What You Do not Know About Malaysia 2

Hey there. ‘Selamat Datang ke Malaysia’. Which means, ‘Welcome to Malaysia’ in our nationwide language Bahasa Malaysia. It will be inconceivable to let you know all the pieces about Malaysia in such a brief time frame, however I provides you with a normal concept.


One of many issues you can see most fascinating about Malaysia is its folks and tradition. Being a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-lingual society of 28 million is not any straightforward feat, as race continues to be a hotly debated difficulty and permeates virtually each side of Malaysian life.

The Malaysian inhabitants consists of 62% Bumiputeras, which incorporates Malays and the Indigenous peoples, 24% Chinese language, eight% Indians, and the remainder 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 little bit completely different from citizenship in Peninsular Malaysia for immigration functions. When West Malaysians go to East Malaysia, they’re required to convey their MyKad, a biometric sensible chip identification card, which have to be carried by residents of Malaysia always.

The Malays kind the most important neighborhood, and they’re outlined as Muslims within the Structure of Malaysia- in different phrases, if you’re Malay, you’re routinely Muslim. The Malays are the massive brothers of politics, dominating the political scene. Their native language is Malay, the nationwide language of the nation. They’re additionally generally referred to as ‘bumiputra’, or ‘princes of the soil’ and are favoured with sure affirmative motion insurance policies. This has been some extent of discontent with loads of minorities. Amongst others, getting a 10% to 25% low cost when shopping for a home and receiving authorities tenders and scholarships are a few of these advantages. How did this come about? I will let you know extra within the financial system part.

The second greatest group are the Chinese language. They’re largely Buddhists, Taoists or Christians. The Chinese language neighborhood speaks a wide range of Chinese language dialects together with Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese, Hakka, and Teochew- all from the native familial provinces in China. However right this moment, many Chinese language converse English as their first language; in reality there are some who converse solely English. If the Malays dominate the political scene, the Chinese language dominate the enterprise scene. There’s a sizable center class consisting of the Chinese language.

The third greatest group are the Indians. The Indians in Malaysia are primarily Hindu Tamils from southern India whose native language is Tamil. After all there are different Indian communities residing right here they usually converse many dialects like Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi. Many center to upper-middle class Indians in Malaysia additionally converse English as a primary language. There may be additionally a vigorous 200,000-strong Indian Muslim neighborhood that thrives as an unbiased cultural group. In reality, if you happen to get hungry in the midst of the evening, you likely will head to a ‘mamak’, a sort of 24-hour restaurant that’s usually owned by an Indian Muslim. There may be additionally a large Sikh neighborhood in Malaysia numbering over 100,000.

The most important non-Malay indigenous tribe is the Iban of Sarawak, who quantity over 600,000. Some nonetheless dwell in conventional jungle villages in lengthy homes alongside the Rajang and Lupar rivers, although many have moved to the cities. Then, there are the Bidayuhs, who quantity round 170,000 and are concentrated within the south western a part of Sarawak. Then there are the Kadazans, the most important indigenous tribe in Sabah and they’re largely Christian farmers. Then there are the 140,000 Orang Asli, or aborigines, residing in Peninsular Malaysia. Historically nomadic hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists, many have been partially absorbed into ‘trendy’ Malaysia.

Moreover that, by interracial marriage, there are a big variety of racial teams such because the Eurasians, who’re descendants of marriages among the many British, Dutch and Portuguese and the locals. They converse a Portuguese-based creole, referred to as PapiĆ” Kristang. There are additionally Eurasians of Filipino and Spanish descent, largely in Sabah. Descended from immigrants from the Philippines, some converse Chavacano, the one Spanish-based creole language in Asia. Then there are Cambodians and Vietnamese, who’re largely Buddhists. Then there are Thai Malaysians, who populate an enormous a part of the northern peninsular states of Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Kelantan and Terengganu. Moreover talking Thai, most of them are Buddhists, rejoice Songkran or Water pageant and may converse Hokkien, however a few of them are Muslim and converse the Kelantanese Malay dialect. Then there are the Bugis and Javanese, who make up part of the inhabitants in Johor. As well as, there have been many foreigners and expatriates who’ve made Malaysia their second house, additionally contributing to Malaysia’s inhabitants. Then there are the Babas and Nyonyas, or Straits Chinese language; descendants of Chinese language who got here to commerce in historical Malacca who married native Malays. They mix Malay and Chinese language traditions in such a means as to create a brand new tradition. Most of them gown in typical Malay trend, carrying the kebaya ketat, which is a Malay conventional costume, they usually converse a particular sort of Malay, and cook dinner meals that could be a mixture of the each cultures.

