Hi there there. ‘Selamat Datang ke Malaysia’. Which means, ‘Welcome to Malaysia’ in our nationwide language Bahasa Malaysia. It might be inconceivable to inform you all the things about Malaysia in such a brief time frame, however I gives you a basic thought.


One of many issues you will see most fascinating about Malaysia is its individuals and tradition. Being a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-lingual society of 28 million isn’t any simple feat, as race continues to be a hotly debated problem and permeates virtually each facet of Malaysian life.

The Malaysian inhabitants consists of 62% Bumiputeras, which incorporates Malays and the Indigenous peoples, 24% Chinese language, 8% Indians, and the remainder are different minorities. Or as we are saying in Malaysia, ‘lain-lain’ or others. Citizenship in East Malaysia or the states of Sabah and Sarawak are slightly totally different from citizenship in Peninsular Malaysia for immigration functions. When West Malaysians go to East Malaysia, they’re required to carry their MyKad, a biometric sensible chip id card, which have to be carried by residents of Malaysia always.

The Malays type the most important group, and they’re outlined as Muslims within the Structure of Malaysia- in different phrases, in case you are Malay, you’re robotically Muslim. The Malays are the large brothers of politics, dominating the political scene. Their native language is Malay, the nationwide language of the nation. They’re additionally typically referred to as ‘bumiputra’, or ‘princes of the soil’ and are favoured with sure affirmative motion insurance policies. This has been a degree of discontent with a number of minorities. Amongst others, getting a 10% to 25% low cost when shopping for a home and receiving authorities tenders and scholarships are a few of these advantages. How did this come about? I will inform you extra within the economic system part.

The second largest group are the Chinese language. They’re principally Buddhists, Taoists or Christians. The Chinese language group speaks quite a lot of Chinese language dialects together with Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese, Hakka, and Teochew- all from the native familial provinces in China. However at the moment, many Chinese language communicate English as their first language; the truth is there are some who communicate solely English. If the Malays dominate the political scene, the Chinese language dominate the enterprise scene. There’s a sizable center class consisting of the Chinese language.

The third largest group are the Indians. The Indians in Malaysia are primarily Hindu Tamils from southern India whose native language is Tamil. After all there are different Indian communities residing right here and so they communicate many dialects like Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi. Many center to upper-middle class Indians in Malaysia additionally communicate English as a primary language. There’s additionally a vigorous 200,000-strong Indian Muslim group that thrives as an unbiased cultural group. In truth, in the event you get hungry in the course of the night time, you most likely will head to a ‘mamak’, a form of 24-hour restaurant that’s usually owned by an Indian Muslim. There’s additionally a large Sikh group in Malaysia numbering over 100,000.

The most important non-Malay indigenous tribe is the Iban of Sarawak, who quantity over 600,000. Some nonetheless reside in conventional jungle villages in lengthy homes alongside the Rajang and Lupar rivers, although many have moved to the cities. Then, there are the Bidayuhs, who quantity round 170,000 and are concentrated within the south western a part of Sarawak. Then there are the Kadazans, the most important indigenous tribe in Sabah and they’re principally Christian farmers. Then there are the 140,000 Orang Asli, or aborigines, residing in Peninsular Malaysia. Historically nomadic hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists, many have been partially absorbed into ‘trendy’ Malaysia.

Moreover that, by way of interracial marriage, there are a big variety of racial teams such because the Eurasians, who’re descendants of marriages among the many British, Dutch and Portuguese and the locals. They communicate a Portuguese-based creole, referred to as Papiá Kristang. There are additionally Eurasians of Filipino and Spanish descent, principally in Sabah. Descended from immigrants from the Philippines, some communicate Chavacano, the one Spanish-based creole language in Asia. Then there are Cambodians and Vietnamese, who’re principally Buddhists. Then there are Thai Malaysians, who populate an enormous a part of the northern peninsular states of Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Kelantan and Terengganu. Moreover talking Thai, most of them are Buddhists, rejoice Songkran or Water pageant and may communicate Hokkien, however a few of them are Muslim and communicate the Kelantanese Malay dialect. Then there are the Bugis and Javanese, who make up part of the inhabitants in Johor. As well as, there have been many foreigners and expatriates who’ve made Malaysia their second residence, additionally contributing to Malaysia’s inhabitants. Then there are the Babas and Nyonyas, or Straits Chinese language; descendants of Chinese language who got here to commerce in historic Malacca who married native Malays. They mix Malay and Chinese language traditions in such a approach as to create a brand new tradition. Most of them costume in typical Malay style, sporting the kebaya ketat, which is a Malay conventional costume, and so they communicate a particular form of Malay, and prepare dinner meals that may be a mixture of the each cultures.

