MALAYSIA

Malaysia

Situated at the heart of Southeast Asia, since its inception in the 1960s, the country has become one of the world’s most frequented Asian destinations. Known for iconic Petronas Twin Towers and mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European cultural influences as well as its beaches, mountains, tropical rainforest and jungles. Malaysia has it all. Plus, food is not just first class—its world class. 

Malaysia is ranked the 2nd most popular destination in Southeast Asia, connected to a plethora of reliable budget airlines. Despite recent mishaps, and unlike its neighbours that attract a backpacker crowd, surprisingly tourism continues to thrive.

Among these, medical and educational tourism are building an international reputation. In the near future, Malaysia’s rising medical tourism industry is expected to rival that of Singapore and Thailand. A number of foreign universities, notably from Australia, have been established off-shore campuses. Moreover, the country remains the most affordable of three places in Asia (others being Singapore and Hong Kong) to buy freehold property. This means that Malaysia is a viable option for considering a second (holiday) home or even retirement. 

Why visit?



Because it is culturally diverse

Malaysia is a melting pot of Asian culture. Everywhere you look, there are influences from China, India and the rest of Southeast Asia. Tourists can savour a delicious variety of flavours and many hybrid dishes, admire Catholic churches, Chinese temples, Islamic mosques all within a short walk of each other; all attributes makes it a fascinating place to visit.

Because locals are friendly 

Malaysians are known for their welcoming hospitality and broad smiles. People are remarkably friendly, open-minded and even in a multi-ethnic society, there is a feeling of being safe, all the time. Locals are carefree, happy to chat and help. Also, there is no fear of being scammed or cheated like other places in South East Asia.

Because locals speak English

Most tourists may think it is not a bad idea to learn a few words of Malay before visiting. But as a former British colony, English is commonly used. Signage and menus are bilingual. The level of spoken English is much higher than most of Asia. If you intend to venture ‘off the beaten track’, however, knowing a few local words, especially (names of) dishes may not be a bad idea. 

Because it is Halal sensitive

Malaysia is a multicultural and multiracial society, celebrating various cuisine and heritage. Malay Muslim predominance. The country's rich Islamic heritage also makes it a top Muslim destination. In the future, it is expected that the Islamic population will be 30% of the world's travellers by 2025; and as the world becomes even more connected through tourism, Malaysia is expected to become an even more attractive destination for Muslim tourists coming to Asia.

Because it has good weather

Malaysia is hot (or summer) all year round. The temperature stays constant at high 20s ℃ all year round. Monsoon season brings more rain (November to March), which is also welcomely refreshing. It is no surprise that the beach under the tropical sun is ever so popular!

Because it is value for money

Malaysia may not be the cheapest destination in South East Asia ; it is not as cheap as Thailand, but it is not that much more expensive either! And as one would expect, the infrastructure (transport system) is better. Still, the price, in comparison to Western standards for accommodation and transport, is considered excellent value. With the recent drop of the Ringgit, it is a good time to exchange. 

Travel themes

 

A fusion of tastes

Malaysian food reflects the country’s multiethnic, multiracial nature. It is a melting pot, famous for its authentic tastes, flavours and variety--a mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian cooking with influences from Middle East as well.

As tourists, we seek the distinctive “terroir” of a country’s history, culture and traditions; food that sells the culture and identity of a destination. So food tourism is not just about consumption but also about experiencing new and interesting kinds of food.  Searching for local cuisine has become an important motivation and a pastime of above-average income couples. After all, taste leaves us with lasting memories. It is no surprise that local food and drinks are of interest to repeated travellers.

 

Where to go and for what?

Simple. Fresh. Novel. These are all words to describe Malaysian cuisine. Most of all, food in Malaysia is readily available and affordable. While rice is a staple, there is an insatiable appetite for red chili. Street food is taken in open air food stalls.

Regional specialties:

Malacca: we find a fusion of Indonesia Nyonya and Eurasian "east-west" cooking.

Penang prides its cooking on Thai inspired Nyonya and Muslin India Nasi Kandar.

The most notable product of Perak is Tempoyak. Made with durian, an unusual scented fruit known as the “King of fruits”,  that is consumed as a gravy with freshwater fish. Guava and pomelo are other local seasonal treats.

Set in the Malay Muslim precincts of Kelantan and Trengganu Malay food is abundant. The long hot-dog like sausage “fish crackers” known as "keropk, keropok, leko and keropok gote" are most distinctive. Made of fish paste and dipped into a chili-tamarind sauce.

