Caution October 19, 2023

Worldwide caution, update january 10, 2024, information for u.s. citizens in the middle east.

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Travel Advisory July 24, 2023

Malaysia - level 1: exercise normal precautions.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise normal precautions in Malaysia. Some areas have increased risk.  Read the entire Travel Advisory. 

Exercise Increased Caution in:

  • The eastern area of Sabah State due to kidnapping .

Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to Malaysia.

If you decide to travel to Malaysia:

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program  ( STEP ) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter .
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for Malaysia.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest  Travel Health Information  related to your travel.  
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist . 

Eastern Area of Sabah State – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

There is a threat of kidnappings-for-ransom from both terrorist and criminal groups. These groups may attack with little to no warning, targeting coastal resorts, island resorts, and boats ferrying tourists to resort islands.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in eastern Sabah as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel to parts of eastern Sabah.

Embassy Messages

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Quick Facts

Six months beyond date of arrival

At least one blank page required for entry stamp

Not normally required for stays of less than 90 days.

$10,000 or equivalent

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur

376 Jalan Tun Razak 50400, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Telephone: +(60) (3) 2168-5000 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(60) (3) 2168-5000 (press 0 at the recording) Fax: +(60) (3) 2148-5801 Email:  [email protected]

Destination Description

Learn about the U.S. relationship to countries around the world.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

To enter Malaysia, your passport must be valid for at least six months.  You must have at least one blank page for the entry stamp.  Permission to enter and remain in Malaysia is under the authority of the Malaysian Immigration Department.  Visit the website of the Embassy of Malaysia in Washington D.C. and the Malaysian Immigration Department’s website for more information.

If you are planning onward travel after departing Malaysia, please note that many other countries in the region require at least six months’ remaining validity on your passport to enter.

You do not need a visa if you are coming for business or tourism for 90 days or less.

Immigration officials will place an entry stamp, known as a social visit pass (visa), in your passport authorizing a stay of up to 90 days.  Travelers may apply to the Malaysian Immigration Department for extensions, which may or may not be granted.  You must exit Malaysia using the same passport that you used to enter.  If this passport is replaced for any reason before you depart Malaysia, you must apply with Immigration to obtain a “special pass” (exit permit) in your new passport prior to departing.

Neither the U.S. Government nor the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur can intervene on your behalf when you apply for a Malaysian visa, nor can we advocate for your admission into Malaysia if you are denied entry.

Travel Document:  Persons traveling on a USCIS-issued Refugee Travel Document issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must apply for a visa prior to traveling to Malaysia.

Border Crossings:  Follow all entry instructions, present your passports only to immigration officials, and be sure immigration officials stamp your passport with the correct date upon entering and exiting Malaysia.  Lack of correct documentation or proof of entry into Malaysia may result in high fines and/or detention.

Sabah and Sarawak:  The eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak (on the island of Borneo) maintain semi-autonomous immigration controls and may have additional have special entry requirements.  You must have your passport to enter or exit Sabah or Sarawak, even when arriving from peninsular Malaysia on domestic flights.

Dual Nationality:  Malaysia does not recognize or permit dual nationality. If Malaysian authorities learn that you are a U.S.-Malaysian dual national, they may require you to immediately forfeit your U.S. passport or your Malaysian citizenship.  U.S.-Malaysian dual nationals should consider this issue seriously before traveling to Malaysia.  See our  dual nationality page  for more information.

U.S.-Israeli Dual Nationals:  The Malaysian government does not maintain diplomatic relations with Israel, and Immigration officials have denied entry to U.S.-Israeli dual nationals who have presented their Israeli passports to show exit stamps from their last destinationpoint of departure. U.S.-Israeli dual nationals should use their U.S. passports to depart the last country on their itinerary prior to arriving in Malaysia.

Visa Overstays:  Malaysian immigration authorities have exit controls at all ports of departure and routinely fine and detain foreigners who overstay their social visit passes (visas).  If you overstay your visa, you will not be allowed to exit Malaysia until you resolve the overstay with the Immigration Department of Malaysia.

Carry your passport (containing the Malaysian entry stamp) with you at all times in case authorities question your immigration status.  Several U.S. citizens have been arrested during immigration sweeps based on inability to establish nationality and legal status in Malaysia.  and Ddetentions may last from a few hours to several weeks.  Check your visa status periodically while in Malaysia and strictly follow immigration laws and regulations.

Visit the Embassy of Malaysia website for the most current visa information.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Malaysia.

Find information on  prevention of international child abduction  and  customs regulations  on our website.

Safety and Security

Terrorism:  Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad.  Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds.  Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:

  • High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
  • Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists
  • Places of worship
  • Shopping malls and markets
  • Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights) 

Malaysia remains a transit point and, to a lesser extent, a destination country for members of terrorist groups including ISIS, Abu Sayyaf Group, al-Qa’ida, and Jemaah Islamiyah. Information from credible sources suggests that there is a continued risk of armed terrorist and criminal groups operating and planning attacks against foreigners, including U.S. citizens, in the East Asian and Pacific region, including Malaysia. Since 2013, Malaysian authorities have arrested more than 500 supporters of ISIS, including many individuals who planned to fight in Syria and Iraq.

Use caution in eastern Sabah because of the threat of kidnappings-for-ransom and violence from both terrorist and criminal groups, including the Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf Group (see the  Philippines Travel Advisory for more information ). In addition to targeting coastal or resort islands themselves, criminal or terrorist groups may attempt to intercept boats ferrying tourists from the mainland to resort islands. 

Due to safety concerns, U.S. government employees traveling for both personal and official travel to Sabah east of the north-south line drawn from the cities of Kudat to Tawau, including all islands, must obtain official written permission from the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. The exceptions are the cities of Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Tawau, the Sepiloolik Nature Reserve, and the Kinabatangan River areas, which require U.S. government employees to officially notify the Embassy prior to travel.