Being a multiracial nation, cultural exchanges and cultural integrations are inevitable. For instance, this may be seen in Malay wedding ceremony ceremonies, which contains parts of the Hindu traditions of southern India. The bride and the groom costume in attractive brocades, sit in state, and feed one another yellow rice with arms painted with henna. One other instance is that the Muslims and Hindus have tailored the Chinese language customized of giving little crimson packets of cash or ‘ang pau’ at festivals comparable to Aidilfitri, and Deepavali. The colors of the packets differ, however the apply is comparable.

In Malaysia, it’s fully potential to go from a kampong or a village, to a rubber property to a Chinese language espresso store and really feel as in the event you’ve seen so many various sides to at least one nation. Journey to any Kuala Lumpur suburb and observe. A Chinese language home may have a mom praying and lighting joss sticks for her ancestors, an Indian household will probably be enjoying the radio that includes the most recent Tamil hit, whereas the Malay household will probably be on the point of stroll to the closest mosque.

Racial relations stay a thorny problem that permeates each facet of the Malaysian life. Stereotypes are then inevitable. The Malays are lazy and sluggish, the Chinese language are grasping and wish to gamble, and the Indians are at all times drunk and so they beat their wives. You may nonetheless hear this fairly often within the streets, more often than not as a joke, however typically as an insult. To be recognized together with your race is quite common. For example, job interviews require you to state your race, although this apply is slowly diminishing. Whenever you inform a Malaysian that you just noticed a street accident, he would possible ask you if it was a Malay, a Chinese language or an Indian. For those who obtained robbed, you would be requested if it was a Malay or an Indian. For those who receives a commission peanuts, your boss is probably going Chinese language. For those who experience a bike, you are most definitely Malay. For those who reside in a high-end neighbourhood, you are most definitely Chinese language. I might go on, however I encourage you to search out out these stereotypes your self!

Moreover being a melting pot of assorted races, Malaysia can also be a multi-religious society with Islam because the official faith. Roughly 63 % of the inhabitants apply Islam; 18 % Buddhism; 7 % Christianity; 6 % Hinduism; and a couple of % conventional Chinese language religions comparable to Taoism. The remaining numbers are accounted for by different faiths, together with Animism, Folks faith, Sikhism, whereas 1 % has no faith.

Whereas the Malaysian structure ensures spiritual freedom, Malay Muslims are obliged to comply with the selections of Syariah courts with regards to issues regarding Islam. Changing out of Islam in Malaysia is a largely problematic problem, and whereas it has been tried by some, it’s a course of that requires lengthy authorized battles and isn’t well-received by nearly all of the Muslim devoted. The Islamic judges within the Syariah courts are anticipated to comply with the Shafi`I college of Islam, which is the principle denomination of Islam in Malaysia. The facility of the Shariah court docket is restricted solely to Muslims over issues comparable to marriage, inheritance, apostasy, spiritual conversion, and custody. No different legal or civil offenses are below the jurisdiction of the Syariah courts. However there have been strikes by the Pan Islamic Social gathering to implement the hudud regulation, or Islamic regulation.

That was so much to digest. Nevertheless it’s price understanding how tradition, race and faith work in Malaysia with a view to perceive Malaysian life. Now exit and see in the event you can acknowledge who’s Malay, who’s Chinese language, who’s Indian, and who’s, as we Malaysians like to say, Lain-lain, or others.

Financial system

Let’s take a fast take a look at the Malaysian economic system now.

Spice commerce was massive enterprise in Malaysia throughout the time of the Malaccan Sultanate. When the British took over, rubber and palm oil bushes grew to become massive enterprise. Quickly, Malaysia grew to become the world’s largest producer of tin, rubber, and palm oil. With these three profitable commodities, Malaysia was poised for nice financial development.