Peppercorn and sago, “edible pearls” are products of Sarawak.

Tiger prawns are grown in Tawau, Sabah. They are exported to Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong.

For those who are reminiscent of the colonial era, a number of places offer high tea:

  • The St. Regis
  • The Ritz-Carlton
  • Newens Teahouse
  • The Orchid Conservatory, The Majestic Hotel
  • The Shangri-La
  • Carcosa Seri Negara (under renovation)

 

Taste of Penang: cheap street food

  • Lorong Baru (New Lane)--char koway kak (Chinese style noodles), otak otak (stream fish curry)
  • Gurney Drive, laska stores (at Ah Chye)
  • Esplande food Center, rojak (at Rojak Hoo Wei Jeng)
  • Joo Hooi Cafe
  • Lebuh Presgrave Hawker Stalls
  • Lorong Selamat Hawker Stalls

 

Your Malacca foodie menu

  • laksa – a regional spicy noodle dish, made of coconut and lemongrass
  • popiah-uber – spring roll suffered with shredded carrots, prawns, chili, garlic, palm sugar and more
  • cendol an ice with jelly, syrup and coconut milk dessert, originally from Indonesia
  • Nyonya pineapple tarts – buttery, crispy flaking pastries with chewy pineapple jam
  • chicken rice ball – Hokkien style chicken rice balled dumplings
  • asam fish heads – spicy Nyonya tamarind fish head stew
  • satay celup – exclusively Malaccan, like fondue, dunk tofu, prawns and more into a bubbling soup broth
  • devil curry – a festival food, very spicy Eurasian chicken curry

 

Top 5 “must eats” to try before leaving:

  • chicken satay – try Malaysia's most famous contribution of the culinary world -- satay
  • char kway teow – “stir-fried ricecake strips”, a dish loved by all
  • Penang assam laksa – a popular sweet, sour and spicy shredded fish in noodle soup found in hawker stalls
  • Nasi lemak – a simple Malay breakfast of coconut rice served with hard-boiled egg, sweet and salty fish, chicken or beef curry
  • Nasi Kandar –steamed rice with Malaysian curry 


Click food in Malaysia  to discover more, or click Singapore and  Thailand  to compare  


A new medical "mecca"

In the past, it was common to travel to developed regions for medical advice and treatment. But things are changing. Capitalising on latest technology and the globalisation of medicine, new conditions have made Asia an attractive destination for healthcare. Seen as a natural extension of spa and health tourism, the tenet of medical tourism is to maintain, improve or restore one's health.

Privatisation of healthcare, among other factors, has saw the rise of the "medical tourist". Coming mainly from "rich countries" where expenses are high, the medical tourist avoids paying high costs or waiting for non-urgent treatment.

Why Malaysia is like the West, but better?

While a late player, Malaysia has become an awaking giant in the game. Home to some of the world’s best doctors, still the challenge remains (much like elsewhere) is how to convince tourists that Malaysia is safe healthcare destination.

Doctors are trained in Australia, U.S. or the U.K, and comfortably converse in English. A product of colonialism means Western culture is embedded in the country—making it attractive to English-speaking tourists. In comparison, English is more widely spoken here in Malaysia than in Thailand, and infrastructure is better than India, and last but not least, the price: living and, more importantly, medical costs in Malaysia are cheaper than Singapore.

A hip replacement at Malaysia Mahkota Medical Centre (Malacca), compared to the same procedure in Singapore, is 65% the price! Furthermore, cheaper air travel, the stronger U.S. dollar, and the depreciation of the ringgit has made Malaysia a more attractive destination. Numerous hospitals in Penang and Kuala Lumpur are among Southeast Asia’s first recipients of the United States’ prestigious Joint Commission International (JCI) certification, hence, George Town and Kuala Lumpur have emerged as two medical hubs in Malaysia. Including one of best, The Lam Wah Ee Hospital (Penang). 

After the financial crisis, Indonesians begun to turn to Malaysia for affordable price healthcare, then a potential industry surfaced. Today, 80 % of its tourists roam from neighbouring countries, including Thailand and Singapore, which have established themselves as Asia's leading medical destinations. Also, given its ethnic composition, Halal medicine is a specialty practice, with a Muslim majority Indonesia remaining a popular market. Beginning with medical screening, it has since expanded to cover cardiac, cancer and eye surgery as well as cosmetic surgery, dentistry, and dermatology. Furthermore, some hospitals have gone a step extra and are affiliated with specialist schools. For example, English and IT lessons have been popular means to keep children preoccupied while parents are undergoing treatment.

