Host City 2016
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.
Geographically, Malaysia is almost as diverse as its culture. 11 states and two federal territories (Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya) form Peninsular Malaysia which is separated by the South China Sea from East Malaysia, which includes the two states (Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo) and a third federal territory, the island of Labuan.
In line with the Government's e-Government initiative, Putrajaya is being developed as an intelligent city. Multimedia technologies are being implemented to facilitate communications and interactions between government offices, between the government and the business community, and between the government and the community.
While Kuala Lumpur will remain as the country's capital and premiere financial and commercial centre, Putrajaya will be the new Federal Government Administrative centre.
Putrajaya sits on a magnificent 4,931 hectares of land strategically located within the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), approximately 25 kilometres south of Kuala Lumpur and 20 kilometres north of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Putrajaya is accessible via a network of highways and the Express Rail Link (ERL Transit) from Kuala Lumpur Sentral to KLIA via Putrajaya Sentral in Precinct 7.
Malays comprise 57% 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.
Some common greetings in Malay as follow.
Islam is the official religion of the country, but other religions, such as Buddhism and Christianity, are also widely and freely practiced.
The country experiences tropical weather year-round. Temperatures range from 21 ℃ (70 ℉) to 32 ℃ (90 ℉). Higher elevations are much colder with temperatures between 15 ℃ (59 ℉) to 25 ℃ (79 ℉).
Voltage is 220-240 Volt AC at 50 cycles per second. Malaysia uses standard 3-pin square plugs and sockets.
The monetary unit of the country is Ringgit Malaysia and is written as RM or MYR.
The exchange rate is valued at USD1 = RM3.15. 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 readily available in shopping malls.
Banking hours are typically Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm, and Saturdays from 9.30am to 11.30am. Most banks are closed on the first and third Saturdays of every month.
Tipping is not customary in Malaysia, and is at your discretion.
Malaysia has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 6% on most goods and services.
Tourist Refund Scheme is applicable to tourists who spend at least 300 Malaysian Ringgit (MYR300) (GST inclusive) at the same Approved Outlet. Accumulation of purchases is allowed if purchases are made from the same Approved Outlet on different days.
For more information and conditions for refund, please click here.
Please refer to the website here on the countries that require a visa to enter Malaysia. Should you require an invitation letter to facilitate your visa application, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
Department (if any):
Dehydration and Sunburn
The sun is strong throughout the year in the country. Proper care against sunburn must be constantly taken. Dehydration and loss of salt through perspiration are two other common problems for the unprepared traveler. Drink plenty of fluids and replace your salt loss and remember that alcoholic drinks make dehydration worse, not better. Make sure you pack clothing suitable for a warm humid climate.
Due to the constant humid climate, mosquitoes tend to be present throughout the year. The three most significant diseases transmitted by mosquitoes are Malaria, Dengue Fever and Japanese B Encephalitis. To repel mosquitoes, ticks and other arthropods, apply an insect repellent containing DEET to your skin or clothing.
The risk of malaria for most tourists visiting Peninsular Malaysia is extremely small. There is insignificant risk in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and other major cities. However, in East Malaysia, the risk of malaria is present throughout the year. Even in these regions, the risk is mainly off the coastal plains and towards the border areas. Generally, prophylaxis is recommended for those visiting Sabah or Sarawak.
Generally, the level of food hygiene throughout the country is high. However, make sure your food and drinking water are safe. Food from street vendors should be treated with care. Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. If possible, avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. Bring along iodine tablets and portable water filters to purify water if bottled water is not available. Also, wash your hands often with soap and water. As an extra precaution, bring along anti-diarrhea medication and an antibiotic prescribed by your doctor to self-treat moderate to severe diarrhea.
- Although handshakes are generally acceptable for both men and women, some Muslim ladies may acknowledge introductions to gentlemen by merely nodding and smiling. A handshake should only be initiated by ladies. The traditional greeting or "salam" resembles a handshake with both hands but without the grasp. The man offers both hands, lightly touches his friend's outstretched hands, and then brings his hands to his chest to mean, "I greet you from my heart". The visitor should reciprocate the "salam".
- It is polite to call before visiting a home.
- Shoes must always be removed when entering a Malaysian home.
- Drinks are generally offered to guests. It is polite to accept.
- The right hand is always used when eating with one's hand or giving and receiving objects.
- The right forefinger is not used to point at places, objects or persons. Instead, the thumb of the right hand with four fingers folded under is the preferred usage.
- Shoes must be removed when entering places of worship such as mosques and temples. Some mosques provide robes and scarves for female visitors. Taking photographs at places of worship is usually permitted but always ask permission beforehand.
- Toasting is not a common practice in Malaysia. The country's large Muslim population does not drink alcohol.