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Quick Fact on Malaysia

Population: 20 million

Capital: Kuala Lumpur

Shop Hours: Department stores and supermarkets are usually open from 10am to 10pm and shops from 9:30am to 7pm. In Kuala Lumpur, as well as in most major towns, there are several 24-hour stores.

Bank Hours: for most states

Mon-Fri: 9:30am-4.00pm
Sat : 9:30am-11:30am
Sun : Closed

Kelantan and Terengganu:

Sat-Wed: 9:30am-4.00pm
Thur : 9:30am-11.30am
Fri : Closed

Holidays: Weekly holidays vary from region to region. In Selangor, Melaka, Penang, Perak, Pahang and Negri Sembilan, there is a half-day holiday on Saturday and a full-day holiday on Sunday. In the states of Johor, Kedah, Perlis, Terengganu and Kelantan a traditional half-day holiday is observed on Thursday and full-day holiday on Friday; Saturday and Sunday are treated as weekdays.

Major Holidays:
New Year`s Day- 1st January*
Hari Raya Aidil Fitri- January*
Chinese New Year- January / February*
Labour Day- 1st May
Vesak Day- May*
The King`s Birthday- June
August 31 - National Day*
Deepavali- October / November#
Christmas Day- 25th Decmber*

*National Holidays
#Execpt Sarawak and Labuan
Note: If a holiday falls on a weekend or Friday, the following day becomes a holiday.

Time: Malaysia is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean time (GMT) and 16 hours ahead of United States Pacific Standard Time.


Tipping is usually not necessary, unless service is excellent. Most hotels and large restaurants automatically add a 10% service charge in addition to the 5% government tax to the bill (indicated by a ++ sign on menus and rate cards).

Restaurants: 10% service charge added automatically. Additional tipping is unnecessary, unless service is excellent.

Porters: Tip porters about M$1 per bag. Any tip less than 50 sen would be considered insulting.

Hotel maids: Service charge added automatically. Additional tipping is unnecessary, unless to acknowledge excellent service.

Taxis: Most taxis are fitted with meters. Taxi rates are currently RM 2 for the first 2km and 10 sen for every 200 meters thereon. A surcharge of 50% is levied between midnight and 6.00am.


Country Code: 60

City Codes:
Ipoh: 05
Johor Bharu: 07
Kota Bharu: 09
Kota Kinabalu: 088
Kuala Lumpur: 03
Kuala Terengganu: 09
Kuantan: 09
Kuching: 082
Melaka: 06
Penang: 04
Seremban: 06
Sungai Pentai: 04
Taiping: 05

When calling a telephone number from within the same city, delete the area code from the number. When calling from within another city in Malaysia, use the entire area code. When calling from another country, delete the first digit (0) from the area code.

Malaysia has a combined population of over 18 million people. Because of its central location, between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, Malaysia has traditionally been a meeting point for traders and travelers from both the East and West. As a result, Malaysia has a multicultural and multiracial population consisting of Malays, Chinese, Indians and numerous indigenous peoples. Although Malay is the official language, English is widely spoken, especially in business, and the English language is a compulsory subject in all schools. With such a varying ethnic composition, it is no surprise that a great diversity of religions is prevalent throughout Malaysia. Although the official religion is Islam, freedom of worship is practiced. As a result, it is a common to see temples, mosques and churches within the same area.

Ethnic Groups: 59% Malay and other indigenous, 32% Chinese and 9% Indian.

Languages: Malay (official), English, Chinese dialects, Mandarin, Hakka dialects, Cantonese, Tamil and numerous tribal languages.

Religion: Muslim (primarily Malays), Buddhism (Chinese), Hindu (Indian), Christianity, Confucianism, Taoism and tribal religions.

Updated On: 15.02.09