Malaysia is a unified federation of states, comprising of the states in Peninsular Malaysia and the Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak; also referred to as East Malaysia. Located at the equator with a hot tropical weather all year long, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia is separated by the South China Sea. As with many other South East Asian countries, Malaysia borders a few of its neighbours, the closest being Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
To date, there are about 27.17 million people of differing races and religions that call Malaysia home. The Muslim Malays make up the majority with 57% while the Chinese, Indians and other ethnic groups forming up the rest.
The bulk of the Malaysian economy rests on manufacturing. Tourism and other commodities such as petroleum, palm oil, natural rubber and timber also contribute to the Malaysian economy. And with the Malaysian Ringgit (RM) valued at RM3.50 per USD1.00, it is definitely a country worth visiting, for both business and pleasure.
Weather & Climate
Kuala Lumpur has consistently warm daytime temperatures, balmy evenings and afternoons that are often punctuated by thunderstorms, usually passing quickly to leave the evenings cool and rain free. Average temperature ranges from 22 – 32 degrees Celsius in the lowlands. Light, comfortable clothing is advised for outdoors.
Currencies and Money Matters
The Malaysian Ringgit (RM) is denominated in RM1, RM2, RM5, RM10, RM50 and RM100 for banknotes while coins are in 5 sen, 10 sen, 20 sen and 50 sen.
Most major international currencies and traveller’s cheques can be exchanged for RM at commercial banks, airports, hotels & licensed moneychangers. Major credit cards (VISA, Mastercard, American Express) are widely accepted in most business establishments in Malaysia.
Banks are generally open for business between 0930 and 1600, Mondays to Fridays. Most offices are open between 0900 and 1700, Mondays to Fridays. Retail outlets are usually open from 1000 to 2200.
Malaysia is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and 16 hours ahead of the United States Pacific Standard Time.
The electricity supply in Malaysia is 220 – 240 AC volts.
Tipping is usually not necessary. Most hotels and restaurants automatically add a 10% service charge in addition to the 5% government tax to bills.
Depending on your country of citizenship, you may be required to obtain a visa to enter Malaysia.
Visa requirements vary and are subject to change, so please refer to the respective High commission/Embassy/Consulate of the country concerned.
For more information, you can also log on to the Department of Immigration Malaysia