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Facts Map
20 million
Bahasa Malay, English, Chinese, Tamil
 Country Code
AREA: Kuala Lumpur(3)
Ringgit Malaysia
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Hot Tropical Climate
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               Malaysia, constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia on the South China Sea. Malaysia is divided into two regions, known as West Malaysia and East Malaysia. Malaysia is a federation of 13 states (Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Pinang, Perlis, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, and Terengganu) and 2 federal territories (Kuala Lumpur and Labuan). Kuala Lumpur, coextensive with the federal territory, is the capital and largest city.

             Malaysia reflects different cultural traditions, including those of China, India, the Middle East, Europe, and the entire Malay Archipelago. Early Malay empires absorbed Indian influences, such as Hindu epics and the Sanskrit language.

            Malaysia has several important natural resources. Forests cover nearly 50 percent of the land; Sabah and Sarawak are especially known for their tropical forests. West Malaysia has large deposits of tin and numerous rubber trees.

General Information

Area : 330,000 sq km
Capital : Kuala Lumpur
Population : 22.18 million
Language : Bahasa Malaysia (Official), English, Chinese, Tamil
Religion : Muslim (Official), Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity.
Currency :  One Malaysian Ringgit (RM) = 100 sen
                  Notes: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 ringgit
                  Coins: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 sen & 1 ringgit
                  Major credit cards and traveller's cheques are widely accepted in urban and resort areas.


In Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya, taxi fares are gauged by meters. There is an additional charge of 50% on the fare between midnight and 6.00am. Fares are charged on a per trip basis in most other towns. Car rental is available in most towns and road maps can be obtained from most petrol stations.



Public telephones are conveniently accessible in major cities, and will take 10, 20, 50 cents and RM 1 coins. Long-distance calls are best made from hotels. Telex can be sent directly from telegraph offices, post offices or hotels. Post offices are open from 8.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Saturday.



Major Exports : Electrical appliances, electronic components, rubber, petroleum, palm oil, tin and timber.

Major Imports : Manufactured goods, consumer goods, foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment.

Major Trading Partners : Southeast Asian countries, Japan, Taiwan, US, South Korea and China.


Business Hours

Government offices open from 8.00am to 4.15pm, Monday to Friday and 8.00am to 12.45pm on Saturday, with an hour-long break between 12.00noon and 2.00pm. Lunch hour is normally extended to two hours on Friday to allow afternoon Muslim prayers. Offices in Johor, Kelantan, Trengganu, Perlis and Kedah are closed on Thursday afternoon and Friday.



There are more than 40 commercial banks operating in Malaysia. Bank Negara is the Central Bank. Banking hours are from 9.30am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday and 9.30am to 11.30am on Saturday. Banks in Johor, Kelantan, Kedah, Perlis and Trengganu open from 9.30am to 11.30am on Thursday and closed on Friday.



Health services are easily available in every town from government run hospitals, specialist centres and private clinics. Malaysia is virtually free of major infectious diseases. However, drink only bottled or boiled water and ensure that food is well cooked.



Except in the highlands, Malaysia's climate is hot and humid year round. Average daily temperatures vary from about 20 to 30C (about 70 to 90F). Average annual rainfall for the peninsula is about 2,500 mm (about 100 in). The exposed northern slopes of Sarawak and Sabah receive as much as 5,080 mm (200 in) of rain per year.

Traveller's Tips

Malaysia is a Muslim country. When dealing with a Malay name, names appearing often 'Bin' or 'Binte' refers to a person's parentage and is not used in verbal address. Some Malays have titles such as 'Dato', 'Datuk' or 'Datin'. Such individuals should be addressed by their titles only.


Eating Out

There is a great variety of excellent foods in Kuala Lumpur. Restaurants serve Malay, Chinese, Indian and international dishes. Each state has its own special spicy Malay dishes.



Commonwealth citizens and most European nationals do not need visas for visits of less than three months. Visitors are usually issued an extendable 30 or 60-day visa on arrival.


What to wear

Casual clothes are normally worn. Trousers and shirts are normal office attire for men, with a tie for business meetings. Sits, dresses or national dress (Batik) are usually worn on formal occasions.

For Further Information

Malaysia Tourist Promotion Board
17th Floor, Menara Data Onn
Putra World Trade Centre, 45 Jalan Tun Ismail, Kuala Lumpur 50480
Tel : 03-2693-5188
Fax : 03-2693-5884
Email :

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