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What You Don’t Know About Malaysia 2

Hello there. ‘Selamat Datang ke Malaysia‘. That means, ‘Welcome to Malaysia’ in our country wide language Bahasa Malaysia. It could be not possible to inform you the whole lot approximately Malaysia in this sort of brief duration of time, however I will come up with a widespread concept.


One of the matters you may locate maximum captivating approximately Malaysia is its human beings and culture. Being a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-lingual society of 28 million isn’t anyt any smooth feat, as race is still a hotly debated trouble and permeates nearly each thing of Malaysian life.

The Malaysian populace includes 62% Bumiputeras, which incorporates Malays and the Indigenous peoples, 24% Chinese, eight% Indians, and the relaxation are different minorities. Or as we are saying in Malaysia, ‘lain-lain’ or others. Citizenship in East Malaysia or the states of Sabah and Sarawak are a bit distinctive from citizenship in Peninsular Malaysia for immigration purposes. When West Malaysians go to East Malaysia, they’re required to carry their MyKad, a biometric clever chip identification card, which should be carried with the aid of using residents of Malaysia in any respect times.

The Malays shape the biggest network, and they’re described as Muslims withinside the Constitution of Malaysia- in different words, in case you are Malay, you’re routinely Muslim. The Malays are the large brothers of politics, dominating the political scene. Their local language is Malay, the country wide language of the united states. They also are every now and then known as ‘bumiputra’, or ‘princes of the soil’ and are favoured with positive affirmative motion regulations. This has been a factor of discontent with plenty of minorities. Among others, getting a 10% to 25% bargain while shopping for a residence and receiving authorities tenders and scholarships are a number of those benefits. How did this come approximately? I’ll inform you extra withinside the economic system section.

The 2d largest organization are the Chinese. They are on the whole Buddhists, Taoists or Christians. The Chinese network speaks a whole lot of Chinese dialects consisting of Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese, Hakka, and Teochew- all from the local familial provinces in China. But nowadays, many Chinese talk English as their first language; in truth there are a few who talk most effective English. If the Malays dominate the political scene, the Chinese dominate the enterprise scene. There is a sizeable center magnificence along with the Chinese.

The 1/3 largest organization are the Indians. The Indians in Malaysia are in particular Hindu Tamils from southern India whose local language is Tamil. Of path there are different Indian groups dwelling right here and that they talk many dialects like Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi. Many center to upper-center magnificence Indians in Malaysia additionally talk English as a primary language. There is likewise a lively 200,000-sturdy Indian Muslim network that prospers as an unbiased cultural organization. In truth, in case you get hungry withinside the center of the night, you maximum possibly will head to a ‘mamak’, a sort of 24-hour eating place this is frequently owned with the aid of using an Indian Muslim. There is likewise a sizeable Sikh network in Malaysia numbering over 100,000.

The biggest non-Malay indigenous tribe is the Iban of Sarawak, who quantity over 600,000. Some nonetheless stay in conventional jungle villages in lengthy homes alongside the Rajang and Lupar rivers, aleven though many have moved to the towns. Then, there are the Bidayuhs, who quantity round 170,000 and are focused withinside the south western a part of Sarawak. Then there are the Kadazans, the biggest indigenous tribe in Sabah and they’re on the whole Christian farmers. Then there are the 140,000 Orang Asli, or aborigines, dwelling in Peninsular Malaysia. Traditionally nomadic hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists, many had been in part absorbed into ‘modern’ Malaysia.

Besides that, thru interracial marriage, there are a huge quantity of racial companies which includes the Eurasians, who’re descendants of marriages most of the British, Dutch and Portuguese and the locals. They talk a Portuguese-primarily based totally creole, known as Papiá Kristang. There also are Eurasians of Filipino and Spanish descent, on the whole in Sabah. Descended from immigrants from the Philippines, a few talk Chavacano, the most effective Spanish-primarily based totally creole language in Asia. Then there are Cambodians and Vietnamese, who’re on the whole Buddhists. Then there are Thai Malaysians, who populate a large a part of the northern peninsular states of Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Kelantan and Terengganu. Besides speakme Thai, maximum of them are Buddhists, have a good time Songkran or Water pageant and might talk Hokkien, however a number of them are Muslim and talk the Kelantanese Malay dialect. Then there are the Bugis and Javanese, who make up part of the populace in Johor. In addition, there had been many foreigners and expatriates who’ve made Malaysia their 2d domestic, additionally contributing to Malaysia’s populace. Then there are the Babas and Nyonyas, or Straits Chinese; descendants of Chinese who got here to alternate in historical Malacca who married neighborhood Malays. They integrate Malay and Chinese traditions in this sort of manner as to create a brand new culture. Most of them get dressed in usual Malay fashion, carrying the kebaya ketat, that is a Malay conventional costume, and that they talk a unique sort of Malay, and prepare dinner dinner meals that could be a blend of the each cultures.