Throughout this development interval, the federal government tried to eradicate poverty with the controversial New Financial Coverage, or the NEP, after the Might 13 Incident of racial rioting in 1969. At the moment, the economies have been raced based- the Malays labored as farmers within the paddy fields or civil servants, the Chinese language owned companies and the Indians tapped rubber bushes within the rubber estates. The coverage’s fundamental goal was the elimination of the affiliation of race with financial perform because it was throughout the time of the British. Nonetheless, the New Financial Coverage was laden with controversial affirmative insurance policies that favoured the Malays, and it was a supply of discontent even till at the moment.

Again then, Malaysia was very reliant on agriculture. It wanted to maneuver to an economic system primarily based on manufacturing. Impressed by the Asian Tigers within the 70s, which have been South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, Malaysia moved from being reliant on mining and agriculture to an economic system primarily based on manufacturing. Then, Malaysia constantly achieved greater than 7% GDP development together with low inflation within the 1980s and the 1990s. Immediately, Malaysia is residence to one of many world’s largest pc arduous disk manufacturing websites.

The Asian Monetary Disaster hit within the fall of 1997 and delivered a shock to Malaysia’s economic system. International direct funding fell sharply and, as capital flowed overseas, the worth of the ringgit dropped from 2.50 Ringgit versus 1 US Greenback to, at one level, 4.80 Ringgit versus 1 US Greenback. A Nationwide Financial Motion Council was then fashioned to cope with the financial disaster. Financial institution Negara, the nation’s central financial institution imposed capital controls and pegged the Malaysian ringgit at 3.80 to the US greenback. Malaysia refused financial support packages from the Worldwide Financial Fund and the World Financial institution, a lot to the shock of many analysts.

Rejuvenation of the Malaysian economic system coincided with huge authorities spending and funds deficits within the years that adopted the disaster. It will definitely loved quicker financial restoration in comparison with its neighbours. Malaysia’s fast financial development and prosperity is symbolized by the constructing of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the tallest twin buildings on this planet and the headquarters of the nationwide oil large.

Whereas the tempo of Malaysia’s improvement at the moment is just not as fast, it’s seen as extra sustainable. Malaysia can also be the world’s largest Islamic banking and monetary centre.

Finally, the fastened change fee was deserted in July 2005 in favour of a managed floating system inside an hour of China asserting the identical transfer. In that exact same week, the ringgit strengthened one % in opposition to varied main currencies and was anticipated to understand additional.

At present Malaysia is acknowledged as a newly industrialized nation and as of 2008, has a GDP per capita of 14,215 USD, rating the nation 48th on this planet, and 2nd in Southeast Asia, however lagging far behind its Southern neighbour, Singapore.


Let’s take a fast take a look at healthcare in Malaysia. Malaysia typically has an environment friendly and widespread system of healthcare. It implements a common healthcare system, and co-exists with a personal healthcare system. Anybody can stroll right into a authorities hospital and get therapy at no cost, although ready time is normally longer. Prescriptions might price cash however are sometimes given to the affected person at a sponsored fee. Toddler mortality fee – an ordinary in figuring out the general effectivity of healthcare – in 2005 was 10, coming in favourably in a comparability with the US and Western Europe. Life expectancy at delivery in 2005 was 74 years.

For those who want medical help in Malaysia, you are free to stroll into any authorities or non-public hospitals, however as a vacationer, you won’t be able to benefit from the free healthcare.


Earlier than we get into some language lesson, I would wish to inform you how the Malaysian training system is organized. Why do totally different youngsters go to various kinds of college? At this level, you’d not be stunned if I inform you that the training system could be very a lot primarily based on race too.

For those who’re between Three to six years previous, you’d most definitely go to a kindergarten. Normally they’re run privately, however some are run by the federal government.

Whenever you flip 7, you’d transfer on to major college for the following six years. There are two varieties of major college you can go to. The primary is the SRK, or Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan, that are authorities run colleges. You would be utilizing the Malay language because the medium of instruction.

Or, in case your dad and mom are Chinese language or Indian, they may select to ship you to the second kind of faculty referred to as SJK, or Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan. Right here, you’ll be utilizing both Mandarin or Tamil, relying on which college you go to. For those who’re a lady, you’ll put on a darkish blue pinafore, coupled with a white shirt, or the darkish blue and white baju kurung, or Malay conventional costume. For those who’re a boy, you’ll put on darkish blue pants or shorts and a white shirt. And you will fortunately slog by way of 6 years, and by the tip of yr 6 or if you’re 12 years previous, you may be taking a much-dreaded examination referred to as the Major College Achievement Check or Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah, UPSR.