Locations of medical tourism hubs:

  • Penang
  • Kuala Luper
  • Melaka
  • Selangor
  • Sarawak
  • Johor


Some of the leading institutions:


High spending consumers from:

  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • Nepal
  • United Kingdom
  • US
  • Middle East


Halal practice 

In a country with a high proportion of Malay Muslim, medical tourism is catering to a religiously group. Malaysia is expected to be a world hub for Halal practice. To cater to Islamic medical tourism, hospital staff need to be sensitive to Muslim preferences and understand their way of life, including concepts of modesty. A full range of halal services, including a prayer room, call to prayer, funeral preparation, food and female doctors and caregivers (to serve female patients) are required. Unnecessary touching and even avoidance of opposite sex staff ensures patients are not humiliated.

Assigning single occupancy rooms to ensure privacy, a "knock-and-wait" before entry policy, provision of modest medical tourist gowns, as well as specialist amenities (prayer room, qibla direction, Islamic call to prayer, Quran and wudhu facilities). Plus medical staff should have in-house training to familiarize themselves and avoid cultural clashes.

Due to dietary requirements, doctors and pharmacists should proactively discuss non-halal medicines (containing pork derivatives) and procedures including blood transfusion from non-Muslims with patients and their families. Caretakers should respect patients’ religious beliefs and their need for quiet prayer time.

To ensure a halal friendly environment is maintained, strict standards are enforced. Adherence to Islamic medical ethics and standards are monitored by the Halal Industry Development Corporation, Islamic Tourism Centre, and Malaysia Department of Standards.

Total of 76 hospitals and 34 Islamic-friendly hospitals, they are concentrated in the following areas:

  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Kuala Terengganu
  • Penang
  • Johor Bahru
  • Selangor

 

Flying ambulances

Malaysia is the centre of medical excellence and a world-class getaway. To continue to reap the benefits, including regional emergency, cases of by-passing conventional immigration control, cross the border treatments marks a new era for "flying ambulances" into Malaysia. 

Click medical in Malaysia to discover more, or click Singapore and  Thailand to compare   


Islamic tourism

Certain religious practices are central to Muslims. These entails observing certain Islamic rules and regulations. From the beginning, religion and travel has been inter-connected. It includes visiting religious buildings, rituals and festival, such as the Hajj. According to the Koran, Muslims should travel, to get blessings from Allah (ibadah) by visiting their friends and relatives overseas, and learning history and appreciating the creation and beauty of God's world.

Reasons for Muslims to travel

  • something to talk about
  • indulge in luxury
  • meeting new people
  • going to place that peers haven't visited
  • escape from demands of home or a busy job
  • visiting places where family are from
  • being together with the family


Top tourist activities 

  • mountainous area
  • natural ecological sites
  • wide-open spaces, away from crowds
  • wilderness and undisturbed area
  • shopping

 

Destination considerations

  • availability of mosque
  • loud public pronouncement of Azan, indicating prayer time
  • placement of Qibla direction (arows towards Mecca) in hotel rooms
  • Provision of the Holy Qur'an in hotel rooms
  • availability of Halal food
  • Halal kitchens in hotels
  • segregated beach areas for women
  • banning of prostitution, and indecency and public display of affection
  • banning of adult scenes on television
  • banning of alcoholic drinks
  • banning of gambling

 

"Feeling at home" in Malaysia

Malaysia is the top long haul destination for the Middle East. What’s the attraction? The country's Muslim majority, makes it one sensitive to the needs of Muslim tourists. Its major strength is the infrastructure in place for Muslim overseas, leaving them alone to fulfill their religious needs. The availability of halal food and Muslim-friendly facilities are also major factors. Its top markets roam from its neighbouring "Muslim countries" -- Indonesia and Singapore. Singapore has the greatest market-share, over 50%, followed by Indonesia, then Thailand and China. An additional way to make a destination more attractive is to have restaurants menus and also information, brochures and newspapers in Arabic text. Further, the presence of a local Muslim community, especially mosques, also enhance the connectivity between "hosts" and "guests".