Being a multiracial united states, cultural exchanges and cultural integrations are inevitable. For instance, this will be visible in Malay wedding ceremony ceremonies, which includes factors of the Hindu traditions of southern India. The bride and the groom get dressed in excellent brocades, take a seat down in kingdom, and feed every different yellow rice with palms painted with henna. Another instance is that the Muslims and Hindus have tailored the Chinese custom of giving little pink packets of cash or ‘ang pau’ at fairs which includes Aidilfitri, and Deepavali. The hues of the packets vary, however the exercise is similar.

In Malaysia, it’s far absolutely viable to move from a kampong or a village, to a rubber property to a Chinese espresso keep and experience as in case you’ve visible such a lot of distinctive facets to 1 united states. Travel to any Kuala Lumpur suburb and observe. A Chinese residence can have a mom praying and lighting fixtures joss sticks for her ancestors, an Indian own circle of relatives can be gambling the radio presenting the today’s Tamil hit, whilst the Malay own circle of relatives can be on the brink of stroll to the nearest mosque.

Racial members of the family stay a thorny trouble that permeates each thing of the Malaysian life. Stereotypes are then inevitable. The Malays are lazy and slow, the Chinese are grasping and prefer to gamble, and the Indians are constantly under the influence of alcohol and that they beat their wives. You can nonetheless pay attention this very frequently withinside the streets, maximum of the time as a joke, however every now and then as an insult. To be recognized together along with your race may be very common. For instance, activity interviews require you to kingdom your race, aleven though this exercise is slowly diminishing. When you inform a Malaysian which you noticed a avenue accident, he could probably ask you if it changed into a Malay, a Chinese or an Indian. If you purchased robbed, you would be requested if it changed into a Malay or an Indian. If you receives a commission peanuts, your boss is probably Chinese. If you experience a motorbike, you are maximum probably Malay. If you stay in a excessive-give up neighbourhood, you are maximum probably Chinese. I ought to cross on, however I inspire you to discover those stereotypes your self!

Besides being a melting pot of numerous races, Malaysia is likewise a multi-spiritual society with Islam because the reliable faith. Roughly sixty three percentage of the populace exercise Islam; 18 percentage Buddhism; 7 percentage Christianity; 6 percentage Hinduism; and a couple of percentage conventional Chinese religions which includes Taoism. The closing numbers are accounted for with the aid of using different faiths, consisting of Animism, Folk faith, Sikhism, whilst 1 percentage has no faith.

While the Malaysian charter ensures spiritual freedom, Malay Muslims are obliged to comply with the selections of Syariah courts on the subject of topics regarding Islam. Converting out of Islam in Malaysia is a in large part intricate trouble, and whilst it’s been tried with the aid of using a few, it’s far a system that calls for lengthy felony battles and isn’t always well-obtained with the aid of using the bulk of the Muslim faithful. The Islamic judges withinside the Syariah courts are predicted to comply with the Shafi`I college of Islam, that is the primary denomination of Islam in Malaysia. The electricity of the Shariah courtroom docket is constrained most effective to Muslims over topics which includes marriage, inheritance, apostasy, spiritual conversion, and custody. No different crook or civil offenses are below the jurisdiction of the Syariah courts. But there had been actions with the aid of using the Pan Islamic Party to put in force the hudud law, or Islamic law.

That changed into plenty to digest. But it is really well worth know-how how culture, race and faith paintings in Malaysia as a way to apprehend Malaysian life. Now exit and spot if you could understand who is Malay, who is Chinese, who is Indian, and who is, as we Malaysians like to say, Lain-lain, or others.


Let’s take a brief have a take a observe the Malaysian economic system now.

Spice alternate was once large enterprise in Malaysia at some point of the time of the Malaccan Sultanate. When the British took over, rubber and palm oil timber have become large enterprise. Soon, Malaysia have become the global’s biggest manufacturer of tin, rubber, and palm oil. With those 3 moneymaking commodities, Malaysia changed into poised for brilliant financial boom.

