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  1. 1. MALAYSIA
  2. 2. Country Profile  Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy in Asia.  It consists of thirteen states and three federal territories  Land borders are shared withThailand, Indonesia, and Brunei, and maritime borders exist with Singapore,Vietnam, and Philippines  The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government.  The head of state is theYang di-PertuanAgong, commonly referred to as the King.The King is elected to a five-year term by and from among the nine hereditary rulers of the Malay states  The prime minister must be a member of the house of representatives, who in the opinion of the King, commands a majority in parliament.  The incumbent, Najib Razak, appointed in 2009, is the sixth prime minister  Approximately 61.3% of the population practice Islam, 19.8% practice Buddhism, 9.2%Christianity, 6.3% Hinduism and 1.3% are others  Currency: Ringgit (RM) (MYR)  Kuala Lumpur International Airport: busiest airport, Code: KUL
  3. 3. Local customs, drinking, dress code Malaysia remains fairly conservative and conformist.  Islamic tradition suffuses the dress code for locals, Muslim or otherwise, and dictates that both men and women should keep torsos covered; shirt sleeves, if short, should come down to the elbow (for women, long-sleeved tops are preferable), while shorts or skirts should extend down to the knee (long trousers are ideal).Tight clothes are often not accepted, particularly for women.  Before entering any home (Muslim or otherwise), it’s almost universal practice to remove footwear at the threshold or before stepping onto any carpeted or matted area.  Drinking alcohol outside designated bars or clubs – even in resort areas frequented by foreigners is not allowed.  As for body language, note that touching someone’s head, be they Muslim or otherwise, must be avoided, as the head is considered sacred in Eastern culture. Handshakes are fairly commonplace when meeting someone; Some Muslims may be reluctant to shake hands with the opposite sex; however, in this case a smile, nod and that same right-hand-palm gesture will suffice
  4. 4. Major Festivals  The most widespread holiday is Hari Kebangsaan (Independence Day), otherwise known as Merdeka (Freedom), on 31 August commemorating the independence of the Federation of Malaysia.This, along with Labour Day, (1 May), the King’s birthday (first Saturday of June), and some other festivals are major national public holidays. Federal Territory day is celebrated in the three federal territories.  Hari Raya Puasa  Marking the end of Ramadan (which is a month-long period where fasting takes place from sunrise to sunset) is the biggest event of the Muslim calendar. The Hari Raya Aidilfitri festivities take centre stage and it is worth visiting areas where this is celebrated to take in the joyous nature of the Muslim celebrants.  This is a time when you will see Malay families dressed up in their best traditional outfit to mark this special occasion. Similar to the Chinese during Chinese New Year, the Malays also have the tradition of giving Hong Bao (red packets containing money) but on this occasion it is known as duit raya and is given in green packets.  Approximately 70 days after the celebrations of Hari Raya Aidilfitri the ancient Muslim festival of Hari Raya Haji, also known as the “Festival of Sacrifice” that is celebrated over three days by Muslims worldwide. The festival starts off with prayers by male volunteers and the sacrifice of sheep, goats and cows to symbolize Phophet Ibrahim’s readiness to sacrifice his own flesh and blood.  Malaysian Chinese typically celebrate the same festivals observed by Chinese people around the world with Chinese New Year the most prominent. Other prominent festivals celebrated by Chinese people in Malaysia are the Qingming Festival, the Dragon Boat festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival.  Hungry Ghost Festival  The seventh month of the lunar calendar is when the hungry ghost festival is celebrated. This event is a traditional Chinese festival celebrated worldwide by Chinese people and it involves the offering of food and burning of offerings (i.e., incense and papier-mâché material items such as clothes, gold, cars and houses) as a form of ancestor worship with the meaning of extending filial piety from descendants to their ancestors even after their deaths.  These offerings can be seen along roadsides and on open grounds as a means of appeasing and respecting the departed. In some areas of Malaysia you may even chance upon Wayangs (Chinese operas) which are staged to entertain the wandering spirits. During this festival puppet shows are traditionally held along with live singing performances.  Mid-Autumn Festival  The 15th day of the eighth lunar month marks the day when the full moon shines brightly and families and friends gather under the moonlit sky to savour mooncakes (the traditional food of this festival), pomelos and pots of Chinese tea. Mooncakes come in a variety of sweet and savoury fillings.  Wesak Day (May 25)  This is the most important day of the Buddhist Calendar as it marks the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha. Buddhist devotees will gather in temples throughout the country to release doves and to offer prayers. Wesak is also an occasion to offer alms to monks and give free meals to the needy.
  5. 5. Visa requirements  No visa is required for U.S.A. citizens visiting Malaysia for social, business or academic purposes (except for employment).  No visa is required for a stay of less than one month for nationals of all ASEAN countries except MYANMAR. For a stay exceeding one month a visa will be required, except for nationals BRUNEI and SINGAPORE.  For ISRAEL nationality, visas are required and permission must be granted from Ministry Of Home Affairs.  For national of REPUBLICOF SERBIAand REPUBLIC OF MONTENEGRO, visas are required without permission granted from Ministry Of Home Affairs.  Nationals of countries other than those stated above (with the exception of Israel) are allowed to enter Malaysia without a visa for a visit not exceeding one month.  AUSTRALIANCitizens do not need a visa to visit Malaysia provided:  -Your passport is still valid for at least six (6) months on arrival -Your visit is up to three (3) months only -You have a confirmed return or onward international ticket.
