The country code for Malaysia is 60.
Malaysian landline telephone numbers have either seven or eight digits. The country is also divided up into areas which have been assigned two or three digit area codes, which have to be dialled when calling from outside the area. The area codes are:
Area code 02 has been assigned for calls made from Malaysia to Singapore. This means there's no need to call Singapore's country code 65 when calling from Malaysia.International direct dialing IDD calls from landlines to all other countries should use the prefix 00 followed by the country code.
To call a Malaysian number:
Malaysia also has four mobile telephone service providers, Maxis (http://www.maxis.com.my), DiGi (http://www.digi.com.my), Celcom (http://www.celcom.com.my), and U Mobile (http://www.u.com.my) which utilise codes 012, 013, 014, 016, 017, 018, 019. Network connection in Malaysia is excellent. Mobile number portability has been implemented in Malaysia, meaning a code like 012 that traditionally belonged to Maxis, can now be a DiGi subscriber. Mobile networks utilize the GSM 900 and 1800 systems. 3G WCDMA, EDGE & HSPDA networks available in larger towns. International roaming onto these networks is possible if your operator allows it.
To call a Malaysian mobile number:
From a mobile phone
Same as from a landline above. an alternative, and simpler, approach on many mobile phones is to press & hold the zero button to enter a "+" plus sign before the country code and phone number. the "+" represents in any country the appropriate international access code. on the maxis network, take advantage of 50% idd rates via idd132, which doesn't require any registration, just dial "132" prior to the the "00" and note that you do not use the "+" symbol using this method.
Tap water is drinkable straight off the tap as it is treated, but even locals boil or filter it first just to be on the safe side. When travelling it is best to stick to bottled water, which is very inexpensive.
Ice in drinks might be made from tap water but nowadays, most restaurants and even roadside stalls use the cylindrical variety with a hollow tube down the middle that are mass-produced at ice factories and are safer to consume.
Heat exhaustion is rare, but do consume lots of fluids, use a hat and sunscreen and shower often!
Peninsular Malaysia is largely malaria-free, but there is a significant risk in Borneo especially in inland and rural areas. Dengue fever occurs throughout Malaysia in both urban and rural areas, and can be avoided only by preventing mosquito bites. The mosquito that transmits dengue feeds throughout the daytime, and is most active at dawn and dusk. If you experience a sudden fever with aches and lethargy, seek medical attention immediately. Aspirin and ibuprofen should not be used until dengue fever has been ruled out. Mosquito repellents ubat nyamuk are widely available. Be careful with mosquito coils, which can easily start fires: set them on a plate or other non-flammable surface and extinguish them before going to sleep.
Haze from burning vegetation in neighbouring Indonesia may come and go without warning from the months of May to August so travellers with respiratory ailments should come prepared.
Most public washrooms make a small charge generally between RM0.20-RM2.00, usually depending on the standard of the facilities so keep some loose change to hand. If the condition of the sitting toilets is questionable, use the squatting toilets instead - both are usually available, and some believe that the latter are more hygienic and if you can get used to them are just as easy to use as sitting toilets.
Malaysia is largely free from earthquakes as there are no nearby faultlines, though tremors can occasionally be felt when a major quake occurs in neighbouring Indonesia. Typhoons also generally do not occur. However, the Nov-Jan monsoon season often results in flooding due to torrential rains, and landslides are known to occur, most notably on the East Coast. Tsunamis are a rare occurence, though Penang and a few islands on the north of the West Coast were hit by the infamous tsunami in 2004.
Government health care facilities are cheap but good, but many visitors prefer to seek out private medical care. Private medical costs can be high and having travel insurance is a very good idea.
Connecting to the Internet in Malaysia is easily accessible in most cities and towns. It is one of the first countries in the world to offer 4G connectivity.Malaysia's Internet Service Providers offer affordable unlimited broadband services throughout Malaysia. Therefore broadband Internet is available in most hotels, Internet cafes, and some restaurants. Wireless broadband WiFi is usually available in hot spots in almost all restraunts and almost all fast-food outlets, shopping malls and City-wide wireless connections. Prepaid Internet cards are also available to access wireless broadband, in some cafes.
Customers usually pay RM1.00 to RM5.00 per hour for Internet services in the cybercafe depending on which city you're in. Internet connections offered in restaurants and cafes are usually free, and more and more food outlets are offering this. These include all Starbucks and Coffeebean, and some McDonald's and Subway, and an increasing number of smaller places.
