Fast Facts of Malaysia
COUNTRY The Federation of Malaysia comprises of Peninsular Malaysia made up of 11 states, 3 federal territories and the states of Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo.
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION Located between 2 and 7 degrees north of the Equator, Peninsular Malaysia is separated from the states of Sabah and Sarawak by the South China Sea. To the north of Peninsular Malaysia is Thailand while its southern neighbour is Singapore. Sabah and Sarawak are bounded by Indonesia while Sarawak also shares a border with Brunei.
AREA 329,758 sq km
POPULATION 25 million
CAPITAL Kuala Lumpur (KL)
TIME Eight hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and 16 hours ahead of United States Pacific Standard Time.
GEOGRAPHY Land area of 329,758 sq km
CLIMATE Malaysia has a tropical climate and the weather is warm all year round. Temperatures range from 21°C to 32 °C and the annual rainfall varies from 2,000mm to 2,500mm.
PEOPLE Malays make up about 57% of the population and are the predominant group with Chinese, Indians and other ethnic groups making up the rest.
RELIGION Islam is the official religion but all other religions are practised freely.
GOVERNMENT Parliamentary democracy with a bicameral legislative system. The Head of State is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Head of Government is the Prime Minister.
ENTRY REQUIREMENT Visitors to Malaysia must be in possession of a valid passport or travl document with a minimum validity of six months beyond the period of stay. Most nationalities do not require visas for social or business visits. For further information, please check with the nearest Malaysian Mission or Tourism Malaysia office in your country. Alternatively browse www.tourismmalaysia.gov.my or www.imi.gov.my.
CURRENCY The unit of currency is the Malaysian Ringgit, which is indicated as RM. Foreign currencies can be converted at banks and money changers.
All travellers, both residents and non-residents, are required to complete the Traveller's Declaration Form (TDF). The TDF has a blue section for residents and white section for non-residents.
Residents are only required to declare the exact amount of Ringgit carried when they enter or leave the country if the amount is in excess of RM1,000. They are also required to declare the exact amount in foreign currency, including traveller's cheques carried, when they leave the country if the amount exceeds the equivalent of RM10,000. Residents do not have to declare foreign currency, including traveller's cheques carried when they re-enter the country.
Non-residents are required to declare the exact amount of foreign currency carried when they enter or leave the country only if the amount exceeds the equivalent of USD 2,500.00.
GETTING THERE The main gateway to Malaysia is through the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, which is located approximately 50 kilometres south of Kuala Lumpur. Other major international airports that serve as entry points are located in Penang, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Langkawi and Johor. The main entry point by sea is at Port Klang, about 50 kilometres away from KL. Malaysia is also accessible by road and rail from Singapore and Thailand.
The newly-opened Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) is situated 20km from the main terminal building.
GETTING AROUND The country has a well-developed and efficient public transportation system served by buses, taxis and trains. In Kuala Lumpur, the Putra and STAR Light Rail Transit (LRT), KL Monorail and KTM Komuter trains provide regurlar and hassle-free accessibility within the city as well as to several outlying towns. The KL Sentral Station, situated 1.5km from the city centre, is a modern transportation hub which converges various modes of transportation. Car rental agencies can be found in most cities around the country.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES All government offices operate on a five-day week. In all states, except Kedah, kelantan and Terengganu, offices are open from Mondays to Fridays and are closed during the weekend. Government offices in the states of Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu operate from Sundays to Thursdays. They are closed on Fridays and Saturdays.
If a public holiday (for festivals and special occasions) falls on a non-working day, the following day will be declared a holiday.
Kuala Lumpur & Putrajaya
Kedah, Kelantan & Terengganu
Lunch break on Fridays is from 12.15pm - 2.45pm to allow the Muslims to perform their prayers.
Most banks are closed on the first and third Saturdays of the month.
This is only a general guide. Visitors are advised to obtain further information on local banking hours upon arriving at their destinations.
TIPPING Most hotels and restaurants levy a 10% service charge and 5% government sales tax on bills. Therefore, tipping is not customary. However, should you want to show your appreciation for good service, a small tip will do.
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