Being a multiracial nation, cultural exchanges and cultural integrations are inevitable. For instance, this may be seen in Malay marriage ceremony ceremonies, which contains parts of the Hindu traditions of southern India. The bride and the groom gown in attractive brocades, sit in state, and feed one another yellow rice with arms painted with henna. One other instance is that the Muslims and Hindus have tailored the Chinese language customized of giving little pink packets of cash or ‘ang pau’ at festivals similar to Aidilfitri, and Deepavali. The colors of the packets range, however the observe is comparable.

In Malaysia, it’s completely potential to go from a kampong or a village, to a rubber property to a Chinese language espresso store and really feel as if you happen to’ve seen so many various sides to 1 nation. Journey to any Kuala Lumpur suburb and observe. A Chinese language home may have a mom praying and lighting joss sticks for her ancestors, an Indian household can be taking part in the radio that includes the newest Tamil hit, whereas the Malay household can be on the brink of stroll to the closest mosque.

Racial relations stay a thorny difficulty that permeates each side of the Malaysian life. Stereotypes are then inevitable. The Malays are lazy and sluggish, the Chinese language are grasping and wish to gamble, and the Indians are at all times drunk they usually beat their wives. You’ll be able to nonetheless hear this fairly often within the streets, more often than not as a joke, however generally as an insult. To be recognized together with your race is quite common. For example, job interviews require you to state your race, although this observe is slowly diminishing. While you inform a Malaysian that you just noticed a highway accident, he would seemingly ask you if it was a Malay, a Chinese language or an Indian. Should you acquired robbed, you would be requested if it was a Malay or an Indian. Should you receives a commission peanuts, your boss is probably going Chinese language. Should you journey a motorcycle, you are probably Malay. Should you dwell in a high-end neighbourhood, you are probably Chinese language. I might go on, however I encourage you to seek out out these stereotypes your self!

Moreover being a melting pot of assorted races, Malaysia can be a multi-religious society with Islam because the official faith. Roughly 63 p.c of the inhabitants observe Islam; 18 p.c Buddhism; 7 p.c Christianity; 6 p.c Hinduism; and a couple of p.c conventional Chinese language religions similar to Taoism. The remaining numbers are accounted for by different faiths, together with Animism, Folks faith, Sikhism, whereas 1 p.c has no faith.

Whereas the Malaysian structure ensures non secular freedom, Malay Muslims are obliged to comply with the selections of Syariah courts on the subject of issues regarding Islam. Changing out of Islam in Malaysia is a largely problematic difficulty, and whereas it has been tried by some, it’s a course of that requires lengthy authorized battles and isn’t well-received by the vast majority of the Muslim trustworthy. The Islamic judges within the Syariah courts are anticipated to comply with the Shafi`I college of Islam, which is the primary denomination of Islam in Malaysia. The ability of the Shariah courtroom is proscribed solely to Muslims over issues similar to marriage, inheritance, apostasy, non secular conversion, and custody. No different felony or civil offenses are below the jurisdiction of the Syariah courts. However there have been strikes by the Pan Islamic Get together to implement the hudud regulation, or Islamic regulation.

That was rather a lot to digest. However it’s price understanding how tradition, race and faith work in Malaysia in an effort to perceive Malaysian life. Now exit and see if you happen to can acknowledge who’s Malay, who’s Chinese language, who’s Indian, and who’s, as we Malaysians like to say, Lain-lain, or others.

Economic system

Let’s take a fast have a look at the Malaysian financial system now.

Spice commerce was large enterprise in Malaysia in the course of the time of the Malaccan Sultanate. When the British took over, rubber and palm oil timber grew to become large enterprise. Quickly, Malaysia grew to become the world’s largest producer of tin, rubber, and palm oil. With these three profitable commodities, Malaysia was poised for excellent financial progress.