Many international courier services like Fedex, DHL and UPS are available in towns and cities but the main postal service provider is Pos Malaysia (http://www.pos.com.my) which reliably provides postal services to most countries in the world.
Postage rates in Malaysia are cheap. Much much cheaper than Thailand ,Singapore or Vietnam, and surface post is available as well. In addition the mail is reliable and trustworthy.When posting, do not seal the box. This is to allow for inspection in case illegal items are posted this way.
A local alternative to the international courier companies mentioned above is the Pos Laju, which provides just as reliable a service but at a fraction of the costs!
Non-urgent letters and postcards can be dropped in postboxes inside post offices or red postboxes found outside post offices and along main roads. If there are two slots in a postbox use the one that says "lain lain" for international post.
Post offices are open from 8AM to 5PM daily except Sundays and public holidays, although a few in Klang Valley stay open till 10PM. In the states of Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu they are closed on Fridays and public holidays.
In a predominantly Muslim country, Malaysian tends to be conservative over sexuality. While gay bashing is rarely heard of, display of public affection is no-no for any sexuality and any genders and overtly gay couple may highly likely attract curious stares.
Despite all these, big cities like Kuala Lumpur still have a fairly active gay scene.
The sole official language of Malaysia is Malay officially Bahasa Malaysia, sometimes also known as Bahasa Melayu. The Indonesian language, spoken accross the border in Indonesia, is similar to Malay, and both languages are largely mutually intelligible. Some parts of Malaysia near the Thai border, most notably Kelantan, have dialects of Malay which are nearly incomprehensible to speakers of standard Malay, though most people in these areas will be able to converse in standard Malay if needed.
English is compulsory in all schools and widely spoken in the larger cities, as well as around the main tourist attractions, although in rural areas a little Malay will come in handy. There is also a colloquial form of English spoken among Malaysians in urban areas, not inappropriately known as Manglish, which involves code switching between English, Malay and/or other languages, and takes a bit of getting used to if you intend to join in the conversation on local topics. Malaysians will almost always try to speak 'standardized English' when approached by Western travellers. In general, police stations and government offices will have English-speaking staff on duty.
Arabic is taught to those who attend Islamic religious schools, and many clerics as well as other very observant Muslims will have a functional command of Arabic. However, it is not widely spoken, though the Malay language does have a large number of loan words from Arabic. You also might notice some examples of Malay written with Arabic letters. This is called Jawi, and it is still used for religious publications and inscriptions, especially in states like Kelantan, although the Latin alphabet is much more commonly used throughout the country.
The Chinese community in Malaysia speaks a wide variety of Chinese dialects including Cantonese, Mandarin, Teo-chew, Hakka, Hainanese, Hok-chew and Hokkien. Mandarin is taught in most Chinese schools while Cantonese is commonly heard in the mass media due to the popularity of TVB serials from Hong Kong among the Chinese community, so many are conversant in both, in addition to their native dialect. The most commonly spoken Indian language is Tamil; others include Malayalam, Punjabi and Telugu.
In the northern states of Peninsular Malaysia bordering Thailand, there are various ethnic Thai communities, known locally as the Orang Siam, who speak various dialects of Thai. Malacca in the south is also home to a Portuguese community which speaks a Portuguese based creole. The remote forest areas of Peninsular Malaysia are also home to various tribal people known as the Orang Asli, who speak various indigenous languages such as Semelai, Temuan and many others. In East Malaysia several indigenous languages are also spoken, especially Iban and Kadazan.
Films and television programmes are usually shown in their original language with Malay subtitles. Some children's programmes are dubbed into Malay.
Many taxis will refuse to use the meter, even though the official rate has changed recently and most taxis now have a sticker on the rear door that informs tourists that haggling is prohibited. Be aware that taxi drivers, sensing that you are a tourist, may drive around and take a very long route to reach your destination.
If using a taxi late at night, it is best to use the dial-a-taxi service as there have been incidents where taxis flagged down during those hours being fake/unregistered. The unregistered taxi driver might then rob or assault their victims with the help of assailants. You are also more likely to get a metered taxi by flagging one at a street than a taxi stand.
Public demonstrations are uncommon in Malaysia due to police crackdowns, but a number of anti-government demonstrations have been held recently. Should one occur it may be dealt with in a heavy-handed manner, so avoid them at all costs.