Muslims concentration in Malaysia:

  • Terengganu
  • Kelantan
  • Pahang
  • Kedah

 

Mosque can be found:

  • Sultan Abu Baker Mosque in Johor
  • Zahir Mosque in Kedah
  • State Mosque in Negri Sembilan
  • Kapitan Keling Mosque in Penang
  • Acheen Street Mosque in Penang
  • Bukit Chandan Mosque in Perak
  • Natational Mosque in Perlis
  • Jamek Moseue in Perlis
  • Seyd Alwai Mosque in Perlis

Click religious sites in Malaysia to discover more 

 

Minimizing cultural clashes

Religion fixes the tone of life for Muslims. Ignorance and insensitivity hinders tourism. Separated by language, economics and social factors is one factor, another is diversity among tourists themselves. Inter-cultural clashes include sun-bathing bikini babes, drinking cocktails or tourists making love on the beach.

Food, dress and also how to conduct oneself appropriately means repeated visit can happen when certain expectations are not met and the disparity is too wide. So, education of locals and tourists about cultural and religious sensitives are necessary to ensure culturally appropriate behaviours take place. Such include being sensitive to Muslim needs for alcohol-free accommodation, gender-segregated and strict dress code and "Islamic" entertainment programs. Avoidance of alcohol consumption, wearing scanty clothing, serving pork and sun-bathing should be noted.

 

Enhancing halal hospitality

Malaysia is keen to enhance its image by attracting Middle Eastern and Muslim tourists worldwide. The country plans to cater to this specialised market, allowing Muslims to enjoy the benefits that Malaysia has to offer: from duty free to affordable luxury shopping, healthcare to medical treatments, nature and cultural tourism. It even has constructed a shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur that appeal to Middle East visitors and a number of hospitals specially for Muslim patients. The development of more Muslim-friendly products, will further boost the image of Malaysia as a safe destination responsive to Islamic tourists’ needs.  These products include halal services and products, such as a female Muslim taxi driver, halal airlines, as well as segregated beaches, gender-specific swimming pools and alcohol-free areas.


An affordable international education 

Think of studying overseas? Travelling in search of knowledge is a well-known human phenomenon. Educational tourism allows international students benefit from a multi-cultural learning environment. Studying abroad, one is exposed to new experiences, another culture (or cultures) in a different environment. Parents who are paying will also find Malaysia a cheaper option for quality education.

 

An "international education" at a fraction of the price

Malaysia is re-orientating itself to be an education hub in the Asia-Pacific region. Capitalising on its English medium of instruction, public and private institutions are partnering with foreign higher institutions to entice international students to complete their studies in Malaysia. Due to the profitability and reputation of establishing an overseas base, international universities, such as those that have set up base aboard, franchised programs or “off-shore campuses” are part and parcel of establishing an international reputation. Three  top "Australian" universities--Swinburne University of Technology (Sarawak), Curtin University (Sarawak), and Monash University (Malaysia Campus).

Originally, post-colonial Malaysia wanted to "let go" of its past, but English was considered too valuable to abandon. Adopting English as a medium of instruction, the nation building strategy was aligned to connect the country with global businesses to enable it to participate in the global knowledge economy. As an offset, international education benefits from both the use of English and a multi-cultural population in Malaysia.

The international student cohort are mainly from Asia, with Brunei, Canada, mainland China, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Mozambique, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore represented.


Why students study overseas?

A major advantage for international students choosing Malaysia is the relatively cheap cost of living. Students area also allowed to work while studying. The income derived from the part time work should be treated as pocket money. A monthly budget of RM1,200 (USD375) will cover a rather comfortable living in Malaysia. Other benefits are summarized below:

  • racial harmony
  • political stability and peaceful country
  • technological progress and research
  • low exchange rate

The University of Malaya, recognised as the nation's new number one institution. It is the first choice among Malaysia's top students. Dating back to 1905, the it was the first university established in Malaysia and is one of the oldest in South East Asian. Apart from this institute, other ‘local’ and ‘international’ options are available.

Malaysia universities include:

The deflation of the Ringgit will not leave your pockets empty. An Australian Bachelor's Degree can be earned without leaving the country. How? A number of “foreign universities” (off-shore campuses) have been transplanted here. Most of them are Australian.

 

Other “foreign campus” universities include:

Click universities in Malaysia  to discover more, or click Singapore and Hong Kong to compare   

Facts and figures

Total land area
329,847 km2
No. of island
878
Land use

Forest 58%


Population
31 m
Capital

Kuala Lumpur

Official language

English, Tamil, Chinese, Malay

Currency
ringgit (RM)
US$ 1 ≈ 4.41 RM
Time zone
UTC + 8
Country code
+60


Population of major cities



Climate

Average temperature:

   Kuala Lumpur

   28 ℃

 


Electricity
Plug: 3-pin rectangular blade
Voltage: 240V / AC, 50Hz

Transportation 


Air Travel

Most tourists will fly into Malaysia.