Then, you’d transfer onto Secondary training the place you’ll examine for the following 5 years. Nationwide secondary colleges use Malay as the principle medium of instruction. On the finish of Type Three if you flip 15, you’ll sit for an additional much-dreaded examination referred to as Decrease Secondary Evaluation or Penilaian Menengah Rendah, not so fondly often called PMR. And eventually, within the final yr of secondary training or Type 5 if you flip 17, you sit for the actually dreaded Malaysian Certificates of Schooling or Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, SPM. It’s much like the British Abnormal or ‘O’ Ranges, and extra complete that the American SATs.

You will understand there are a number of exams for Malaysians college students to take. It’s because we take after the British system of ‘qualification by examination’, a legacy of our colonial days.

Whereas English and Maths was taught in English for a brief interval, the federal government has determined to scrap this measure and revert to Bahasa Malaysia, beginning in 2012, a transfer many have protested.

Here is one other stereotype. As a result of stringent educating strategies, Chinese language colleges are famous for producing a number of the prime college students within the nation, making some Malay and Indian dad and mom ship their youngsters to those colleges as effectively.

Oh, your training journey is just not over simply but. At 17, in the event you’re fortunate sufficient to be born Malay and bumiputra, you get into a quick observe referred to as matriculation and safe a secure seat at college. Consistent with affirmative motion insurance policies that favour your race, you will not have to fret a lot in the event you’ll get a spot. For those who’re Chinese language, Indian or Lain- Lain, you may should undergo two years of higher secondary training referred to as Type Six, divided into Decrease Six and Higher Six, on the finish of which you’ll be rewarded with probably the most dreaded of all exams- the Malaysian Increased College Certificates or Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia, or STPM. It’s the Malaysian equal to the British Superior or ‘A’ ranges. Nonetheless, when you’ve got cash to burn, you should buy your approach out of STPM by enrolling your self in a matriculation course in non-public faculties.

And eventually, the top of education- the college. The variety of public universities in Malaysia is few, the truth is lower than 20, so locations are very restricted. Discovering a spot in a public college is an annual supply of frustration, with many certified college students going to the media to complain they’ve been denied a spot. For those who’re Malay or bumiputra, it can save you your dad and mom’ retirement fund and safe an virtually assured place in a public college, the place education charges are minimal. Nonetheless, in the event you’re Chinese language or Indian and you fail to safe a spot, your different choice is non-public school training, the place you’ll need to ask your dad and mom to postpone their retirement by a few years.

I did inform you that race performs an vital position within the Malaysian society.

Then, after Three to six years of college, you graduate with a level and may select to proceed your put up graduate research.


Alright, that is the tip of our training on training. And now, comes the sensible half. Listed here are some useful suggestions so that you can make your keep in Malaysia higher.

Communication is simple in Malaysia. Opposite to fashionable perception, most of us communicate English, a minimum of some English. Bahasa Malaysia or Malaysia language is the official language. Listed here are some useful conversational Bahasa Malaysia phrases you’ll be able to strive. Let’s start!

Good morning! Selamat Pagi

Good night! Selamat Petang

How are you? Apa Khabar?

I am high quality, thanks! Khabar Baik, Terima Kasih

Thanks! Terima Kasih

You are welcome! Sama-sama

Good night time! Selamat Malam

Goodbye! Jumpa Lagi!

Good bye! Selamat Jalan!

If it’s essential ask for some assist or instructions, these are some helpful phrases:

I am misplaced Saya Sesat

Are you able to assist me? Boleh Tolong Saya?

The place is the bathroom? Mana Tandas?

Go straight! Then flip left/ proper! Jalan Terus/ Kemudian Pusing Kiri/ Kanan

I am on the lookout for my good friend. Saya Cari Kawan Saya.

How a lot is that this? Berapa Harga Ni?

Excuse me!Maafkan Saya…

For those who’re actually smitten by attempting out much more Bahasa Malaysia, listed here are some extra superior phrases.

