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Malaysia In a Nutshell

  
Area
about 330 thousand sqare km
(about 330,000 square km)
Capital
Kuala Lumpur
(geographic coordinates: 3 10 N, 101 42 E)
Climate
Tropical
Temperature: 21 to 32 degrees Celsius
Annual rainfall: 2000 mm to 2500mm
Conduct
Most Malaysians refrain from hugging and kissing in public. It would be appropriate for visitors to do so, too.
Country
The Federation of Malaysia can be geographically divided into Peninsula Malaysia and East Malaysia (the states of Sabah and Sarawak).
Credit Cards
Widely accepted:
Visa, Mastercard, American Express and all other major credit cards.
Currency
Ringgit (MYR)
Denominations: RM100, RM50, RM10, RM5 and RM1 and sen (50 sen, 20 sen, 10 sen and the seldom used 5 sen).
Customs and Excise
Langkawi is a duty-free port. Hotel tariffs and retail goods are exempted from Government duty. Visitors who stay more than 48 hours on Langkawi do not have to pay tax on
wine and liquor
tobacco
cosmetics
souvenirs
portable electronic goods
Dressing (Recommended)
Light and sweat absorbent material for daily wear - such as cotton.
Drugs (Illicit)
The trafficking of illicit drugs carries a sentence of mandatory death upon conviction.
Electricity
220-240 Volts (Alternating current A/C)
Frequency: 50Hz
Geographical Location
Between 2 and 7 degrees North of the Equator
Government
Parliamentary Democracy with Constitutional Monarchy
Halal Food
Food that is permissible for Muslims by Muslim law. Restaurants that are certified "halal" do not serve alcohol and pork.
Head of Government
Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak. Click HERE for more info.
Homestay Programme
A Ministry of Tourism's programme where foreign and local visitors are invited to enjoy a homestay in traditional communities / villages. The fees are affordable and the stay an experience to remember a lifetime.
Humidity
High humidity level 75% - 80%
Introductions/Greetings
Normally a handshake among men. General acknowledgment by Muslim women are a smile and a nod. See also salam.
Names
Malays:
First name is given name.
Name after the word "bin" is the name of the father.
Example: Ahmad bin Mohamad
Ahmad - name of the person
Mohamad - name of Ahmad's father
Chinese:
First name is surname or family name.
The next two are given names. It is also common practice that the second name refers to the generation (level) of the family.
Example: Yeoh Seng Siang
Yeoh - surname or family name
Seng - name of the generation
Siang - given name
Indians: The first name is the given name followed by the family name.
Example: Siva a/l Kumar
Siva - given name
a/l - anak lelaki (literally translated as "son of")
Kumar - name of father
National Language
Bahasa Malaysia
(English is widely spoken.)
Neighboring Countries
Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia
Member Nation of ASEAN
Official Religion
Islam (practiced by all Malays)
Other religions
are also practiced in Malaysia. Among them:
Christianity
Buddhism
Taoism
Hinduism
Sikhism
Population
30 million
Races
The major races in Malaysia are the Malays, Chinese and Indians. Other races include the Kadazan-Duzun and Ibans.
Ruler
Paramount Ruler called the "Yang di-Pertuan Agong" or simply in English the "King".
Salam
A "handshake" practiced by Muslims. Both hands are offered to the other party. The other reciprocate by extending the hands as well. However, the contact is brief and light - unlike the firm grasp of a handshake. The hands are then brought toward the chest signifying a greeting that comes from the heart.
States
13 States - 11 in Peninsular and 2 in East Malaysia
Time
GMT +8 hours
Tipping
Not customary as quite a number of restaurants and eateries add a 10% service charge and a 5% government tax. But tipping to show appreciation is quite common among visitors.
Titles
Titles conferred by the government:
Tun, Tan Sri, Dato', Dato' Seri, Datuk and Datuk Seri.
Political dignitaries: Yang Berhormat (YB) and Yang Amat Berhormat (YAB).
    

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