The country serves over 40 airlines, including its own flag carrier, Malaysia Airlines. Most international flights land at the new state-of-the-art Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) at Sepang, Selangor. This is also the hub of Air Asia, a frequented low-cost carrier that provides cheap access across Asia. The old international airport, the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, now caters to domestic travel.

 

Airlines

 

Airports

 

Travelling from the airport:

Airport shuttle:

Express railway:

Cross border transport

Train

Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM), also known as Malaysian Railways shuttles through Thailand and Singapore.

 

Long distance buses

The bus network is comprehensive and easy to use. Routes run between the following places:

  • Brunei – no direct routes, but arrives at border for interchange
  • Indonesia – from Sarawak
  • Singapore – Peninsula Malaysia, Malacca, Penang
  • Thailand – between KL, southern Thailand and Bangkok

 

Long distance bus companies:

 

Ferries

There are several ports of entries, namely Penang, Port Klang, Kuantan, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.

  • Brunei
  • Indonesia
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand

Domestic travel

Flying is cheap and easy on low budget airlines, such as Air Asia. Flying from KL to Langkawi, it takes an hour, the fare is under US$22. Buses can be are even cheaper, but slower. Trains are another option. The variety of transport make it easy to visit multiple destinations within a single trip by mixing and matching.

 

Domestic airlines

A number of low cost airlines serve the region:


Resort islands: Between Redang and Tioman and the wider region.

 

Ferry

Ferries operate daily between Langkawi, Kuala Kedah, Kuala Perlis, Penang, Puala Payar Marine Park and Satun (Thailand). For more information

 

Car rental

Car rental range from RM100-300 a day. Insurance will be covered when you book.

Go to your trusted car rental company websites for more information..

Drivers should note:

  • Malaysians drive on the left (like the UK, Australia and New Zealand).
  • "Driving safely" reminders appears on signboards but still, there are many “gila” (insane) drivers.
  • Speed limits are 110km/h on expressways (highways), 90km/h in narrower lanes and 50km/h in built up areas.
  • Tolls (RM20) can be paid by cash with a “touch ‘n go” card.
  • Drives should note there are lanes reserved for different vehicles, drivers should be in the right lane.
  • Parking is abundant.

 

Train

Keretapi Tanah Melayu is the local train system. It is slow, modern and economical.

Two main routes: One route runs from Singapore onto Thailand through Malaysia. The other from KL to Kota Bharu and Kelantan.

There are two class: express and local. Express are air-conditioned and only stop at main stops, while local almost stop at every station. In consequence, local trains can take twice as long.

Three types of seats:

  • Economy
  • Superior
  • Premier

Some,  overnight trains have sleepers.

Three classes:

  • Superior
  • Deluxe
  • 2plus

Tickets can be purchased up to a month in advance. Booking takes place at major stations. Online booking is another option. The website is also helpful to check the timetable and fare.

Click for more information on schedules and fares:

For information of express and commuter schedules:

 

Travel cards

A variety of pre-paid smart cards are available to help you make the most of their stay.

 

Bicycle

Roads usually well paved and is a good destination for cyclists. Should you wish to venture beyond the beaten track should, consider hiring a mountain bike. In KL, ordinary rental bicycles cost RM10 per hour. In Penang, a one-day hire is RM12.

 

Hitchhiking

Convenience and availability of buses means hitchhiking is not required. It is still done on the highways off the west coast, but it is down at the passenger’s risk.

Local transport

Local bus

The bus is the most common form of land transport. Both regional and long distance travel can be reached via major stations.

Most stops do not require advanced ticketing.

Local commuter buses can be full during peak hours—mornings and evenings. It is always advisable for first time visitors, enquire with the bus driver the routing and make your preferred destination known before taking a seat.

 

Light Rail Transit

One of the best ways to get around Kuala Lumpur is via Monorail. It passes several shopping areas as well as the CBD. For more information:

 

Taxi

Taxis in Malaysia (red, green and yellow) run on metres, but many drivers often prefer to turn them off, and instead negotiate a fare. If this happens, simply flag down another. Another way around this issue is to buy a couponed fixed price taxi from KL Sentral or install the “MyTeksi” app. This on-demand booking app lets you connect with the nearest taxi and also estimate the fare, protecting passengers from unscrupulous drivers. To avoid haggling or taking the taxi altogether, tourists can travel by train or monorail.