Throughout this progress interval, the federal government tried to eradicate poverty with the controversial New Financial Coverage, or the NEP, after the Might 13 Incident of racial rioting in 1969. At the moment, the economies have been raced based- the Malays labored as farmers within the paddy fields or civil servants, the Chinese language owned companies and the Indians tapped rubber timber within the rubber estates. The coverage’s essential goal was the elimination of the affiliation of race with financial operate because it was in the course of the time of the British. Nevertheless, the New Financial Coverage was laden with controversial affirmative insurance policies that favoured the Malays, and it was a supply of discontent even till right this moment.

Again then, Malaysia was very reliant on agriculture. It wanted to maneuver to an financial system primarily based on manufacturing. Impressed by the Asian Tigers within the 70s, which have been South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, Malaysia moved from being reliant on mining and agriculture to an financial system primarily based on manufacturing. Then, Malaysia constantly achieved greater than 7% GDP progress together with low inflation within the 1980s and the 1990s. Immediately, Malaysia is house to one of many world’s largest laptop laborious disk manufacturing websites.

The Asian Monetary Disaster hit within the fall of 1997 and delivered a shock to Malaysia’s financial system. International direct funding fell sharply and, as capital flowed overseas, the worth of the ringgit dropped from 2.50 Ringgit versus 1 US Greenback to, at one level, four.80 Ringgit versus 1 US Greenback. A Nationwide Financial Motion Council was then shaped to take care of the financial disaster. Financial institution Negara, the nation’s central financial institution imposed capital controls and pegged the Malaysian ringgit at three.80 to the US greenback. Malaysia refused financial assist packages from the Worldwide Financial Fund and the World Financial institution, a lot to the shock of many analysts.

Rejuvenation of the Malaysian financial system coincided with large authorities spending and price range deficits within the years that adopted the disaster. It will definitely loved sooner financial restoration in comparison with its neighbours. Malaysia’s fast financial progress and prosperity is symbolized by the constructing of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the tallest twin buildings on this planet and the headquarters of the nationwide oil big.

Whereas the tempo of Malaysia’s growth right this moment just isn’t as fast, it’s seen as extra sustainable. Malaysia can be the world’s largest Islamic banking and monetary centre.

Finally, the fastened trade charge was deserted in July 2005 in favour of a managed floating system inside an hour of China saying the identical transfer. In that exact same week, the ringgit strengthened one p.c in opposition to varied main currencies and was anticipated to understand additional.

At present Malaysia is acknowledged as a newly industrialized nation and as of 2008, has a GDP per capita of 14,215 USD, rating the nation 48th on this planet, and 2nd in Southeast Asia, however lagging far behind its Southern neighbour, Singapore.


Let’s take a fast have a look at healthcare in Malaysia. Malaysia usually has an environment friendly and widespread system of healthcare. It implements a common healthcare system, and co-exists with a non-public healthcare system. Anybody can stroll right into a authorities hospital and get therapy without spending a dime, although ready time is normally longer. Prescriptions might value cash however are sometimes given to the affected person at a sponsored charge. Toddler mortality charge – an ordinary in figuring out the general effectivity of healthcare – in 2005 was 10, coming in favourably in a comparability with america and Western Europe. Life expectancy at start in 2005 was 74 years.

Should you want medical help in Malaysia, you are free to stroll into any authorities or non-public hospitals, however as a vacationer, you won’t be able to benefit from the free healthcare.


Earlier than we get into some language lesson, I might wish to let you know how the Malaysian training system is organized. Why do completely different youngsters go to various kinds of college? At this level, you’d not be shocked if I let you know that the training system could be very a lot primarily based on race too.

Should you’re between three to six years outdated, you’d probably go to a kindergarten. Often they’re run privately, however some are run by the federal government.

While you flip 7, you’d transfer on to main college for the following six years. There are two varieties of main college you would go to. The primary is the SRK, or Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan, that are authorities run faculties. You would be utilizing the Malay language because the medium of instruction.