Malaysian law enforcement officials have enacted land and water-based curfews in the coastal areas of eastern Sabah. Check local media or ask local police for the most recent curfew information if traveling to eastern Sabah.

For more information, see our  Terrorism  page.  

Crime:   Petty theft and violent crime in Kuala Lumpur continue to be concerns. Purse snatchings, pickpocketing, smash-and-grab thefts from vehicles, and residential burglaries are the most common crimes committed against both locals and foreigners. Avoid wrapping purse straps around arms or shoulders to avoid injury. Violent and more serious crimes are less common; however, in October 2022, following local media reports of an increase in violent crime in the area of 430-440 Jalan Tun Razak, which houses multiple bars, clubs, and restaurants, the Embassy has advised U.S. government employees visiting establishments in this general vicinity to depart the neighborhood no later than 9:00 pm.

Taxi drivers in central Kuala Lumpur have perpetrated violent crimes against foreign tourists and local residents. Use e-hailing services or book taxis in downtown shopping areas by phone or online, rather than hailing a taxi on the street, particularly after dark.

Criminals also target motorists stuck in traffic or stopped at a light with smash and grab robberies. Keep valuables out of sight while driving or remove them from the car (including from the trunk) when parked. GPS devices should not be left on the windshield or dashboard.

Demonstrations  occur frequently.  They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events.  

  • Demonstrations can be unpredictable, avoid areas around protests and demonstrations.
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.

Local law pertaining to peaceful assembly prohibits non-Malaysians from participating in public protests.

International Financial Scams:  See the  Department of State  and the  FBI  pages for information. 

Sophisticated internet romance and financial scams are prevalent in Malaysia.  Scams are often initiated through Internet postings/profiles or less frequently, or by unsolicited emails, and letters, text messages, and messages on social media.  Scammers almost alwaysfrequently pose as U.S. citizens who have no one else to turn to for help.  Common scams include:   

  • Romance/Online dating 
  • Money transfers 
  • Lucrative sales 
  • Gold purchase 
  • Contracts with promises of large commissions 
  • Inheritance notices 
  • Work permits/job offers 
  • Bank overpayments
  • Digital/cryptocurrency scams

Victims of Crime:  U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance.  Report crimes to the local police via the emergency line at 999 (landline) or 112 (cell/mobile). Alternatively, call the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) Operations Center in Kuala Lumpur, 03-2115-9999 or 03-2266-2222 for advice on how to make a non-emergency police report.   Contact the U.S. Embassy at +(60) (3) 2168-5000.  A police report is necessary for the eEmbassy to help victims follow up on incidents of crime.  In some tourist areas, the police have established small "Tourist Police” stations manned by personnel familiar with helping visitors to Malaysia.  Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

See our webpage on  help for U.S. victims of crime overseas .

We can: 

  • Help you find appropriate medical care  
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police 
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent 
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion 
  • Provide a list of local attorneys  
  • Provide our information on  victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution 
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home 
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport 

Domestic Violence:   U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance. 

Tourism:  The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules with regard to best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced.  Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities.  In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country.  Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance, and first responder capabilities may vary.  When participating in trekking or other activities in extremely remote areas, particularly in the eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo, it may be difficult for first responders to reach patients quickly.  

U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance.  See our webpage for more  information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties:  You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

Penalties for using, possessing, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Malaysia are more severe than those in the United States, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines, or death.  Malaysian law provides for a mandatory death penalty for convicted drug traffickers.

It is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings, such as military facilities, government buildings and offices, and Ministry of Health facilities including public hospitals and clinics.

Driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail.

Certain white-collar crimes are punishable by caning.

If you purchase or collect local plants or wildlife without authorization from the Malaysian government, you may be prosecuted and sentenced to heavy fines, expulsion and/or imprisonment.

It is illegal to distribute religious literature of another faith to Malaysian Muslims.  Special religious authorities and local police occasionally conduct raids on popular nightspots and hotels to deter activities among local Muslims that contravene religious customs, including drinking alcohol and adultery.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law.  For examples, see our website on  crimes against minors abroad  and the  Department of Justice  website.

Arrest Notification:  If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.  See our  webpage  for further information.

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods:  Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws.  You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States.  See the  U.S. Department of Justice website  for more information.

Currency:  Currency exchange and Western Union money transfers are readily available.  Credit cards are accepted throughout the country, but you should be aware of the risk of fraud.  If possible, ensure your credit card remains in your presence during every transaction.  ATMs can be a safer means of obtaining Malaysian Ringgit.  PINs in Malaysia are six digits long, and some travelers have reported having difficulty retrieving cash from ATMs using four-digit PINs.

Faith-Based Travelers:   See the following webpages for details:

  • Faith-Based Travel Information
  • International Religious Freedom Report  – see country reports
  • Human Rights Report  – see country reports
  • Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers  
  • Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad   

LGBTQI+ Travelers:  Malaysia’s penal code criminalizes homosexual acts, termed “carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” leading to punishment of up to 20 years in prison and/or whipping, and police periodically raid LGBTQI+ frequented nightclubs and events.  Foreign same-sex marriages or civil unions are not recognized as legally valid .  Several states in Malaysia have instated Islamic Sharia laws, applying to male and female Muslims, criminalizing same-sex activity with up to three years imprisonment and whipping.  Transgender individuals have been arrested and charged with "indecent behavior,” and received fines and prison sentences of up to three months.  Transgender individuals may also be denied entry to Malaysia at the discretion of the Malaysian immigration authorities.  LGBTQI+ individuals may face discrimination or even violence, especially in more conservative rural areas. See our  LGBTI Travel Information   LGBTQI+ Travel Information  page and section 6 of our  Human Rights Report for further details.