Do you communicate English? Awak Cakap Bahasa Inggeris ke?

Just a bit. Sedikit sahaja.

What’s your identify? Apa nama awak?

My identify is… Nama Saya…

The place are you from? Awak Dari Mana?

I am from…Saya Dari…

The place do you reside? Awak Tinggal Di mana?

I reside in…Saya Tinggal Di

I’ve to go Saya Pergi Dulu.

I will probably be proper again! Saya Akan Pulang Nanti.

I Do not Perceive! Saya Tak Faham!

I Do not Know! Saya Tak Tau!

Now that you understand some easy phrases, get cracking and converse with some locals, and get them to show you extra! There is no higher method to make pals than by taking some effort in studying their language. Malaysians will love you for it!

Vacationer Ideas

Listed here are some suggestions for you. For those who’re being launched to a Malay Muslim for the primary time, lengthen each your arms, grasp theirs and produce yours again to your chest. That is the normal Malay ‘salam.’ To maintain it easy, smiling and nodding is okay if you do not know whether or not to shake arms or not. With Muslim ladies, typically, if a hand is just not supplied, it is best to not shake arms!

For those who ever get misplaced or want any assist, search for the vacationer police officer. They are often acknowledged by their chequered hat bands, darkish blue shirts and trousers, and the letter “I” for info on a crimson and blue badge on their breast pocket. They normally stand round vacationer areas. Nonetheless, in the event you’re on the lookout for common policemen, the quantity to name is 999 out of your cellphone. Emergency calls in Malaysia are free.

Malaysia has roughly 20 public holidays in a yr, so plan your journey properly and verify with the Tourism Malaysia web site. Additionally affecting journey are college holidays, as households take days off with their youngsters, so sure components of the nation, like vacationer websites and seashores might get crowded.

As you may be doing a number of strolling, you’ll be able to at all times purchase mineral water bottles for ingesting, and it is typically not secure to drink straight out of the faucet. {The electrical} provide is on a 240-volt 50-cycle system, much like Britain.

Do you have to want to atone for native information and occasions, the English language papers which might be accessible are The New Straits Occasions, The Star, Enterprise Occasions, Malay Mail, Each day Specific, Sabah Each day Information and Sarawak Tribune. If you’d like worldwide newspapers, you’ll be able to most definitely discover them at any main bookstores and newsstands. For occasions, strive Time Out and Klue magazines.

The 2 important local weather adjustments centre on the monsoon season, however moreover that, the climate not often adjustments. It’s both sizzling with rain, or sizzling with out rain. The temperature ranges between 21 C and 32 C, however with excessive humidity. Rain tends to happen between November and February on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, western Sarawak, and the north-eastern a part of Sabah.

As a result of local weather, gentle clothes is right. It’s advisable for girls, when coming into mosques and temples, to put on lengthy sleeves and free pants or lengthy skirts. Or you can carry a shawl- it is a lighter different.

If it’s essential modify your watches earlier than arriving, Malaysia is Eight hours forward of Greenwich Imply Time (GMT).

Take away sneakers when coming into properties and locations of worship. Malaysians don’t put on sneakers round the home.

Whereas sitting down or resting in a gaggle, don’t direct your toes in the direction of somebody, or any spiritual statues.

Public show of affection in bigger cities like Kuala Lumpur is mostly tolerated however would possibly invite pointless consideration from the general public. Public shows of affection in additional rural areas are frowned wupon and ought to be prevented. Additionally, same-sex relationship is taboo in Malaysia, so homosexual and lesbian travellers ought to keep away from outward indicators of affection, and this contains holding arms in public. As a consequence of sturdy affect from Islam, homosexuality is technically unlawful, though there are various underground homosexual and lesbian golf equipment.


That is the tip of half two of About Malaysia. I hope you have loved studying extra in regards to the individuals of Malaysia, and its economic system, healthcare and training techniques, in addition to the brief language course and basic vacationer suggestions.

Now that you have gotten an thought of the nation, it is time to exit and discover! Do be sure to take your time to soak within the essence of the nation, its individuals and most significantly, its meals! Have a good time in Malaysia.

Till subsequent time, Selamat Tinggal and goodbye.

For the very best and solely audio guides to Malaysia, go to Audio Guide Malaysia.


Source by Teng Ky-Gan


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