During this boom duration, the authorities attempted to eliminate poverty with the arguable New Economic Policy, or the NEP, after the May thirteen Incident of racial rioting in 1969. At that time, the economies have been raced primarily based totally- the Malays labored as farmers withinside the paddy fields or civil servants, the Chinese owned agencies and the Indians tapped rubber timber withinside the rubber estates. The policy’s primary goal changed into the removal of the affiliation of race with financial feature because it changed into at some point of the time of the British. However, the New Economic Policy changed into encumbered with arguable affirmative regulations that favoured the Malays, and it changed into a supply of discontent even till nowadays.

Back then, Malaysia changed into very reliant on agriculture. It had to pass to an economic system primarily based totally on production. Inspired with the aid of using the Asian Tigers withinside the 70s, which have been South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, Malaysia moved from being reliant on mining and agriculture to an economic system primarily based totally on production. Then, Malaysia continually accomplished extra than 7% GDP boom at the side of low inflation withinside the Nineteen Eighties and the 1990s. Today, Malaysia is domestic to one of the global’s biggest pc difficult disk production webweb sites.

The Asian Financial Crisis hit withinside the fall of 1997 and introduced a surprise to Malaysia’s economic system. Foreign direct funding fell sharply and, as capital flowed out of the united states, the fee of the ringgit dropped from 2.50 Ringgit as opposed to 1 US Dollar to, at one factor, 4.eighty Ringgit as opposed to 1 US Dollar. A National Economic Action Council changed into then shaped to address the economic crisis. Bank Negara, the united states’s relevant financial institution imposed capital controls and pegged the Malaysian ringgit at three.eighty to americaA dollar. Malaysia refused financial resource programs from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, a good deal to the wonder of many analysts.

Rejuvenation of the Malaysian economic system coincided with large authorities spending and finances deficits withinside the years that accompanied the crisis. It finally loved quicker financial recuperation in comparison to its neighbours. Malaysia’s fast financial boom and prosperity is symbolized with the aid of using the constructing of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the tallest dual homes withinside the global and the headquarters of the country wide oil giant.

While the tempo of Malaysia’s improvement nowadays isn’t always as fast, it’s far visible as extra sustainable. Malaysia is likewise the global’s biggest Islamic banking and economic centre.

Eventually, the constant change charge changed into deserted in July 2005 in favour of a controlled floating machine inside an hour of China saying the identical pass. In that very identical week, the ringgit bolstered one percentage towards numerous most important currencies and changed into predicted to realize further.

Currently Malaysia is diagnosed as a newly industrialized united states and as of 2008, has a GDP in keeping with capita of 14,215 USD, rating the united states forty eighth withinside the global, and 2d in Southeast Asia, however lagging a ways in the back of its Southern neighbour, Singapore.


Let’s take a brief have a take a observe healthcare in Malaysia. Malaysia commonly has an green and tremendous machine of healthcare. It implements a time-honored healthcare machine, and co-exists with a non-public healthcare machine. Anyone can stroll into a central authority health center and get remedy for loose, aleven though ready time is typically longer. Prescriptions might cost a little cash however are frequently given to the affected person at a backed charge. Infant mortality charge – a popular in figuring out the general performance of healthcare – in 2005 changed into 10, coming in favourably in a evaluation with the US and Western Europe. Life expectancy at start in 2005 changed into seventy four years.

If you want scientific help in Malaysia, you are loose to stroll into any authorities or non-public hospitals, however as a traveller, you may now no longer be capable of experience the loose healthcare.


Before we get into a few language lesson, I’d like to inform you the way the Malaysian schooling machine is organized. Why do distinctive youngsters visit distinctive styles of college? At this factor, you would now no longer be amazed if I inform you that the schooling machine may be very a good deal primarily based totally on race too.

If you are among three to six years old, you would maximum probably visit a kindergarten. Usually they’re run privately, however a few are run with the aid of using the authorities.

When you switch 7, you would pass directly to number one college for the following six years. There are styles of number one college you may visit. The first is the SRK, or Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan, which can be authorities run faculties. You’d be the usage of the Malay language because the medium of instruction.