Travelers With Disabilities:  The law in Malaysia prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual or mental disabilities, but the law is not regularly enforced.  Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is as prevalent as in the United States.  The most common types of accessibility may include accessible government facilities, information, and communication/access to services.  Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation, older lodging, and older public infrastructure, and common in newer lodging, communication/information, and newer public infrastructure.  Accessibility is more limited in rural areas.

Malaysia has an active civil society and NGO community focused on disability welfare and protection. They are usually able to provide information and assistance in employment services, assistive devices and equipment, chore services, companion-based services, day services, and support network for parents.

Students:   See our  Students Abroad  page and  FBI travel tips .   

Women Travelers:   In cases of sexual assault, victims should go directly to the nearest major public hospital which will offer “one-stop” response including medical care and testing, forensic testing, access to the police to make a criminal report, legal assistance, counseling, and temporary shelter.  See our travel tips for  Women Travelers . 

For emergency services in Malaysia, dial 999 (landline) or 112 (cell/mobile).  Callers to 999 emergency number are directed to whichever government hospital the dispatcher chooses.

Ambulance services are:

  • Widely available but training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards.
  • Not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.  
  • Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance (45+min).  

We do not pay medical bills.  Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas.  Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.  Malaysian hospitals will not bill your insurance directly.  You must provide payment and seek reimbursement.

Medical Insurance:   Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas.  Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments.  See  our webpage  for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.  Visit the  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental MEDEVAC insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.  Check with the  Royal Malaysian Customs Department  to ensure the medication is legal in Malaysia.

Vaccinations:  Be up-to-date on all  vaccinations recommended  by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Further health information:

  • World Health Organization
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC)  

Air Quality:  Visit  AirNow Department of State  for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

The air quality varies considerably and fluctuates with the seasons.  It is typically at its worst in the dry season from July to October due to large agricultural fires in the region.  People at the greatest risk from particle pollution exposure include: 

  • Infants, children, and teens 
  • People over 65 years of age 
  • People with lung disease such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema; 
  • People with heart disease or diabetes 
  • People who work or are active outdoors 

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals .  We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Medical Facilities and Services:

  • Adequate health facilities are available throughout the country but health care in rural areas may be below U.S. standards.
  • Private hospitals usually require advance payment before admitting a patient.  
  • Medical staff in rural areas may speak little English. 
  • Generally, in public hospitals only minimal staff is available overnight in non-emergency wards. Consider hiring a private nurse or having family spend the night with the patient, especially a minor child. 
  • Psychological and psychiatric services are limited, even in the larger cities, with hospital-based care typically only available through government institutions.

Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery

  • Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry. People seeking health care overseas should understand that medical systems operate differently from those in the United States and are not subject to the same rules and regulations.  Anyone interested in traveling for medical purposes should consult with their local physician before traveling and visit the  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  website for more information on Medical Tourism.
  • Visit the  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  website for information on Medical Tourism, the risks of medical tourism, and what you can do to prepare before traveling to Malaysia. 
  • We strongly recommend supplemental MEDEVAC insurance  to cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications.  
  • Your legal options in case of malpractice are very limited in Malaysia.
  • Although Malaysia has many elective/cosmetic surgery facilities that are on par with those found in the United States, the quality of care varies widely.  If you plan to undergo surgery in Malaysia, make sure that emergency medical facilities are available and professionals are accredited and qualified.  

Pharmaceuticals

  • Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas.  Pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and requiring prescription in the United States, are often readily available for purchase with little controls.  Counterfeit medication is common and may prove to be ineffective, the wrong strength, or contain dangerous ingredients.  Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States.  Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States.  Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States.  Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy

  • If you are considering traveling to Malaysia to have a child through use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) or surrogacy, please see our ART and Surrogacy Abroad page .
  • Although surrogacy agencies/clinics claim surrogacy is legal in Malaysia, there is no legal framework for foreigners or same-sex couples to pursue surrogacy in Malaysia.  As a result, surrogacy agreements between foreign or same-sex intending parents and gestational mothers are not enforced by Malaysia courts. 
  • If you decide to pursue parenthood in Malaysia via assisted reproductive technology (ART) with a gestational mother, be prepared for long and unexpected delays in documenting your child’s citizenship.  Be aware that individuals who attempt to circumvent local law risk criminal prosecution.

Water Quality

  • In many areas, tap water is not potable.  Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested.  Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water. 

Adventure Travel

  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel .

General Health Language

The following diseases are prevalent:

  • Chikungunya
  • Leptospirosis 
  • Use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended mosquito repellents and sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets.  Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for all travelers even for short stays.
  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about  Resources for Travelers  regarding specific issues in Malaysia.   

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Road safety is a very serious safety concern.  Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Malaysia averagesd approximately 2219 traffic fatalities a day, placing it among the top 1020 most dangerous countries in which to operate a vehicle worldwide.  Undisciplined motorcycle and motor scooter operators are the principal cause of traffic accidents and constitute nearly two-thirds of all traffic fatalities.  Motorcyclists tend not to obey traffic laws and often travel without regard for their safety or that of other motorists.  As such, use turn signals well in advance of turning to alert motorcycles. 

Bottlenecks are common in major cities because road building has not kept pace with the spread of motorized vehicles.  Multi-lane highways often merge into narrow two-lane roads in the center of town and cause congestion.  Many streets are narrow and winding.  Traffic is heavy during the morning and afternoon rush hours and slows down considerably when it rains.  Monsoonal rains can quickly flood roads located in low-lying areas.

Traffic Laws: Traffic in Malaysia moves on the left side of the road, and most vehicles are right-hand drive.  By law, you must use your front and back seat belts and must not use your cell phone while driving unless it is hands-free (e.g., Bluetooth).  Turning left at a red light is not legal unless otherwise marked.  Carry your passport or Malaysian identification card at all times when driving.

