| WARM WELCOME TO MALAYSIA – SELAMAT DATANG
You will be interested to know that in the HEART OF ASIA, MALAYSIA is a veritable MELTING POT of the various Asian people and cultures. Rich in color and contrasts, her multi-faceted charm provides intriguing images that leave visitors to the country in awe. The natural warmth of Malaysians is legendry; wherever one goes, the friendliness and hospitality of the people would prove to be a very special experience. Malaysia is paradise, its sun drenched beaches, enchanting islands, diverse flora and fauna, forest retreats and magnificent mountains are among the nest in this region. Many visitors have discovered Malaysia’s other attractions: a shopping haven, a versatile conference venue, an incentive destination, an adventure land and much more.
The Federation of Malaysia comprises Peninsular Malaysia and the states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo. The capital of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur.
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION & CLIMATE
Located between 2 and 7 degrees north of the Equator, Peninsular Malaysia is separated from the states of Sabah and Sarawak by the South China Sea. To the north of Peninsular Malaysia is Thailand while its southern neighbor is Singapore. Sabah and Sarawak are bounded by Indonesia while Sarawak shares a border with Brunei. Weather is warm all year round and temperatures range from 21 degrees Celsius to 32 degrees Celsius.
You will find the multi-faceted character of Asia in Malaysia, Malays, Chinese, Indians, together with countless ethnic tribes have lived harmoniously together for generations, weaving one colorful way of life that is uniquely expressed in its endlessly fascinating forms of culture, food, arts and crafts, even architecture.
In East Malaysia, the indigenous people of Sarawak are known as the Dayaks, the Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu. The largest indigenous ethnic groups of Sabah’s population are the Kadazan Dusun, the Bajau and the Murut.
Dayak means upstream or inland. Typically, they live in longhouses traditional community homes that can house 20 to 100 families.
Iban is the largest of Sarawak’s ethnic groups with over 30% of the state’s population. In the past, they were a fearsome warrior race known for headhunting and piracy. Sometimes wrongly called Sea Dayaks for their boating skills, they live in the heart of Kalimantan.
The largest ethnic group of Sabah, the Kadazan Dusuns form about 30% of the state’s population. Actually consisting of two tribes; the Kadazan and the Dusun, they were grouped together as they both share the same language and culture. However, the Kadazan are mainly inhabitants of flat valley deltas, which are conducive to paddy field farming, while the Dusun traditionally lived in the hilly and mountainous regions of interior Sabah.
Getting around will not pose a problem to visitors. While the national language is Bahasa Malaysia, English is widely used and understood, and most signs appear in both languages.
To avoid “cultural offences”, here are some tips;
– Remove shoes when entering homes and places of worship.
– Dress neatly in suitable attire, which covers arms and legs when visiting places of worship.
– Handle food with your right hand
– Do not point your index finger at someone.
Minimum age is 18 years with a valid international driver’s license is required. Cars are right-hand drive; driven on the left hand side of the road.