Language: Official Language is Malaysian with English an active second language for most people.
Time: UTC/GMT +8
Tax: VAT 6%
Electricity: 220-240 volts a/c
Measures: Metric (Imperial has limited use)
Tipping: This is not common practice. When in a restaurant for example, a service charge of 10% will automatically be added to a bill to cover tipping. However, if you are feeling extra generous you can tip extra by just leaving coins on the table for waiting staff.
Emergency Telephone: 999 or 112 (Mobiles only)
Business hours: Government offices in the city are open from 8:00am to 5:30pm. There is a long lunch break on Fridays (12:15pm-2:45pm) to let Muslims pray.
Hot and sticky would be the best way to describe the climate. Temperatures in the city range from 21ºC to 33ºC with average humidity above 82%. Rain falls throughout the year with March, April and September to November being the wettest months.
Followers of Islam make up 61% of the population of Malaysia and Islam is considered the state religion, although the constitution is technically secular. Buddhism is represented by just under 20% and Christianity 10%. The rest of the population is made up of Hinduism, Confucianism and other traditional Chinese religions.
Money: The currency of Malaysia is Ringgit/RM/MYR.
Credit cards: They can be used in most shopping malls and hotels. Please note; not all small shops accept credit cards.
Banks and ATMs: They can be found on every corner. If you want to change cash, use a moneychanger as they offer better rates than banks.
Pickpockets: On the whole Kuala Lumpur is a safe city but as with all major capitals, watch out for pickpockets.
Pavements: Be careful of uneven pavements which have a tendency to trip up an unsuspecting visitor..
Credit card: When paying by credit card, ensure it is kept in plain sight. The card should not need to be taken away to process your bill.
Car driving: Cars drive on the left side of the road as per the UK, Australia etc.
Health and vaccinations
Vaccinations: No vaccinations are required to enter Malaysia. However, please check with your GP as to what they recommend.
Water: Tap water is usually safe, but most prefer to drink bottled water. Only drink bottled water with the seal intact and avoid ice at road stalls as it's not usually stored hygienically.
Yellow fever: If you have travelled from/through a yellow fever infected country then you must produce an International Health Certificate proving you have had the yellow fever vaccination. For more information, please click here. The certificate must be submitted with the visa application form and presented to the immigration officer at the point of entry into Malaysia.
Manners and etiquette
Handshake: When meeting someone for the first time, a handshake is normally used. Due to the Islamic culture of Malaysia, this is normally between people of the same gender. A handshake can be reciprocated if the woman offers her hand to the man not vice versa.
Behaviour: Behaving appropriately in public is extremely important in Malaysia. Overt displays of affection such as kissing or hugging are to be avoided.
Temples and mosques: Remove shoes before entering a mosques and temples.
Bear in mind: Do not point at anything with your feet as feet are seen to be the lowliest part of the body. Furthermore, do not touch anyone on the head as it is the most sacred part.
Dress code during the meeting
Dress code: Business
For men: tie and jacket required
For women: suits, trousers, jackets, skirts and dresses that, while not formal, are appropriate for a business environment
Cell phones: to be turned off or turned to silent at all times.
One to Ones: please make sure you are prepared for your one to one meetings.