If you are involved in a traffic accident:

  • Call the police immediately. Depending on the severity of the accident, you should call either the emergency number 999 (or 112 from a mobile phone) or the Royal Malaysia Police Operations Center in Kuala Lumpur, 03-2115-9999 or 03-2266-2222.
  • Stay in your car and wait for the police to arrive before exchanging information with other parties involved in the accident.

Reports of road rage incidents, especially after midnight, are rising.  Avoid confrontational behavior if you are involved in an accident.  If you are threatened, stay in your car and lock the doors.  If able, lleave the scene and file a report with the local police within 24 hours.

Sobriety Checkpoints: Laws against drinking and driving are strictly enforced and carry serious penalties.  Police operate sobriety checkpoints in many entertainment districts frequented by expatriates.  At these checkpoints, all drivers must submit to alcohol breath tests.  If you fail a breath test, you will be arrested.

Driver’s License Requirements: International Driving Permits (IDP) may be used in conjunction with a valid U.S. license.  The IDP must be obtained outside of Malaysia.  If your IDP or U.S. license has expired, you will need to obtain a local driver’s license.  Some classifications of visa holders may also be eligible for driver’s license “conversion,” a quicker process to obtain a local license.  For additional information on this process, please contact the Malaysian Ministry of Transportation directly.  The Ministry of Transportation recommends contacting a local driving school to arrange the paperwork.  In order to obtain a local license, you will also need a valid long-term visa or work permit.

Many car rental agencies in Malaysia are willing to rent vehicles for a short term to U.S. citizens with valid U.S. driver’s licenses.  Nevertheless, if you plan to drive in Malaysia, obtain an IDP before leaving the United States. More information on how to obtain an IDP is available on the  Driving Abroad  section of the Department of State website.

Public Transportation: There have been fatal and other serious accidents involving long-distance tour buses in Malaysia, particularly at night or in adverse weather conditions.  If you plan to travel by bus, choose a reputable company, and avoid overnight routes.

Taxis are metered, but many drivers refuse to use the meter and instead charge a much higher rate, particularly during peak hours, when it is raining or when the passenger’s destination is to or through a heavily congested area.  By regulation, metered fares increase by 50 percent between midnight and 6:00 a.m.; meters are programmed to display the higher fee automatically during these hours.  Many individuals prefer to book taxi and car services through widely-used smart phone apps both for convenience and fare transparency.

See our  Road Safety page  for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Malaysia’s Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Malaysia’s air carrier operations.  Further information may be found on the  FAA’s safety assessment page .

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Malaysia should also check for  U.S. maritime advisories and alerts .   Information may also be posted to the   U.S. Coast Guard homeport website , and the  NGA broadcast warnings .

For additional travel information

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • See the  State Department’s travel website  for the  Worldwide Caution  and  Travel Advisories .
  • Follow us on  Twitter  and  Facebook .
  • See  traveling safely abroad  for useful travel tips.

Review information about Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Malaysia . For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act ( ICAPRA ) report.

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MALAYSIA RELAXES COVID-19 TESTING RULES & TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR INBOUND TRAVELLERS

malaysia travel ban

PUTRAJAYA, 28 APRIL 2022 – Starting 1 May 2022, fully-vaccinated inbound travellers are no longer required to undergo pre-departure and on-arrival COVID-19 tests, including children aged 12 and below as well as for those who have been infected with COVID-19 within six to 60 days before departure to Malaysia. Travel insurance will also not be a prerequisite for foreigners entering the country.

However, inbound travellers who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 still need to undergo an RT-PCR test two days before departure as well as a professionally-administered RTK-Ag test within 24 hours upon arrival in Malaysia and observe a five-day quarantine (quarantine exemption is only for those aged 17 and below).

The wearing of masks outdoors is optional but still mandatory indoors, including in shopping malls, offices, public transportation and e-hailing rides. Nevertheless, face coverings are still encouraged in crowded places, and people at higher risk from COVID-19. No more physical distancing is required, and people are now free to shake hands, but they are advised to practise good hand hygiene.

Meanwhile, check-ins via the contact tracing app MySejahtera will no longer be required, but the MySJ Trace function should be activated for contact tracing. Regardless of the vaccination status, people will be allowed to enter the premises except for those who test positive for COVID-19 and have been issued a home surveillance order.

“The seven-day mandatory quarantine for positive cases remains, and the MySejahtera app is used for the COVID-19 test results submission and health assessment. However, those who test positive for COVID-19 may be released earlier from quarantine if their professionally-administered RTK-Ag test on Day 4 is negative.

For more information on the latest standard operating procedures (SOP) for travelling to Malaysia, please visit our website at https://www.malaysia.travel/travel-alert or Mysafe Travel portal at https://mysafetravel.gov.my/

About Tourism Malaysia

Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, also known as Tourism Malaysia, is an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia. It focuses on the specific task of promoting Malaysia as a preferred tourism destination. Since its inception, it has emerged as a major player in the international tourism scene. Prior to the pandemic, Malaysia registered 26.1 million tourist arrivals and RM86.14 billion tourist receipts, placing it among the major tourism destinations of the world. For more information, visit Tourism Malaysia’s social media accounts on Facebook , Instagram , Twitter , YouTube , and TikTok .

For enquiries, please contact:

Tourism Malaysia Contact Centre [email protected] Tel: +603 8891 8000

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The Latest: Malaysia extends ban on foreign tourists

FILE - In this July 1, 2020, file photo, a waitress takes a food order from the kitchen at Slater’s 50/50 in Santa Clarita, Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new, color-coded process Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, for reopening California businesses amid the coronovirus pandemic that is more gradual than the state’s current rules to guard against loosening restrictions too soon. Counties will move through the new, four-tier system based on their number of cases and percentage of positive tests. It will rely on those two metrics to determine a tier: case rates and the percentage of positive tests. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia has extended its pandemic movement restrictions including a ban on foreign tourists until the end of the year.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said in a televised address late Friday that global cases have been rising and the country has seen sporadic virus clusters even though the situation was under control.

