There are some strict religious observances especially in relation to food and places of worship. Here are some do's and don'ts when one in Malaysia.

  • Remove your shoes when entering most Malaysian homes and places of worship such as mosques and temples. On entering some places of worship, cover your head, shoulders and arms. Some mosques provide robes and scarves for female visitors.
  • Photography in places of worship is usually permitted but please ask permission first.
  • It is polite to call before visiting a home.
  • Drinks are generally offered to guests and it would be polite to accept.
  • Do not point with the right forefinger at people, places or things. Instead, the thumb of the right hand with the four fingers folded under is preferred.
  • The right hand is always used when eating with one's hand or when giving and receiving objects.
  • Hugging and kissing in public places is frowned upon, as is revealing clothes for the women.
  • Each ethnic group and community has its own cultural norm. Generally, Malaysians are relaxed, cordial and forgiving, with few hard and fast rules. :-)