Practical Information

Working Days

Government offices in all states, with the exception of Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, operate on a five-day week from Monday to Friday. Some private establishments are open for half day on Saturday. Government offices in Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu are open from Sunday to Thursday. They are closed on Friday and Saturday.

Post Offices

Open from 8.00am to 5.00pm daily except on Sunday and public holidays. In Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, post offices are closed on Friday and public holidays.

Time

Eight hours ahead of GMT and 16 hours ahead of US Pacific Standard Time.
ELECTRICITY The voltage used throughout Malaysia is 220-240 volts A/C, at 50 cycles per second. Standard 3-pin square plugs and sockets are used.

Measuring Units

Malaysia uses the metric system.
e.g.: Weighing Units in Kilogram (kg), gram (g), miligram (mg); Length & Heights in Kilometres (km), Meters (m), Centimeters (cm); etc.

Telecommunications

Malaysia is linked nationally and internationally by telephone, facsimile, telegraph, telex and via the Internet. Most hotels provide International Direct Dial (IDD) telephone services. In cities and towns, public phones are available at high-traffic areas, such as bus stations, shopping complexes and office buildings, using coins or phone cards.

Insurance

Visitors are strongly advised to obtain adequate insurance cover before travelling to Malaysia.

Greetings

Although handshakes generally suffice for both men and women, some Muslim ladies may acknowledge an introduction to a gentleman with a nod of her head and smile. A handshake is only to be reciprocated if the lady offers her hand first. The traditional greeting or Salam resembles a handshake with both hands but without the grasp. The man offers both hands, lightly touches his friend’s hands, then brings his hands back to his chest to mean, “I greet you from the heart”. The visitor should reciprocate the Salam.

Conduct

Public behaviour is important in Malaysian culture. Most Malaysians refrain from displaying affection (i.e. embracing or kissing) in public. It would be appropriate for visitors to do the same.

Places of Worship

Shoes must be removed when entering places of worship such as mosques and temples. Some mosques provide robes and scarves for female visitors. Taking photographs at places of worship is usually permitted but request for permission first.

Tipping

Most hotels and restaurants levy a 10% service charge and 6% government sales tax on bills. Therefore, tipping is not customary. However, should you want to show your appreciation for good services, a small tip will do.

Social Visits

Before visiting a home, it is polite to call and inform of one’s arrival. Shoes must always be removed when entering a Malaysian home. Drinks are generally offered and it would be polite to accept