Malaysia has recorded more than 9,000 cases with 125 deaths.

Muhyiddin said the extension of restrictions will not disrupt daily activities as most businesses and schools have resumed. Only nightclubs and entertainment centers remain shut and international sporting events prohibited. Borders will stay closed and those entering the country will be quarantined.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

— Health agencies’ credibility at risk after week of blunders

— Too risky? Fed pressed to expand aid to some businesses

— College towns growing alarmed over outbreaks among students

— French President Emmanuel Macron is urging European neighbors to better coordinate cross-border virus restrictions as infections resurge. Multiple countries have imposed tests or quarantines on visitors from France.

— California Gov. Gavin Newsom is announcing a new process for reopening businesses that is slower and more gradual than what the state tried earlier this summer.

— The British government is encouraging workers to return to their offices amid concern that the number of people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic is hurting coffee bars and restaurants and turning city centers into “ghost towns.”

Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

SEOUL, South Korea --- South Korea has reported 323 new cases of the coronavirus, marking its 16th consecutive day of triple-digit jumps as health officials prepare to tighten social distancing restrictions in the greater capital area.

The numbers released by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Saturday brought the national caseload to 19,400. Fatalities reached 321 after the country added five more deaths overnights.

The KCDC said 249 of the new cases came from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where about half of the country’s 51 million people live, where health workers have struggled to track infections linked to various places, including churches, restaurants, schools and apartment buildings.

The country has added 4,630 cases over the 16 days, raising fears about possible shortages in hospital capacities.

For eight days starting Sunday, the country will allow restaurants to provide only food deliveries and takeout meals after 9 p.m., franchised coffee shops like Starbucks to provide only takeout drinks and food and to shut down gyms and after-school academies to slow the viral spread.

ALABAMA — The University of Alabama reported Friday that an additional 481 students have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to more than 1,000 infections since students returned to campus for the fall.

The University of Alabama System released new numbers on its dashboard of cases for all three campuses. The additional 481 cases on the Tuscaloosa campus were reported between Aug. 25 and Aug. 27. The university system said no students are hospitalized.

“We are closely monitoring our data daily, and we will continue to adjust operations as the situation warrants,” said UA System Chancellor Finis St. John in a statement accompanying the release of the numbers. He said testing for the virus was a “key pillar” of the university’s health and safety plan.

St. John said every student on the three campuses has the option of moving to fully online instruction at any time, remaining either on campus or returning home to continue their course work.

The university has not announced official fall enrollment figures. Kellee Reinhart, a spokeswoman for the university system, said the enrollment will be upwards of 30,000, which would equate to infections being reported in about 3.3% of all students.

The quick rise in COVID-19 cases on campus prompted action from city and university officials to try to limit student gatherings and off-campus socializing.

ATLANTA - A 1-year-old boy is now Georgia’s youngest victim to die from COVID-19.

The state Department of Public Health included the suburban Atlanta boy in a table of deaths released Friday.

The department says the boy had a chronic underlying condition that may have contributed to his death, but released no further information. The Cobb County Medical Examiner’s Officer says it can’t release further information until the boy’s death certificate is completed.

He’s one of 5,471 people to die in Georgia so far from the respiratory illness. Deaths from Georgia’s summer spike remain elevated, having averaged 68 over the seven days ending Friday.

The boy displaces a 7-year-old Chatham County boy as the state’s youngest victim of the respiratory illness. A preliminary count by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found only 29 deaths involving coronavirus among children younger than five nationwide.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The University of Virginia announced Friday that it is moving ahead with plans to offer in-person instruction for the fall semester.

In a statement posted on the school’s website, UVA officials said they had initially delayed the start of in-person undergraduate classes by two weeks to allow for more assessment of the spread of COVID-19. They also said they delayed the decision in order to take a look at how other schools have fared since opening.

UVA said it is now proceeding with plans to welcome students to residence halls starting Sept. 3 and to begin in-person instruction for undergraduates on Sept. 8.

“We know some will be delighted to hear this news and others will be disappointed,” the statement said. “To be frank, it was a very difficult decision, made in the face of much uncertainty, and with full awareness that future events may force us to change course.”

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Friday that UVA has reported 67 total positive COVID cases since Aug. 17 among students, faculty and staff. Of those, 23 were students who reported a positive test on Thursday, the school’s highest single-day total. Twenty-five students, faculty or staff have been hospitalized.

FOSTER CITY, California — U.S. regulators are now allowing use of experimental antiviral drug remdesivir for all patients hospitalized with COVID-19, drugmaker Gilead Sciences said Friday.

It said the Food and Drug Administration has expanded its emergency use authorization, which lets doctors administer the IV drug during the pandemic. Until now, that was limited to patients with severe COVID-19.

Foster City, California-based Gilead applied to the FDA on Aug. 10 for formal approval of remdesivir, to be sold under the brand name Veklury.

Gilead said in a statement that the expanded emergency use was based on results of a recent federal study of hospitalized patients with different levels of severity, plus a Gilead study published a week ago. Gilead’s study found that among hospitalized patients with moderate COVID-19, those getting remdesivir were 65% more likely to improve after a five-day treatment course than those just getting standard care.

Remdesivir previously was shown to shorten treatment by about four days for hospitalized patients with severe disease, compared with those getting standard supportive care.

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans’s youngest public school students will begin returning to classrooms as early as Sept. 14, the city’s school superintendent said Friday as he announced a phased re-opening plan tied to the control of COVID-19.

Henderson Lewis said the plan is for students from prekindergarten through 4th grade to begin returning to schools in phases beginning Sept. 14. Older students will begin returning in October.