  6. 6. Travel Facts  No immunity shots of vaccinations are required for visitors entering Malaysia.Yellow fever vaccinations are required for arrivals from infected areas and from yellow-fever endemic zones except for children under 1 year of age  Tap water is generally quite safe to drink. Bottled mineral or distilled water is served in hotels and most restaurants.  TypeG (British 3-pin) sockets with 220-240 volts AC at 50 cycles per second are used.  Dial 999 for Police, Ambulance and Fire Department. KLTourist Police can be reached at +60 3 2149 6593.  The national language is Bahasa Melayu, but given the population mix, Cantonese andTamil are also commonly spoken. English is a prevailing second language in this country.  Travel logo- Malaysia truly asia  A beach holiday can be enjoyed all year round in Malaysia as the east and west coasts experience their wettest months at alternate times of the year.  The wet season on the west of the peninsula (Apr-Oct) brings thunderstorms in the afternoons, but these are usually brief, and the odd downpour is a welcome way to reduce the humidity.The east coast however tends to have a heavier wet season and is best avoided during the rainy period (Nov-Feb). During these months, many of the beach resorts close, re-opening in March.  The country is ranked as the 9th most visited place in the world
  7. 7. Kuala Lumpur  Kuala Lumpur also known as K.L.,is the capital and most populous city in Malaysia  Kuala Lumpur is the seat of the Parliament of Malaysia.  The city has played host to many international sporting, political and cultural events including the 1998 Commonwealth Games and the Formula One Grand Prix.  In addition, Kuala Lumpur is home to the tallest twin buildings in the world, the PetronasTwinTowers, which have become an iconic symbol of Malaysia's futuristic development.  Kuala Lumpur is the sixth most visited city in the world  Tourism here is driven by the city's cultural diversity, relatively low costs and wide gastronomic and shopping variety.  MICE tourism which mainly encompasses conventions— has expanded in recent years to become a vital component of the industry  The major tourist destinations in Kuala Lumpur include, the House of Parliament, the National Palace (Istana Negara), the Kuala LumpurTower, the National Museum, the Central Market, the National Monument,and religious sites such as the Jamek Mosque and Batu Caves.  Kuala Lumpur plays host to many cultural festivals such as theThaipusam procession at the Sri MahamariammanTemple. Every year during theThaipusam celebration, a silver chariot carrying the statue of Lord would be paraded through the city beginning at the temple all the way to the Batu Caves.  Trendy nightclubs, bars and lounges, such as the Beach Club, Espanda, the Hakka RepublicWine Bar & Restaurant, Hard Rock Cafe, the Luna Bar, Rum Jungle, theThai Club, and many others are located here.
  8. 8. Genting Highlands  Genting Highlands is in Pahang.  Officially known as ResortsWorldGenting and a self-proclaimed City of Entertainment,Genting is Malaysia's wholesome version of LasVegas.  The primary draw is that Genting is the only place where you can gamble legally in Malaysia, but there's also a theme park to keep the kids amused.  The resort offers six hotels with 10,000 rooms, over 50 fun rides, 170 dining and shopping outlets, shows, business convention facilities and entertainment options. As a plus, being located up in the highlands means it's cooler than the steamy lowlands.  Many visitors come to Genting for the sole purpose of experience the chill, where the temperature can get to as low as 10 Celcius. Genting attracted 19.2 million visitors in 2008.  The company that owns and runs the resort at Genting Highland, also owns the neighbouring Singapore's Intergrated Resort at ResortWorld Sentosa. Nearby attractions  Chin Swee CavesTemple  Cradle Rock  Genting SempahWelcome Arch  Genting Strawberry Farm  Kilometre 7 Nursery  Highlands Mushroom Farm  HighlandsVegetable Farm  Highlands Daylily Farm  Genting Strawberry Leisure Farms (Mushroom Farm in the same location)
  9. 9. Cameron Highlands  Cameron Highlands is Malaysia's largest and best-known hill resort. Nestling the borders of Pahang and Perak provinces are the Cameron Highlands.Walks through lovely little villages, visits to the butterfly, strawberry, honey bee farms and sprawling tea plantations or meals at the delightfulTudor-styled country inns, are all pleasurable and relaxing activities to be experienced here.  One other popular activity in Cameron Highlands, actually more of a tradition, is to have tea and scones.This very English tradition dates back to the days when English colonial officers used this hilly location as a cool getaway from the heat of the lowlands.  Bird-watching and trekking are also popular activities here.Situated 1,500 metres above sea level, Cameron Highlands comprises a series of little townships that include Ringlet,Tanah Rata, Brinchang,Tringkap, KualaTerla and Kampung Raja. Cameron Highlands lies less than an hour off the main North-South Highway, and is a pleasant, easy 3.5-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur.
  10. 10.  It has eight main villages, the largest and most populous being Kampung Tekek in the north.  The densely forested island is sparsely inhabited, and is surrounded by numerous coral reefs, making it a popular scuba diving spot.  There are also a lot of resorts and chalets around the island which has duty-free status.  The island is served by ferries from the Malaysian mainland, and a propeller plane service.  The marine area aroundTioman Island and eight other nearby islands have been declared as marine parks and marine reserves.
  11. 11. Penang Island  It was named Prince of Wales Island when it was occupied by the British East India Company on 12 August 1786, in honour of the birthday of the Prince ofWales, later King George IV.  The capital, GeorgeTown, was named after the reigning King George III.  Malaysia has another island called "Pulau Pinang", which is a diving site located in South China Sea and part of the Johor Marine Park, which consists of a group of islands: Pulau Aur, Pulau Dayang, Pulau Lang, and Pulau Pinang itself.