Or, in case your dad and mom are Chinese or Indian, they might pick out to ship you to the second one sort of college known as SJK, or Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan. Here, you may be the usage of both Mandarin or Tamil, relying on which college you visit. If you are a girl, you may put on a darkish blue pinafore, coupled with a white shirt, or the darkish blue and white baju kurung, or Malay conventional costume. If you are a boy, you may put on darkish blue pants or shorts and a white shirt. And you will fortuitously slog thru 6 years, and with the aid of using the give up of yr 6 or while you are 12 years old, you will be taking a a good deal-dreaded examination known as the Primary School Achievement Test or Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah, UPSR.

Then, you would pass onto Secondary schooling wherein you may look at for the following five years. National secondary faculties use Malay as the primary medium of instruction. At the give up of Form Three while you switch 15, you may take a seat down for any other a good deal-dreaded examination known as Lower Secondary Assessment or Penilaian Menengah Rendah, now no longer so fondly called PMR. And finally, withinside the ultimate yr of secondary schooling or Form Five while you switch 17, you take a seat down for the absolutely dreaded Malaysian Certificate of Education or Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, SPM. It is much like the British Ordinary or ‘O’ Levels, and extra complete that the American SATs.

You’ll realise there are plenty of assessments for Malaysians college students to take. This is due to the fact we take after the British machine of ‘qualification with the aid of using examination’, a legacy of our colonial days.

While English and Maths used to be trained in English for a brief duration, the authorities has determined to scrap this degree and revert to Bahasa Malaysia, beginning in 2012, a pass many have protested.

Here’s any other stereotype. Due to the stringent coaching methods, Chinese faculties are mentioned for generating a number of the pinnacle college students withinside the united states, making a few Malay and Indian dad and mom ship their youngsters to those faculties as well.

Oh, your schooling adventure isn’t always over simply yet. At 17, in case you’re fortunate sufficient to be born Malay and bumiputra, you get into a quick song known as matriculation and stable a secure seat at college. In line with affirmative motion regulations that favour your race, you might not must fear a good deal if you will get an area. If you are Chinese, Indian or Lain- Lain, you will must undergo years of higher secondary schooling known as Form Six, divided into Lower Six and Upper Six, on the give up of which you may be rewarded with the maximum dreaded of all assessments- the Malaysian Higher School Certificate or Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia, or STPM. It is the Malaysian equal to the British Advanced or ‘A’ levels. However, when you have cash to burn, you could purchase your manner out of STPM with the aid of using enrolling your self in a matriculation path in non-public colleges.

And finally, the top of schooling- the college. The quantity of public universities in Malaysia is few, in truth much less than 20, so locations are very constrained. Finding an area in a public college is an annual supply of frustration, with many certified college students going to the media to bitch they had been denied an area. If you are Malay or bumiputra, you could keep your dad and mom’ retirement fund and stable an nearly assured area in a public college, wherein education expenses are minimal. However, in case you’re Chinese or Indian and also you fail to stable an area, your different choice is non-public university schooling, wherein you may want to invite your dad and mom to put off their retirement with the aid of using more than one years.

I did inform you that race performs an essential position withinside the Malaysian society.

Then, after three to six years of college, you graduate with a diploma and might pick out to keep your put up graduate studies.


Alright, it is the give up of our schooling on schooling. And now, comes the realistic component. Here are a few reachable suggestions so that it will make your live in Malaysia higher.

Communication is simple in Malaysia. Contrary to famous belief, maximum people talk English, at the least a few English. Bahasa Malaysia or Malaysia language is the reliable language. Here are a few beneficial conversational Bahasa Malaysia terms you could strive. Let’s begin!

Good morning! Selamat Pagi

Good evening! Selamat Petang

How are you? Apa Khabar?

I’m nice, thanks! Khabar Baik, Terima Kasih

Thank you! Terima Kasih

You’re welcome! Sama-sama

Good night! Selamat Malam

See you later! Jumpa Lagi!

Good bye! Selamat Jalan!

If you want to invite for a few assist or directions, those are a few beneficial terms:

I’m misplaced Saya Sesat

Can you assist me? Boleh Tolong Saya?

Where is the toilet? Mana Tandas?

Go instantly! Then flip left/ proper! Jalan Terus/ Kemudian Pusing Kiri/ Kanan

I’m seeking out my friend. Saya Cari Kawan Saya.

How a good deal is this? Berapa Harga Ni?

Excuse me!Maafkan Saya…

If you are absolutely obsessed with attempting out even extra Bahasa Malaysia, right here are a few extra superior terms.