“We know that our youngest students have the most to gain from in person learning,” Lewis said.

All of the plans are contingent on current trends indicating the spread of the virus has been successfully limited in the city, Lewis and Dr. Jennifer Avegno, the city’s health officer, said.

The benchmarks include a continued new-case rate of less than 50 per day in the city.

Statewide, the health department reported more than 600 new confirmed cases Friday, bringing the total to at least 146,243, with nearly 128,000 presumed recovered. Thirty newly reported deaths brought the virus-related death toll to at least 4,741.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Fueled in part by college students returning to classes, Kansas has set another pandemic record for the seven-day increase in coronavirus cases, with the surge prompting a school district to put the brakes on some fall sports and another to extend its mask ordinance.

Statewide, the number of new reported cases rose by 1,111 from Wednesday to Friday, bringing the total to 41,048. The state Department of Health and Environment also reported an additional six COVID-19-related deaths, to put the pandemic total at 443.

The average for the seven days ending Friday was 599, 3.6% more than the previous record of 578 for the seven days ending Wednesday. The state also reported 16 clusters in colleges and universities with 189 cases.

Gov. Laura Kelly called the most recent spike in coronavirus cases “horrendous” and said her administration is looking into why it has occurred. But she said outbreaks on college campuses and fraternities and sororities are a factor.

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Malaysia bans travellers from countries deemed at risk from Omicron

malaysia travel ban

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia has temporarily banned the entry of travellers from countries that have reported the Omicron Covid-19 variant or are considered high risk, its health minister said on Wednesday (Dec 1).

The South-east Asian nation joins countries around the world that have limited travel from southern Africa, where the variant - believed to be the most contagious yet - was first detected.

The travel ban applies to eight African countries, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi, but could be extended to other nations where the variant has been detected, such as Britain and the Netherlands, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Malaysia will also delay plans to set up so-called vaccinated travel lanes (VTL) with the affected countries, and reimpose quarantine requirements for Malaysian citizens and long-term residents returning from those nations, regardless of their vaccination status.

"These are just temporary measures until we find out more about the Omicron variant," Mr Khairy said. "The moment we believe it is safe, we will lift these measures."

Malaysia has not reported any cases of the Omicron variant.

Malaysia, which has reported more than 2.6 million coronavirus cases, has gradually reopened its borders to travellers in recent weeks as infections have slowed amid a high vaccination rate.

Earlier this week, Malaysia and Singapore launched a two-way joint VTL, reopening their borders after nearly two years during the pandemic.

Mr Khairy said VTL travellers who arrive in Malaysia will be required to conduct a Covid-19 self test on the third and seventh day of their stay.

The results will have to be entered into the Mysejahtera contact tracing app.

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Malaysia Ends Travel Ban on 8 Countries Classified as High-Risk

Priscilla Emmanuel

Citizens and residents are advised to delay travel plans to a total of 18 countries currently battling outbreaks of the Omicron variant.

On December 28, 2021, Malaysia has decided to lift the temporary travel ban that had been placed on eight countries suspected to have the Omicron variant. Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced that South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi are no longer banned, but rather are now classified as high-risk.

“As the Omicron variant is from many source countries, hence, the temporary travel ban will now be lifted and cases in South African countries were also reportedly declining.

“These countries are now listed as high-risk countries along another 10 countries namely the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Norway, France, Denmark, India, Canada, and Nigeria,” he said in a press conference two days ago.

He inferred that travellers from all 18 countries mentioned are required to be fitted with a digital device upon arrival into the country that will track the duration of their quarantine period. He also advised both citizens and residents to delay any travel to all the above countries until further notice.

Health Ministry encourages use of MySejahtera trace feature in public  places | Malaysia | Malay Mail

“If possible, avoid unnecessary travel to these 18 countries because it is very risky and dangerous; wait until the situation stabilises.”

The Health Minister has also strongly advised people celebrating New Year’s Eve together to get tested before and after all events.

“Even though it is a private event, like a Christmas celebration, be it to celebrate with friends at hotel or restaurant, please do a self-test if you are meeting someone from different households.

“So far, the Melaka and Sarawak state elections, as well as the Christmas celebration have not caused a surge in cases because a majority of the people complied with the standard operating procedures.

“So, continue to comply with the public health measure, and test before a celebration with people from other household. This is very important to control the spread of the Omicron. Omicron is already here, we want to slow it down,” he said.

Gathering crucial data, the Institute for Medical Research had conducted PCR genotyping evaluations on 366 Covid-19 positive samples collected from returnees from abroad between 21 December to 25 December.

“Of the total, 306 samples were presumptive Omicron variant and we are now waiting for the whole-genome sequencing results,” Khairy added.

“After obtaining the results, we will announce the confirmed Omicron cases and update the list of high-risk countries.

“Currently, we are actively testing the close contacts of Omicron cases on the ground to contain the spread of this new variant.”

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  • Latest News

Latest News:

Latest News: Additional restrictions will be enforced under the 'Movement Control Order' (OSAC, 24.05.2021). Authorities announce tighter COVID-19 restrictions (Xinhua, 22.05.2021). Nationwide movement control order will continue through 7 June (OSAC, 11.05.2021). Government will ban all inter-district and interstate travel from 10 May until 6 June because of COVID-19 (Straits Times, 09.05.2021). Malaysian government to temporarily ban flights to, from India (New Paper, 26.04.2021)

International Restrictions:

*Entry to Malaysia: Entry to Malaysia for foreign nationals is prohibited. Some exemptions may apply, the situation is changing regularly, and any foreign national who wishes to enter Malaysia will need to seek permission from the local Malaysian Embassy or the Immigration Directorate before travelling. If you normally reside in Malaysia and wish to seek further guidance, contact the Malaysian Embassy in the country you currently stay for further guidance and your airline and keep up to date with developments, including this travel advice. You may need to complete an application on the MYTravelPass online platform . You should speak to the local Malaysian authorities for further guidance.