Or, in case your mother and father are Chinese language or Indian, they might select to ship you to the second kind of faculty referred to as SJK, or Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan. Right here, you may be utilizing both Mandarin or Tamil, relying on which college you go to. Should you’re a woman, you’ll put on a darkish blue pinafore, coupled with a white shirt, or the darkish blue and white baju kurung, or Malay conventional costume. Should you’re a boy, you’ll put on darkish blue pants or shorts and a white shirt. And you will fortunately slog by 6 years, and by the top of 12 months 6 or while you’re 12 years outdated, you may be taking a much-dreaded examination referred to as the Main College Achievement Check or Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah, UPSR.

Then, you’d transfer onto Secondary training the place you’ll examine for the following 5 years. Nationwide secondary faculties use Malay as the primary medium of instruction. On the finish of Type Three while you flip 15, you’ll sit for an additional much-dreaded examination referred to as Decrease Secondary Evaluation or Penilaian Menengah Rendah, not so fondly generally known as PMR. And eventually, within the final 12 months of secondary training or Type 5 while you flip 17, you sit for the actually dreaded Malaysian Certificates of Schooling or Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, SPM. It’s just like the British Bizarre or ‘O’ Ranges, and extra complete that the American SATs.

You will understand there are loads of exams for Malaysians college students to take. It’s because we take after the British system of ‘qualification by examination’, a legacy of our colonial days.

Whereas English and Maths was taught in English for a brief interval, the federal government has determined to scrap this measure and revert to Bahasa Malaysia, beginning in 2012, a transfer many have protested.

Here is one other stereotype. Because of the stringent instructing strategies, Chinese language faculties are famous for producing a number of the prime college students within the nation, making some Malay and Indian mother and father ship their youngsters to those faculties as nicely.

Oh, your training journey just isn’t over simply but. At 17, if you happen to’re fortunate sufficient to be born Malay and bumiputra, you get into a quick observe referred to as matriculation and safe a protected seat at college. In step with affirmative motion insurance policies that favour your race, you will not have to fret a lot if you happen to’ll get a spot. Should you’re Chinese language, Indian or Lain- Lain, you may should undergo two years of higher secondary training referred to as Type Six, divided into Decrease Six and Higher Six, on the finish of which you may be rewarded with essentially the most dreaded of all exams- the Malaysian Increased College Certificates or Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia, or STPM. It’s the Malaysian equal to the British Superior or ‘A’ ranges. Nevertheless, you probably have cash to burn, you should purchase your means out of STPM by enrolling your self in a matriculation course in non-public schools.

And eventually, the head of education- the college. The variety of public universities in Malaysia is few, in reality lower than 20, so locations are very restricted. Discovering a spot in a public college is an annual supply of frustration, with many certified college students going to the media to complain they’ve been denied a spot. Should you’re Malay or bumiputra, it can save you your mother and father’ retirement fund and safe an virtually assured place in a public college, the place education charges are minimal. Nevertheless, if you happen to’re Chinese language or Indian and you fail to safe a spot, your different choice is non-public faculty training, the place you will have to ask your mother and father to postpone their retirement by a few years.

I did let you know that race performs an vital position within the Malaysian society.

Then, after three to six years of college, you graduate with a level and may select to proceed your submit graduate research.


Alright, that is the top of our training on training. And now, comes the sensible half. Listed here are some helpful ideas so that you can make your keep in Malaysia higher.

Communication is simple in Malaysia. Opposite to in style perception, most of us converse English, not less than some English. Bahasa Malaysia or Malaysia language is the official language. Listed here are some useful conversational Bahasa Malaysia phrases you’ll be able to strive. Let’s start!

Good morning! Selamat Pagi

Good night! Selamat Petang

How are you? Apa Khabar?

I am high-quality, thanks! Khabar Baik, Terima Kasih

Thanks! Terima Kasih

You are welcome! Sama-sama

Good evening! Selamat Malam

So long! Jumpa Lagi!

Good bye! Selamat Jalan!

If you must ask for some assist or instructions, these are some helpful phrases:

I am misplaced Saya Sesat

Are you able to assist me? Boleh Tolong Saya?

The place is the bathroom? Mana Tandas?

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

I am in search of my pal. Saya Cari Kawan Saya.

How a lot is that this? Berapa Harga Ni?

Excuse me!Maafkan Saya…

Should you’re actually passionate about making an attempt out much more Bahasa Malaysia, listed below are some extra superior phrases.

