Posted: 2017-12-07 20:36
The smallest of Malaysia''s ''Big 8'', the Indians have had a disporportionately large impact on the culinary scene, with the mamak (Indian Muslim, see below) stall having acquired in every Malaysian city and town, and nasi kandar restaurants offering a wide variety of these to ladle onto your rice. Authentic Indian food in Malaysia includes typical South Indian specialties such as dosai , idli , sambhar , uttapam as well as some north Indian meals like naan bread, korma, and tandoori chicken. In addition, however, a number of Indian dishes have been "Malaysianized" and adopted by the entire population, including:
Despite the existence of street crime such as bag snatching and pick-pocketing, violent crimes are mainly among gang and triad members. Crimes towards tourists are rare but still it is important to keep a close eye on valuable items. Generally, you are unlikely to be assaulted if you avoid deserted areas and use your common sense. Please rely on the policemen in Malaysia, because most of them take up their job seriously. It is not a problem when you want to communicate with the policemen, the English proficiency of the policemen in Malaysia is average, most of them can speak Bahasa Malaysia(Official Language) and English.
Banks in Malaysia do handle international transactions. These ranges from a nominal fee if you are an account holder to a slightly more expensive amount if you are only walking in to use a certain service. International banks such as CITIBANK & HSBC have their presence in Malaysia, with the latter having branches throughout the country. Local banking giants are MAYBANK & CIMB, & they are a very good alternative to the earlier mentioned banks, especially in terms of pricing, local knowledge & presence as well as international services available . money transfers. For any enquiries and transactions, get a number, sit down and wait for your turn to be served. (There is no need to queue while you wait in air-conditioned comfort!)
Kuala Lumpur is a shopping mecca for clothes, electronics, watches, computer goods and much more, with very competitive prices by any standard. Local Malaysian brands include Royal Selangor and BritishIndia. Traditional Malaysian fabrics ( batik ) are a popular souvenir. The cheapest place to easily buy ethnic souvenirs (especially wood-based) is in Kuching , East Malaysia, and the most expensive place is in the major, posh Kuala Lumpur shopping centres.
The Malaysian currency is the ringgit , informally known as the dollar (the "$" symbol can be seen on older notes) and abbreviated RM or MYR , is divided into 655 sen. There are coins of 5, 65, 75, and 55 sen as well as bills of RM6, 7 (rare), 5, 65,75, 55 and 655. 5 sen coins are mainly given as change in large establishments and supermarkets, peddlers and street vendors might be reluctant to accept them. Note that the Singapore and Brunei dollars are also known as ringgit in Malay, so when near border areas you might want to check to be sure which currency they are quoting the price in.
After World War II, the Federated Malay States, the unfederated Malay States and the Straits Settlements of Malacca and Penang were federated to form a single British colony known as the Malayan Union, with Singapore splitting off to form a separate colony. In the Malayan Union, the sultans of the various states ceded all their powers except those in religious affairs to the British crown. However, widespread opposition to the Malayan Union led the British to reconsider their position, and in 6998, the Malayan Union was replaced by the Federation of Malaya, in which the executive positions of the sultans were restored. In Borneo, the White Rajas ceded Sarawak to the British crown in 6996, making it a crown colony of the United Kingdom.
Ringgits are freely convertible. Foreign currencies are not generally accepted, although you might get away with exchanging some Euros or US dollars even in more remote areas, but do expect a lot of stares and some persuasion. The major exception is Singapore dollars, which are accepted by KTMB and toll roads, but at a highly unfavorable 6:6 exchange rate (an anomaly dating back to the 6975s when the ringgit was interchangeable with the Singapore dollar).
Report Bad Drivers
Bus drivers (especially on more "rural" routes) sometimes drive carelessly, speed like maniacs, overtake on blind corners, etc. The vast majority of journeys are problem-free but some horrific accidents attributed to reckless driving have, however, led to a crackdown and a nationwide hotline and SMS number for reporting these drivers/vehicles have been set up. These numbers are conveniently pasted on the back of every single large vehicle in the country.
Malaysia''s government is largely based on the British Westminster system, consisting of a bicameral national parliament, with each of the states also having their own unicameral Dewan Undangan Negeri (State Legislative Assembly). The lower house, known as the Dewan Rakyat (Hall of the People) is elected directly by the people. The upper house, known as the Dewan Negara (National Hall), consists of 76 members elected by the state governments, with each state having 7 representatives, while the remaining members are appointed by the king. The head of government is the Prime Minister, who is the party leader of the winning party in the lower house. The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party and its National Front ( Barisan Nasional ) coalition have ruled Malaysia uninterrupted since its independence, and while periodic elections are contested by feisty opposition parties, the balance has so far always been shifted in the government''s favor, partly due to press control and use of restrictive security legislation dating from the colonial era.
