Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at Sepang is approximately 50
km. south of Kuala Lumpur; 35-45 minutes via the highway. Tel: +603
Visa requirements vary. Visa-free stay of up to three months is allowed
citizens of the United States, Japan, Western European countries
(France, Germany, Italy, etc.), among others. Those from ASEAN countries
do not need visas for visits of up to a month. Citizens of most
countries of the British Commonwealth (except those in the Indian
subcontinent) do not need visas. Business travelers attending meetings
and conducting business negotiations in Malaysia may be issued passes at
the point of entry. However, anyone who is to be employed in Malaysia
must apply for a business or professional pass prior to arrival in
Malaysia. Recently, Malaysia has tightened its entry rules for foreign
skilled and semi-skilled workers.
The unit of currency is the Malaysian ringgit (RM), which is divided
into 100 sen. It comes in RM1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 notes. There are no
RM500 or RM1000 notes, both of which were withdrawn in 1998 and ceased
to be legal tender in July 1999. Bank Negara reintroduced the RM1
banknote into circulation in November 2000, the sixth and last
denomination to be issued in the current local currency note series.
With the reissuance of the RM1 note, RM2 notes will be gradually
withdrawn from circulation (although the RM1 coins will still be
accepted). Click here
for currency conversion.
All major credit cards are accepted at upmarket hotels, restaurants. and
shops. If you have a credit card with a personal identification number
(PIN) attached, you can obtain cash advances from ATMs. Banks in
Malaysia are linking up with international banking networks, which will
allow you to withdraw money from overseas savings accounts through ATMs.
Before your trip, check with your bank to see if you can withdraw money
from your home account while in Malaysia.
Tipping is usually not necessary, unless service is excellent. Most
hotels and large restaurants automatically add a 10% service charge in
addition to the 5% government tax to the bill.
Tourist Police: 241-5522; 243-5522; 249-6590
Visa Card Hotline: 1-800-800-159
MasterCard Hotline: 1-800-804-594
240-volt, 50-cycle system
Major Malaysian cities like Kuala Lumpur are generally safe from most
sanitation-related diseases. However, it is still wise to take extra
precautions, like making sure meat is cooked very well, avoiding local
dairy products and peeling fresh fruit and raw vegetables. Tap water in
the cities is considered safe, but bottled water is a safer bet when
traveling to rural areas. Malaria is present in Sabah, Sarawak and some
remote areas in peninsular Malaysia. Use insect repellant when visiting
the countryside. Ask your doctor about vaccinations.
GMT + 8, same as Hong Kong and Singapore
Department stores and supermarkets: From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Shops: From 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. (in Kuala Lumpur, as well as in most
major towns, there are several 24-hour stores)
Banks: From 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Mon.-Fri.); 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
(Sat.); closed on Sundays in most states.
Jan 1 2005 New Year’s Day
Jan 23 Hari Raya Haji (Feast of the Sacrifice)
Feb 9-11 Chinese New Year
Feb 10 Hari Raya Tussa (Islamic New Year)
Apr 22 Birth of the Prophet Muhammad
May 1 Labour Day
May 23 Vesak Day (Birth of the Buddha)
Jun 4 Official Birthday of HM the Yang di-Pertuan Agong
Aug 31 National Day
Nov 1 Deepvali Festival
Nov 3-5 Hari Raya Puasa (End of Ramadan)
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Tropical, with annual southwest (April to October) and northeast
(October to February) monsoons. Average temperature is between 21°C and
32°C. Humidity is high.
Click here for 3-day weather forecast for Kuala Lumpur
As Malaysia's climate is sunny almost year-round, light clothing is
ideal. However, this is a predominantly Muslim country and modest dress
is advisable. For men, a long-sleeved white or plain-colored shirt and a
tie is the norm for business meetings. A jacket can be added when
meeting senior officials. A long-sleeved batik shirt and long
trousers are often worn for evening events. Shorts and casual shirts
should be avoided. Women should dress for business as in Western
countries, remembering to cover the shoulders and avoid very short
skirts and shorts.
GDP Growth Rate
Electronic equipment, petroleum and petroleum products, palm oil, wood
and wood products, rubber, textiles
Manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment
Major Trading Partners
United States, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, UK, Thailand, Germany,
Taiwan, South Korea
Rubber and oil palm processing and manufacturing; light manufacturing
industry; electronics; tin mining and smelting; logging and processing
timber; petroleum production; agriculture processing
5.1 persons per telephone
Federal constitutional monarchy; nominally headed by the paramount ruler
(king) and a bicameral Parliament consisting of a non-elected upper
house and an elected lower house
The city is located in west-central West (Peninsular) Malaysia, midway
along the west coast tin and rubber belt and about 25 miles (40 km) east
of its ocean port, Port Kelang, on the Strait of Malacca.
Malaysia is located in Southeast Asia, along the Strait of Malacca and
the southern South China Sea. The country is divided into two main
regions -- Peninsular Malaysia, which lies just south of Thailand, and
East Malaysia, which is north of Indonesia on the island of Borneo.
These two regions are divided into 13 states and federal territories.
Total land area is 328,550 square kilometers.
Malaysia: 23 million
Kuala Lumpur: 1.8 million
50% Malay, 33% Chinese, 9% Indian, plus indigenous tribes such as Orang
Asli and Iban
Malay is the official language. English is widely spoken, especially in
business, and is a compulsory subject in all schools. Chinese dialects
(Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow), Tamil, Telugu,
Malalalam, Panjabi and Thai are spoken in some areas. In East Malaysia,
several indigenous dialects are spoken, the major ones being Iban and
83.5% (total population); 89.1% (among males); 78.1% (among females)
Islam is the official religion, which is practiced primarily by Malays.
Other religions in the country include: Buddhism (mainly among Chinese),
Hinduism (among Indians), Christianity, Confucianism, Taoism and tribal