*Transiting Malaysia: You can transit via Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) as long as you remain airside. Transit that requires passage through immigration (to collect bags, or to move between the two Kuala Lumpur terminals - KLIA and KLIA2) is not possible, unless you meet the general immigration requirements above.

*Testing/screen on arrival: You may need to take a COVID-19 test on arrival (even if you have a negative test from your country of origin) and on completion of your quarantine. If you have an onward domestic flight in peninsular Malaysia, you will undergo quarantine in Kuala Lumpur. Any onward flight to a regional airport will need to be booked at a later date.

*Quarantine requirements: From 29 April, anyone who gets permission to enter the country under the immigration rules mentioned above, from a list of countries will be obliged to enter quarantine for 14 days at a designated government facility. The list of countries may be found on the Ministry of Health website . Travellers from countries not on the list will have to quarantine for 10 days. You will need to meet all costs associated with your quarantine. You will need to download the MySejahtera app. If you’re travelling to East Malaysia (Sabah or Sarawak) please consult the Malaysian High Commission/Embassy and your airline as regards quarantine procedures and onward travel from Kuala Lumpur to these provinces. Sabah and Sarawak have additional immigration rules in place. You will only be permitted to enter if you have permanent residence or an employment pass in the relevant state.

*Data collection: You will need to download the MySejahtera app. Internal Restrictions:

*Travel in Malaysia: A Movement Control Order, imposing restrictions on movement, is in place across Malaysia. Check local government websites, social media channels, and media reporting for up to date information. Inter-state and inter-district travel is not permitted, with the exceptions of emergencies, work, and vaccination appointments. All social gatherings, sports, and recreational activities are prohibited, except individual activities such as jogging and cycling. Roadblocks are operating at state boundaries. For further clarification, you may refer to the Royal Malaysia Police directory and contact the police department near you.

Internal flights from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (also known as Subang Airport) are operating as usual, but services could be reduced without notice.

You can get to and from the airport by taxi, or using the KLIA express train to Sentral station. A bus service does operate from Sentral, but infrequently. You may need police permission to travel to the airport.

You must wear a face mask at airports, on public transport and in taxis.

*Accommodation: Hotels are open across Malaysia. Your temperature will be checked on arrival.

*Public spaces and services: A Recovery Movement Control Order is in place across Malaysia, with stricter controls in some areas. Kuala Lumpur and six districts of Selangor are under a full Movement Control Order. Other states have localised Enhanced Movement Control Orders in specific sites. For further clarification, you may refer to the Royal Malaysian Police directory and contact the police department near you. You should observe social distancing (1 metre). You must wear a face mask in crowded public spaces, including on public transport, in shops, markets, tourist destinations, and cinemas.

To enter many facilities, your temperature will be taken, and they will record your personal contact details.

A curfew is in place for all businesses, including shops and food outlets. You must carry your passport at all times. You should follow local news for updates. If you are found to be in breach of any of the operating procedures in place you may be detained and fined. On 12 January, HM Yang di-Pertuan Agong announced a State of Emergency in Malaysia in response to the COVID situation and temporary flooding. This is not expected to have any additional impact on British nationals in Malaysia, but the position might change at short notice.

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malaysia travel ban

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Warnings and insurance

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The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice .

Areas where FCDO advises against all but essential travel

Your travel insurance could be invalidated if you travel against FCDO advice.

Eastern Sabah coastal islands

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to all islands and dive sites off the coast of eastern Sabah from Sandakan to Tawau, including Lankayan Island, due to the threat of kidnapping.

Find out more about why FCDO advises against travel .

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Latest update

Exercise normal safety precautions in Malaysia.

Higher levels apply in some areas.

Malaysia

Malaysia (PDF 367.29 KB)

Asia (PDF 2.21 MB)

Local emergency contacts

Fire and rescue services, medical emergencies.

Call 999 or contact the Royal Malaysia Police Operations Centre on 321 159 999 or 322 662 222.

Advice levels

Reconsider your need to travel to the coastal region of eastern Sabah, including the islands, dive sites and associated tourist facilities.

Reconsider your need to travel to the coastal region of eastern Sabah, including the islands, dive sites and associated tourist facilities, due to the high threat of kidnapping. The risk of kidnapping increases on the water and waterfront after nightfall and is highest in the area between the towns of Sandakan and Tawau.

See Safety .

  • There's an ongoing high risk of kidnapping in the coastal areas of eastern Sabah. There have been a number of attempted and successful kidnappings. This includes islands, dive sites and tourist facilities. If, despite our advice, you travel to these areas, get professional security advice. Obey all local governments' curfews.
  • Terrorism is a threat. Possible targets include businesses and public areas popular with foreigners. Take official warnings seriously.
  • Petty crime is common. Bag-snatching, including by thieves on motorbikes, happens often. When walking, hold your bag on the opposite side to the traffic. Safeguard your belongings, especially in shopping centres, at the airport and on trains. Credit card fraud is common. Always keep your credit card in sight when paying for purchases.
  • Drink spiking can occur, even at reputable places. Never accept food, drinks, cigarettes or gum from strangers. Don't leave your food or drinks unattended.
  • Piracy in South-East Asian waters is an ongoing problem. Avoid travelling by boat in the southern Sulu Sea. If you intend to travel in the region by boat, check the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reports . Arrange personal security measures.

