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Understanding Malaysia: Home

This guide provides useful information and links to resources on Malaysia.

At A Glance


The following information have been carefully selected for your reference. Some resources may have bias perspectives. Please approach the SMU Libraries ( ) should you have any doubts or need clarifications.

This introduction video brings you around Malaysia - when to go and the top things to do while you are in Malaysia.


Learn more about Malaysia provinces and capitals through this educational video.

Get to know the history of Nusantara that explained in 9 minutes.

Need To Know

This section helps prepare an individual before embarking to Malaysia, such as learning the cultural etiquette, basic conversational phrases, and even some useful local contact numbers.

  • Do not kiss and hug in the public.
  • Do not shake hands freely with someone especially those who are a Muslim.
  • Never use your left hand to eat, give something, or accept gifts from someone.
  • Do not pat someone head, regardless of seniority.
  • Remove shoes when entering someone house, temples or mosques.
  • Do wear modestly when visiting sacred places like temples and mosques.
  • Stand up to show respect when you see a monk or nun.
  • Never point to something with your forefinger, or with your feet.

All about Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim, Islamic calendar, and is a time to pray, give charity and also fasting during daylight hours. During the month of Ramadan, adult Muslims fast from dusk until dawn, unless they are ill, pregnant, diabetic, breastfeeding, or travelling. Children are not obliged to fast during Ramadan, not until they are close to their teens, but some practice in order to prepare for adult participation. Find out more what is the 5 Pillars of Islam represent.

Basic Conversational Language

Some phrases in Malay that are handy to know when visiting Malaysia.

  • Selamat pagi (good morning)
  • Selamat petang (good afternoon)
  • Selamat malam (good night)
  • Paalam (Goodbye)
  • Apa khabar (How are you?)
  • Baik (Good)
  • Terima kasih banyak-banyak (Thank you very much)
  • Berapa harganya?(How much does this cost?)
  • Jumpa lagi (See you again)
  • Minta ma-af (Excuse me)
  • More phrases

Phone Apps

    Lessons are broken down into bite-sized chunks and it feels like you’re playing a game. Duolingo is a great introduction, but it can feel like you’re learning a random mix of information, often through repetition. The more you do, the more robust your vocabulary will be.
    The only way to become fluent in a new language is to speak it. Tandem is geared toward conversations with native speakers. The idea is that you can help one another learn new languages via text, audio, and video chat. The app vets you and then helps you to find a partner who shares your interests. They teach you and you teach them.


Malaysia Ringgits (MYR)

More details on the exchange rate.

Dialing Code


Useful Numbers

  • Police: 999
  • KL Tourist Police: 03-2149 6590
  • Fire: 994
  • Ambulance: 991
  • Singapore Embassy in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur): 03 2161 6277
  • Embassy of Singapore (Kuala Lumpur): +6(03) 2161-6277
  • More emergency numbers

Local Media Source

This section links to the various local news media in Malaysia.

RSS News Feed

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What To Look Out

This section informs the common scams and crimes to look out for when visiting Malaysia.


  • Common Tourist Scams
    Learn how to protect yourself from these common scams and crimes when visiting Malaysia.

Crime & Security

  • Overall Crime and Safety Report
    Find out more information on the common crime threats, areas of concerns, transportation-road safety, and even terrorism threat.


This section lists some recommended readings about Malaysia.


Useful Links

This section provides useful links to the Malaysia social media.

Social Media

Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB)


Acceptable Use Policy

Electronic resources (e.g., databases, datasets, e-journals, e-books and streaming audio/video) provided by the SMU Libraries are governed by license agreements that restrict use to current students, faculty and staff of SMU and the Singapore Copyright Act.

The use of electronic resources must comply with the Appropriate Use of Electronic Resources Policy and Singapore Management University Acceptable Use Policy