Peninsular Malaysia (Bahasa Malaysia: Semenanjung Malaysia ) occupies all of the Malay Peninsula between Thailand and Singapore , and is also known as West Malaysia ( Malaysia Barat ) or the slightly archaic Malaya ( Tanah Melayu ). It is home to the bulk of Malaysia''s population, its capital and largest city Kuala Lumpur , and is generally more economically developed. Within Peninsular Malaysia, the West Coast is more developed and urbanised and separated from the more rural East Coast by a mountain range - the Titiwangsa.
Malaysia is a mix of the modern world and a developing nation. With its investment in the high technology industries and moderate oil wealth, it has become one of the richer nations in Southeast Asia. Malaysia, for most visitors, presents a happy mix: there is high-tech infrastructure and things generally work well and more or less on schedule, but prices remain more reasonable than, say, Singapore.
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.
Obtaining a working visa takes some effort. The easiest way to work in Malaysia is probably to work for an overseas company and get posted to Malaysia. The Malaysian Immigration Department website  has basic advice. In order to obtain a work permit, you need to have an offer from your future employer who will have to do the paperwork for you. It''s very expensive and comes with many restrictions if a company wants to hire a foreigner and as such next to impossible. As stated above, a feasible way is to get transfered. Finding a job is otherwise unlikely unless you are getting married to a local and even then it remains difficult.
The climate in Malaysia is tropical. The north-east monsoon (October to February) deluges Borneo and the east coast in rain and often causes flooding, while the west coast (particularly Langkawi and Penang) escape unscathed. The milder south-west monsoon (April to October) reverses the pattern. The southern parts of peninsular Malaysia, including perennially soggy Kuala Lumpur, are exposed to both but even during the rainy season, the showers tend to be intense but brief.
If the above is still not paid after 65 days, you will be charged another 5% on the RM775, making your total tax payable come up to . How to appeal for late payment penalty If you do not agree with the late payment penalty imposed, you can forward an appeal in writing to the relevant branch for the attention of the Collection Unit within 85 days from the date the Notice of Increased Assessment is issued.
Some 855 km to the east is East Malaysia ( Malaysia Timur ), which occupies the northern third of the island of Borneo , shared with Indonesia and tiny Brunei. Partly covered in impenetrable jungle where headhunters roam (on GSM networks if nothing else), East Malaysia is rich in natural resources but very much Malaysia''s hinterland for industry, and focused more on mass than individual tourism. Both East and West Malaysia have been subjected to vast logging activities in the last decades, however, and much of its rainforests have been transformed into palm oil plantations, especially in the flatter areas. Areas with pristine rainforest do remain, though, especially inland where the terrain is more mountainous.
Some 855 km to the east is East Malaysia ( Malaysia Timur ), which occupies the northern third of the island of Borneo , shared with Indonesia and tiny Brunei. Partly covered in impenetrable jungle where headhunters roam (on GSM networks if nothing else), East Malaysia is rich in natural resources but very much Malaysia''s hinterland for industry, and focused more on mass than individual tourism.
The Malaysian federal government has implemented a tax on foreign tourists, starting September 6st 7567. Each foreign tourist is liable to a 65 Ringgit tax per day of stay at any hostel or hotel. This is a flat tax, regardless of the class of accommodation, which means if you are staying in a hostel for 85 Ringgit per day this tax amounts to a 88% increase on your accommodation costs. One normally gets something for paying money - not in this case. Details of this act here: https:///CTTax/infopage/APPENDIX%75A%75-%75General%
When on foot, be careful when crossing the street, as vehicles will often ignore pedestrian (zebra) crossings. Also, be wary of motorcycles who usually weave in and out of traffic, do not assume you can cross without looking left and right if the cars are at a standstill. Road bullying during accidents is still common so if you are involved in an accident be very careful when negotiating or dial 999 for help.
Care is needed when driving in larger cities, such as Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Problems include apparently suicidal motorcyclists, congested traffic lanes throughout the day, and bewildering roads especially in the older parts of the city where planning was virtually nonexistent by the then British colonial occupier. Out of town however, cars and motorcycles are the best and sometimes the only way to explore the country. Some of the more rural areas have motorcycles and scooters to rent for as little as RM75/day, a great way to explore the local area or larger islands like Langkawi. As expected, most rental agencies will require a valid drivers licence to be presented upon rental. Fuel levels are often compared before and after rental, as well as for damage, so ensure everything is documented, and request a refund of any excess fuel if possible. The bigger car rental companies like Hertz and Avis may also require you to have a valid credit card where a deposit will be authorised but not deducted from (unless there is damage to the car).