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COUNTRY: The Federation of Malaysia comprises of Peninsular Malaysia having 11 states, 3 Federal Territories and 2 states situated in Borneo, i.e. Sabah & Sarawak.
CAPITAL CITY: Kuala Lumpur
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: situated between 2 and 7 degrees north of Equator, Peninsular Malaysia is separated from Borneo states by the South China Sea. To the north of Peninsular is neighboring Thailand while southern neighbor is Singapore. Sabah & Sarawak share a common border with Kalimantan, Indonesia while Sarawak also shares a border with Brunei Darussalam.
CLIMATE: Malaysia has a tropical climate, the weather is warm all year round with temperatures ranging from 21 degrees to 32 degrees. The annual rainfall varies from 2000mm to 2500mm.
POPULATION: estimated at 27 million as at end 2010
PEOPLE: Malaysia is made up mainly of 3 major races, i.e. Malays (57% of total population), Chinese (22%), Indians (9%), indigenous groups & natives (10.1%) and others (1.9%)
LANGUAGE: BAHASA MALAYSIA is the national language although English is widely spoken. Other spoken languages by Malaysians are Mandarin, Cantonese, Tamil & native indigenous tribe dialects
RELIGION: Official religion is ISLAM although other religions are practiced freely.
GOVERNMENT: of Malaysia practices parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The head of State is the “Yang DiPertuan Agung” and the head of the government is the Prime Minister. Malaysia has a bicameral legislative system
ECONOMIC PROFILE: Malaysia’s economy is mainly manufacturing based while tourism and primary commodities such as petroleum, rubber, oil palm and timber are major contributors.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: All visitors to Malaysia are required to have a valid passport or travel document with a minimum 06 months validity beyond the intended visiting period. Citizens of most Commonwealth countries do not require visa to enter Malaysia for social or business visits. For further information, please log into http:www.kln.gov.my
CURRENCY: The unit of currency is the MALAYSIA RINGGIT and is indicated as RM. Foreign currencies can be converted to RM at local banks and licensed money changers.
BANKING HOURS: In most states of Malaysia, the banking hours are from 0930-1600 hrs daily, Mondays to Fridays. Banks in the states of Kedah, Kelantan & Terengganu operate from 0930-1600 hrs from Saturday to Wednesdays.
POST OFFICES: Most post offices are opened daily from 0800-1700 hrs except Sundays and Malaysia Public Holidays. Post offices in the states of Kedah, Kelantan & Terengganu operate daily from 0800-1700 hrs except Fridays and Malaysia Public Holidays.
WORKING DAYS: Government offices in all states of Malaysia, with the exception of Kedah, Kelantan & Terengganu, operate on a 5-day week, Mondays to Fridays. Some private establishment are opened for half a day on Saturdays. Government offices in Kedah, Kelantan & Terengganu are opened from Sundays to Thursdays only.
TIME: The standard Malaysia time is 08 hours ahead of GMT and 16 hours ahead of the US Pacific Standard Time.
ELECTRICITY: The voltage used throughout Malaysia is 220-240V AC at 50 cycles per second. Standard 3-pin square plugs and sockets are used.
MEASUREMENT SYSTEMS: Malaysia uses the metric system
TELECOMM: Malaysia is linked nationally & internationally by telephone, fascimile, telegraph, internet WIFI & 4G broadband. Most hotels provide International Direct Dial (IDD) telephone & WIFI services (chargeable);
GETTING INTO MALAYSIA: The main gateway into Malaysia is via the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), located approximately 50km from Kuala Lumpur city. Over 40 airlines ply Malaysia KLIA hub while the national carrier MAS has a global network that spans 6 continents. The main entry point via sea is PORT KLANG, also about 50km from Kuala Lumpur city. Malaysia is also accessible via rail and road from Singapore and Thailand.
GETTING AROUND IN MALAYSIA: Malaysia has excellent domestic air links serviced by MAS and low cost carriers such as AIRASIA and FIREFLY. The country has well developed and efficient public transportation system served by express VIP coaches, buses, taxis, light rail transits, monorials as well as trains.
ACCOMMODATION: Malaysia has a wide range of accommodation at competitive rates  international star rated hotels, beach resorts, chalets, youth hostels, budget inns, jungle lodges, homestays, eco-lodges and time share apartments are just some types of accommodation choices available to suit all types of visitors’ needs
DO’s & DON’Ts WHEN VISITING MALAYSIA: When in Malaysia, visitors are kindly advised to observe some local customs and practices as follows:
1. It is polite to call first before visiting a home;
2. Shoes must always be removed when entering a Malaysian house;
3. Drinks and light refreshments are generally served on guests visits, therefore it is polite to accept;
4. Please use the right hand when eating with your hands or when giving and receiving objects
5. The right forefinger is not to be used to point at places, objects or persons. Instead a thumb of the right hand with 4 fingers folded is the preferred way;
6. When entering places of worship, please remove your shoes before entering. Please use robes and scarves provided when entering mosques.
7. Taking photographs at places of worship is usually allowed but always ask for permission first;
8. Malaysia’s major population are Muslims, therefore drinking alcoholic beverages are not encouraged.
EMERGENCY NUMBERS: Police/Ambulance/Fire rescue number to call is 999.
KL SENTRAL: is Peninsular Malaysia’s most modern transportation hub, converging various modes of transportation, including the train services within the city, around the whole of Malaysia as well as high speed rail link to KLIA.
CONVENTION CENTERS: The capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur being strategically located in the region having excellent air links, modern infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities makes it the perfect venue for international Conventions, Exhibitions and Events. The main convention centers are KL Convention Center, Putra World Trade Center, Putrajaya International Convention Center, Mid Valley Exhibition Center & Sunway Pyramid Convention Center.
HEALTHCARE: Malaysia has prestigious general and private hospitals with the latest equipments, medical technology offering the best healthcare for its people and visitors. Clinics are available at all residential areas, villages & districts of remote areas
MALAYSAI TOURISM CENTER (MATIC): located at the busy Jalan Ampang, offers all visitors information and brochures on places of attraction in Malaysia
RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS: As citizens of Malaysia are multi racial, there are many religious festivals celebrated. The main ones are EID-FITRI (a joyous day marking the end of Ramadhan fasting month) & EID-ADHA (Haj and Sacrifice) for the Muslims while the Chinese will celebrate Chinese New Year, WESAK Day & Mid Autumn Festival. The Indians will celebrate Deepavali (Festival of Light), Thaipusam while others celebrations includes Christmas & New year, 1st Jan of each year.
NATIONAL CELEBRATIONS: New Year’s Eve, 31 December each year; Federal Territory Day (01 February), King’s Birthday (04 June), National Day (31 August), Malaysia Day (16 September).
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