Do you converse English? Awak Cakap Bahasa Inggeris ke?

Just a bit. Sedikit sahaja.

What’s your title? Apa nama awak?

My title is… Nama Saya…

The place are you from? Awak Dari Mana?

I am from…Saya Dari…

The place do you reside? Awak Tinggal Di mana?

I dwell in…Saya Tinggal Di

I’ve to go Saya Pergi Dulu.

I can be proper again! Saya Akan Pulang Nanti.

I Do not Perceive! Saya Tak Faham!

I Do not Know! Saya Tak Tau!

Now that you recognize some easy phrases, get cracking and converse with some locals, and get them to show you extra! There isn’t any higher option to make pals than by taking some effort in studying their language. Malaysians will love you for it!

Vacationer Ideas

Listed here are some ideas for you. Should you’re being launched to a Malay Muslim for the primary time, lengthen each your arms, grasp theirs and convey yours again to your chest. That is the standard Malay ‘salam.’ To maintain it easy, smiling and nodding is ok if you do not know whether or not to shake arms or not. With Muslim girls, typically, if a hand just isn’t provided, it is best to not shake arms!

Should you ever get misplaced or want any assist, search for the vacationer police officer. They are often acknowledged by their chequered hat bands, darkish blue shirts and trousers, and the letter “I” for info on a pink and blue badge on their breast pocket. They normally stand round vacationer areas. Nevertheless, if you happen to’re in search of common policemen, the quantity to name is 999 out of your telephone. Emergency calls in Malaysia are free.

Malaysia has roughly 20 public holidays in a 12 months, so plan your journey correctly and test with the Tourism Malaysia web site. Additionally affecting journey are college holidays, as households take days off with their youngsters, so sure elements of the nation, like vacationer websites and seashores might get crowded.

As you may be doing loads of strolling, you’ll be able to at all times purchase mineral water bottles for ingesting, and it is usually not protected to drink straight out of the faucet. The electrical provide is on a 240-volt 50-cycle system, just like Britain.

Must you want to atone for native information and occasions, the English language papers which are out there are The New Straits Instances, The Star, Enterprise Instances, Malay Mail, Day by day Categorical, Sabah Day by day Information and Sarawak Tribune. In order for you worldwide newspapers, you’ll be able to most actually discover them at any main bookstores and newsstands. For occasions, strive Time Out and Klue magazines.

The 2 vital local weather modifications centre on the monsoon season, however apart from that, the climate not often modifications. It’s both sizzling with rain, or sizzling with out rain. The temperature ranges between 21 C and 32 C, however with excessive humidity. Rain tends to happen between November and February on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, western Sarawak, and the north-eastern a part of Sabah.

Because of the local weather, mild clothes is good. It’s advisable for girls, when getting into mosques and temples, to put on lengthy sleeves and free pants or lengthy skirts. Or you would carry a shawl- it is a lighter different.

If you must modify your watches earlier than arriving, Malaysia is eight hours forward of Greenwich Imply Time (GMT).

Take away footwear when getting into houses and locations of worship. Malaysians don’t put on footwear round the home.

Whereas sitting down or resting in a bunch, don’t direct your ft in the direction of somebody, or any non secular statues.

Public show of affection in bigger cities like Kuala Lumpur is usually tolerated however would possibly invite pointless consideration from the general public. Public shows of affection in additional rural areas are frowned wupon and needs to be averted. Additionally, same-sex relationship is taboo in Malaysia, so homosexual and lesbian travellers ought to keep away from outward indicators of affection, and this consists of holding arms in public. On account of robust affect from Islam, homosexuality is technically unlawful, though there are numerous underground homosexual and lesbian golf equipment.


That is the top of half two of About Malaysia. I hope you have loved studying extra in regards to the folks of Malaysia, and its financial system, healthcare and training programs, in addition to the quick language course and normal vacationer ideas.

Now that you have gotten an concept of the nation, it is time to exit and discover! Do be sure you take your time to soak within the essence of the nation, its folks and most significantly, its meals! Have a good time in Malaysia.

Till subsequent time, Selamat Tinggal and goodbye.

For the very best and solely audio guides to Malaysia, go to Audio Guide Malaysia.

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