Tourists should note, besides the metered fare, separate charges applies when:

  • luggage is placed in the boot
  • taxi is pre-booked
  • after midnight
  • if three or more passengers are on board

Warning: Tourists should be wary that taxis parked outside luxury hotels are notorious for malpractice. Besides, many hotels have their own vehicles for hire, enquire within.

 

Trishaw

Trishaws are part of the traffic scene. Usually seating two, the fare is negotiable and should be agreed before departure. They are most abundant in the own towns of Penang and Melaka. Tourists should realise, they are paying for the experience more than anything else.

 

Motorcycle

Motorcycle hire starts from RM30-40 per day.

History

PREHISTORY

1.8 m BC

   Head axe found

10,000-2500 BC

   Native ancestors settle in region

2500BC

   Early trading

 

EARLY TRADE & MALACCA EMPIRE

AD 200-700

   Buddhist-Hindu trading

1400

   Hindu Prince and pirate founds trading port of Malacca

1459-77

   Islam spread throughout the empire

1409

   Chinese Admiral Cheng Ho arrives in Malacca

 

THE PORTUGUESE & DUTCH

1511

   Portuguese conquest of Malacca

1641

   Dutch take Malacca from Portuguese

 

EAST INDIA COMPANY

1786

   British Capitan Francis Light occupies Penang

1795

   British takeover Malacca and Dutch Java

1826

   Malacca, Penang and Singapore to create the Straits Settlement

 

CHINESE TIN MINES

1840

   Tin rush attract Chinese miner influx

1859

   Chinese trader Hiu Siu appointed Kapitan Cina of Kuala Lumpur

1860

   Chinese tin miners found Kuala Lumpur

1868

   Yap Ah Loy, third Kapitan Cina, known as the founder of Kuala Lumpur

 

BRITISH MALAYA(1874–1946)

1874

   Pankor Treaty and rise of British imperialism in Malaya

1880

   Movement of state capital to Kuala Lumpur

1888

   Botanical garden begins

1896

   Federated Malay State formed

1904

   KL regional rail hub completed

1914

   Battle of Penang

1935

   British discourage self-government

  1941-1945

   Japanese occupation

 

FEDERATION OF MALAYA 

1946

   Straits Settlement dissolved, seek independence from Britain

1948

   Malayan Communist Park begins guerrilla war against British

1951

   British high commissioner Sir Henry Gurney assassinated 

1957

   Independence declared in Malaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman is first prime minister

1963

   Sabah, Singapore, Sarawak join Federation of Malaya

1965

   Singapore leaves Malaysia

1969

   Race riots kills hundreds

1976

   Hussein Onn becomes third prime minister

1981

   Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad introduces “Buy British Last” and “Look East” policy

1995

   Construction of new administrative capital at Putrajaya

1996

   Kuala Lumpur Tower is erected

 

ECONOMIC & POLITICAL  CRISIS

1997

   Asian financial crisis and recession

1998

   Petronas Towers become tallest building in the world

1998

   16th Commonwealth Games held in Kuala Lumpur

2000

   Gunung Mulu National Park and Kinabalu Park becomes UNESCO world heritage

2001

   21st Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur

2003

   Mahathir retires, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became Prime Minister

2004

   Barisan National win election

2007

   50 year celebrations, demonstrations against BN in KL

2008

   BN retains power but suffers defeat to Pakatan Rakyat

2008

   Historic Straits Cities (Penang and Malacca City) becomes UNESCO world heritage

2009

   '1Malaysaia policy' to build trust and respect among  different races

2010

   Appoints first female judge

2011

   KL rallies for free and fair elections

2012

   Large street demonstration for electoral reform

2012

   Lenggong becomes UNESCO world heritage

2013

   BN hold onto power even when PR own majority

2014

   Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappears and Flight 17 shot down in Ukraine

2015

   Sabah earthquake


 

Travel cost

A basic estimate of daily spending (per person) is illustrated below.*

 Budget travellerLuxury traveller 


 
 AccommodationRM 50
flash-packer or hostel
 Food & DrinkRM 20

hawker food or food court

 TransportationRM 10

   bus, monorail and bicycle 

 
 AccommodationRM 500

   luxury hotel or serviced apartment

 Food & DrinkRM 300

   fine dining and wine

 TransportationRM 240

   taxi  or rental car

 Total basic daily spending
   RM80 (US$ 20)
 Total basic daily spending
   RM1040 (US$ 235)

*This excludes sightseeing, shopping and other personal tourism activities, such as beauty care and hiring eco-guides.