are full working days. In the state of Terengganu Friday is a half working day and Saturday is a holiday. Sunday is a full working day.)

Banking Hours


Most states: Mon-Fri: 9.30am4.00pm Sat: 9.30am-11.30am Sun: closed Kedah, Kelantan & Terengganu: Sat-Wed: 9.30am-4.00pm Thur: 9.30am 1 1.30am Fri: closed.

Credit Card :

Most established accept credit cards. Commonly accepted credit card are American Express, Barclays, Visa, Diners Club and Master Card.

Post Offices :

Open from 8.00am to 5.00pm daily except Sundays and public holidays. In Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu post offices are closed on Fridays and public holidays. Post offices within the city offer stamps, aerogramme and postcards for sale and will attend to all your postal requirements. Aerogramme cost 50 sen to all countries

Police Assistance


If you face any problems during your visit, contact the nearest Police Station or lodge a report at any one of the numerous 'Pondok Polis' (Mini Police Stations) in the city. You may also enlist the help of the Kuala Lumpur Tourist Police, a unit specifically assigned to assist foreign visitors, at Tel: 03-241 5522/5243.

Water :

It is generally safe to drink water straight from the tap. Bottled mineral water, however, is easily available in shops and supermarkets.

Newspapers :

English Language newspapers are available i.e. The New Straits Times, The Sun, The Star, Business Times, Malay Mail, Daily Express, Sabah Daily News and Sarawak Tribune, International newspapers can be obtained at most bookshops and news stands. Several dailies in other languages include Utusan Melayu, Berita Harian, Nanyang Siang Pau, Sin Chew Jit Poh and Tamil Nesan. There are also weeklies such as the Leader and Straits Shipper.

Radio : Radio services are in Bahasa Melayu, English, Chinese and Tamil.
Television :

There are 5 television stations with TVI and TV2 being government networks while the other three are privately run.

Time : Eight hours ahead of GMT and 16 hours ahead of U.S. Pacific Standard Time.
Electricity : Voltage is 220 - 240 volts A C at 50 cycles per second.
Weights and Measures : Malaysia follows the metric system in weights and measures.
Telecommunications :

Local calls can be made from public phones using coins or pre-paid cards, International calls can be made from public phones with card phone facilities or at any Telekom offices. IDD or trunk calls may be dialed direct using area codes or assisted by the operator.
Operator : 102
Telephone Assisted Trunk Calls : 101
Enquiries : 102
Directory : 103
Telegram Service : 104
International Service : 108
Time Check : 1051

Cinemas :

If you're more inclined to watching movies, make a beeline for cinemas which feature a variety of local Malay, Indonesian, Hindi, Chinese and Western movies. Kuala Lumpur cinema screens like TGV and GSC feature some of the best state-of-the-art equipment. Please refer to the newspaper for information on daily screenings.

Tipping :

Tipping is not a way of life in Malaysia (unless the service rendered is exceptionally good). Most hotels and large restaurants automatically add a 10% service charge in addition to the 5% government tax to the bill. Taxi drivers are not tipped.

Do's & Don'ts :

When visiting Malaysia, the visitor should observe local customs and practices. Some common courtesies and customs are as follows :
- Although handshakes generally suffice for both men and women, some Muslim ladies may acknowledge an introduction to a gentleman with a nod of her head and smile. A handshake is only to be reciprocated if the lady offers her hand first. The traditional greeting or "salam" resembles a handshake with both hands but without the grasp. The man offers both hands, lightly touches his friend's outstretched hands, then brings his hands to his chest to mean, "I greet you from my heart". The visitor should reciprocate the "salam".
- It is polite to call before visiting a home.
- Shoes must always be removed when entering a Malaysian home.
- Drinks are generally offered to guests. It would be polite to accept.
- The right hand is always used when eating with one's hand or when giving and receiving objects.
- The right forefinger is not used to point at places, objects or persons Instead, the thumb of the right hand with
the four fingers, folded under is the preferred usage.
Shoes must be removed when entering places of worship such as mosques and temples. Some mosques provide robes and scarves for female visitors. Taking photographs at places of worship is usually permitted but always ask permission first.
- Toasting is not a common practice in Malaysia. The country's large Muslim population does not drink alcohol.

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  Information provided by Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board.


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