Do you talk English? Awak Cakap Bahasa Inggeris ke?

Just a bit. Sedikit sahaja.

What’s your call? Apa nama awak?

My call is… Nama Saya…

Where are you from? Awak Dari Mana?

I’m from…Saya Dari…

Where do you stay? Awak Tinggal Di mana?

I stay in…Saya Tinggal Di

I must cross Saya Pergi Dulu.

I can be proper lower back! Saya Akan Pulang Nanti.

I Don’t Understand! Saya Tak Faham!

I Don’t Know! Saya Tak Tau!

Now which you recognise a few easy terms, get cracking and speak with a few locals, and get them to educate you extra! There’s no higher manner to make buddies than with the aid of using taking a few attempt in gaining knowledge of their language. Malaysians will love you for it!

Tourist Tips

Here are a few suggestions for you. If you are being delivered to a Malay Muslim for the primary time, increase each your palms, hold close theirs and produce yours lower back in your chest. This is the conventional Malay ‘salam.’ To hold it easy, smiling and nodding is nice in case you do not know whether or not to shake palms or now no longer. With Muslim women, in widespread, if a hand isn’t always offered, it is high-quality now no longer to shake palms!

If you ever wander off or want any assist, search for the traveller police officer. They may be diagnosed with the aid of using their chequered hat bands, darkish blue shirts and trousers, and the letter “I” for records on a pink and blue badge on their breast pocket. They typically stand round traveller regions. However, in case you’re seeking out ordinary policemen, the quantity to name is 999 out of your phone. Emergency calls in Malaysia are loose.

Malaysia has about 20 public vacations in a yr, so plan your journey accurately and take a look at with the Tourism Malaysia website. Also affecting tour are college vacations, as households take days off with their youngsters, so positive elements of the united states, like traveller webweb sites and seashores ought to get crowded.

As you will be doing plenty of walking, you could constantly purchase mineral water bottles for drinking, and it is commonly now no longer secure to drink instantly out of the tap. The electric deliver is on a 240-volt 50-cycle machine, much like Britain.

Should you desire to trap up on neighborhood information and events, the English language papers which can be to be had are The New Straits Times, The Star, Business Times, Malay Mail, Daily Express, Sabah Daily News and Sarawak Tribune. If you need worldwide newspapers, you could maximum definitely locate them at any most important bookstores and newsstands. For events, strive Time Out and Klue magazines.

The huge weather modifications centre at the monsoon season, however except that, the climate not often modifications. It is both warm with rain, or warm with out rain. The temperature degrees among 21 C and 32 C, however with excessive humidity. Rain has a tendency to arise among November and February at the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, western Sarawak, and the north-japanese a part of Sabah.

Due to the weather, mild apparel is ideal. It is really helpful for ladies, while getting into mosques and temples, to put on lengthy sleeves and free pants or lengthy skirts. Or you may convey a shawl- it is a lighter alternative.

If you want to alter your watches earlier than arriving, Malaysia is eight hours beforehand of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Remove footwear while getting into houses and locations of worship. Malaysians do now no longer put on footwear across the residence.

While sitting down or resting in a organization, do now no longer direct your toes closer to someone, or any spiritual statues.

Public show of love in large towns like Kuala Lumpur is commonly tolerated however would possibly invite pointless interest from the public. Public presentations of love in extra rural regions are frowned wupon and have to be avoided. Also, identical-intercourse courting is taboo in Malaysia, so homosexual and lesbian visitors have to keep away from outward symptoms and symptoms of love, and this consists of protecting palms in public. Due to sturdy have an impact on from Islam, homosexuality is technically illegal, despite the fact that there are numerous underground homosexual and lesbian clubs.


This is the give up of component of About Malaysia. I wish you have loved gaining knowledge of extra approximately the human beings of Malaysia, and its economic system, healthcare and schooling systems, in addition to the fast language path and widespread traveller suggestions.

Now which you’ve gotten an concept of the united states, it is time to exit and explore! Do ensure you are taking some time to soak withinside the essence of the united states, its human beings and maximum importantly, its meals! Have a brilliant time in Malaysia.

Until subsequent time, Selamat Tinggal and goodbye.

For the high-quality and most effective audio courses to Malaysia, go to Audio Guide Malaysia.

Teng Ky-Gan is the Founder of Audio Guide Malaysia. Visit Audio Guide Malaysia [] for the high-quality and most effective audio courses to most important locations in Malaysia.