About Malaysia

To know Malaysia is to love Malaysia – a bubbling, bustling melting-pot of races and religions where Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other ethnic groups live together in peace and harmony. Our multiculturalism has made Malaysia a gastronomical paradise and home to hundreds of colourful festivals. It’s no wonder that we love celebrating and socialising. As a people, Malaysians are very relaxed, warm and friendly.

Geographically, Malaysia is almost as diverse as its culture. 11 states and 2 federal territories (Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya) form Peninsular Malaysia which is separated by the South China Sea from East Malaysia which includes the 2 states (Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo) and a third federal territory, the island of Labuan.

One of Malaysia’s key attractions is its extreme contrasts which further add to this theme of ‘diversity’. Towering skyscrapers look down upon wooden houses built on stilts while five-star hotels sit just metres away from ancient reefs.

Rugged mountains reach dramatically for the sky while their rainforest-clad slopes sweep down to floodplains teeming with forest life. Cool highland hideaways roll down to warm, sandy beaches and rich, humid mangroves.

People & Language

Malays comprise 69.1% of the population, while the Chinese, Indian and Bumiputeras and other races make up the rest of the country’s population.

While Malay is the national language the many ethnic groups also converse in their various languages and dialects, but English is also widely spoken.

Islam is the official religion of the country, but other religions such as Buddhism and Christianity are widely and freely practised.

Currency

The monetary unit of the country is Ringgit Malaysia and is written as RM or MYR.

The exchange rate is valued at USD1 = RM4.27. Notes are available in RM1, RM5, RM10, RM20, RM50, and RM100 denominations, while coins are issued in 5, 10, 20 and 50 sen (cents) denominations.

Foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks and money changers.

View the latest exchange rates here www.xe.com

Passport/Visa

Visitors to Malaysia must hold a valid passport or travel document with a minimum validity of six months beyond the intended visiting period. Immigration and customs checkpoints are situated at all air, sea, road and rail entry points.

Every visitor to Malaysia has to fill in a Disembarkation Card (IMM. 26). The card has to be handed over to the Immigration Officer on arrival together with the national passport or other internationally recognized travel document endorsed for travel into Malaysia. A passport/travel document is also necessary for travel between Sabah and Sarawak.

Visitor passes issued for entry into Peninsular Malaysia are not valid for entry into Sarawak.

Fresh visit passes must be obtained on arrival at the point of entry in Sarawak. However, subject to conditions stipulated, visit passes issued by the Immigration Authorities in Sabah and Sarawak are valid for any part of Malaysia.

Free Visa

Commonwealth Citizens (except Bangladesh/India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), British Protected Persons or Citizens of the Republic of Ireland and Citizens of Switzerland, Netherlands, San Marino and Liechtenstein.

Free Visa For Social & Business Visit Not Exceeding Three Months

Citizens of Albania, Austria, Algeria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Republic of Slovakia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Italy, United States of America, Bahrin, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, North Yemen, Oman, Saudi Arabia,Qatar United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Tunisia

One Month Nationals Of Asean Countries

14 DAYS Citizens of Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, South Yemen

1 WEEK Citizens of Bulgaria, Romania and Russia

Visit the Malaysian Immigration Department or Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more info.

*Further information on the country can also be obtained from the Malaysian government’s official portal, www.malaysia.gov.my.