Full travel advice: Safety

  • Strict rules control the importation of prescription and non-prescription medication. If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Malaysia.
  • Dengue fever is common, including in major urban areas. Zika virus is also a risk. Malaria is a risk in rural areas. Other insect-borne diseases include chikungunya, filariasis and Japanese encephalitis. 
  • Rabies is present in Malaysia. It's fatal without immediate treatment. Avoid dogs, monkeys and other mammals. Get medical help straight away if an animal bites or scratches you.
  • Waterborne, foodborne, parasitic and other infectious diseases are common. These include hepatitis, tuberculosis, typhoid and cholera. Drink only boiled or bottled water. Avoid raw or undercooked food.
  • Private hospitals in major cities are of an international standard. You'll need to pay up-front at all hospitals unless you have travel insurance, and your travel insurance policy covers your hospitalisation. Services are more limited in rural areas. Government hospitals require a deposit even if you have travel insurance.
  • Cases of pertussis (whooping cough) have increased in Sabah. Ensure you're immunised against pertussis and practice good personal hygiene.

Full travel advice: Health

  • If you're suspected of using drugs, you may be required to take a urine test on arrival in Malaysia. This includes if you're travelling from a country where possession and use of drugs such as cannabis is legal. Penalties for drug offences are severe. 
  • Don't use, carry or traffic illegal drugs. Punishments include the death penalty.
  • It's unclear if surrogacy is legal under Malaysian civil law and what conditions apply. Get legal advice before arranging a surrogacy.

Malaysian law requires that you carry identification, such as your passport or a Malaysian Immigration Issued Card (IKAD), with you at all times. If you are asked by police and are unable to provide it, you may be detained until you can present valid identification.

  • Malaysia is a multicultural but mostly Islamic country. Many areas have conservative standards of dress and behaviour. This includes at religious sites. Get advice on local customs.
  • Malaysia enforces some aspects of sharia law. Kelantan and Terengganu states are stricter than others. These laws apply to all Muslims, including visitors from Australia. Research laws that apply to you before you travel.
  • Malaysia doesn't recognise dual nationality. Always travel on your Australian passport. If Malaysian authorities find out you're a dual citizen, you may need to renounce one of your citizenships immediately, or you may not be permitted to depart Malaysia.

Full travel advice: Local laws

From 1 January 2024, you'll be required to complete and submit a Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) three days prior to arrival in Malaysia. The MDAC must be submitted through the  Malaysian Immigration website . See the  Malaysian Immigration website  for further information, including exemption details.

  • In most circumstances, you can get a 90-day tourism visa on arrival. Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest Malaysian High Commission, Embassy or Consulate for the latest details.
  • Malaysia has an auto gate facility for visitors from several countries, including Australia. The option to use the manual counter for a visa is still available. To use the auto gate facilities, Australian travellers must have a passport valid for at least 6 months and must complete and submit their Malaysian Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) 3 days before arriving. The auto gate facility is unavailable for Australian passport holders with Malaysian permanent residency or a long-term pass. This auto gate facility is available at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 1 and 2. Further information can be found on the  Malaysia Digital Arrival Card  website.
  • Monitor the websites of the  Malaysian Department of Immigration,  My Safe Travel , the  Malaysian Ministry of Health , and social media for any changes to entry requirements. Before travel, confirm entry requirements with the  Malaysian High Commission or Consulate-General in Australia .

Full travel advice: Travel

Local contacts

  • The Consular Services Charter details what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
  • For consular help, contact the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur .
  • To stay up to date with local information, follow the High Commission's social media accounts.

Full travel advice: Local contacts

Full advice

Terrorist attacks could happen in Malaysia. Attacks could be random and may affect locations popular with Westerners or during major events or holidays that attract large crowds.

Malaysian authorities have arrested people for planning terror attacks. This includes attacks against entertainment venues in Kuala Lumpur.

Other possible targets include:

  • hotels, clubs and restaurants
  • places of worship  or religious holidays
  • outdoor recreation events
  • tourist areas

To stay safe:

  • be alert to possible threats, especially in public places
  • be cautious around places known to be possible terrorist targets
  • report any suspicious activity or items to police
  • check the media for any new or emerging threats
  • take official warnings seriously
  • follow the advice of local authorities

If there's an attack, leave the area as soon as it's safe. 

Terrorism is a threat worldwide.

More information:

Terrorist threats

Overland travel through Thailand

Read our travel advice for Thailand if you're planning to go there overland.

Avoid travelling to or through the far southern provinces of Thailand.

There's an ongoing high threat of kidnapping in the coastal areas of eastern Sabah, including islands, dive sites and other tourist facilities.

Extremists based in the southern Philippines are active in the area between the towns of Sandakan and Tawau in eastern Sabah.

Foreigners have been kidnapped from the nearby islands of Sipadan and Mataking and surrounding waters.

Some attempted and successful kidnappings have happened in coastal areas of eastern Sabah in recent years.

  • In May 2021, Malaysian authorities arrested eight suspected Abu Sayyaf militants who they suspect may have been planning kidnappings in Malaysia.
  • In September 2019, 3 fishermen were abducted in the waters off Lahad Datu.
  • In June 2019, 10 fishermen were abducted in waters between Lahad Datu, Sabah and Sitangkai, Southern Philippines.
  • In December 2018, 3 fishermen were abducted from Pegasus Reef near Kinabatangan, Sabah.
  • In November 2016, militants based in the southern Philippines attacked a yacht in waters between eastern Sabah and the Sulu archipelago. One German national was killed and another kidnapped and later killed.  Further in 2016, some commercial seamen were kidnapped from cargo vessels in the area.
  • In May 2015, gunmen entered a local seaside restaurant in Sandakan and abducted the manager and one customer.

Malaysian authorities increased security in the region in response to kidnapping incidents. The Sabah Government has restricted the use of waterways.

Security measures

There's a 6pm to 6am curfew on water travel in 6 coastal districts of eastern Sabah state. This includes offshore areas up to 3 nautical miles (5.5km) from the coast.

All vessels travelling in the waters off Lahad Datu and Sandakan in daylight hours must get a permit or permission from police.

Vessels must travel only on designated routes.

There's a ban on resort-organised water activities at night. This includes diving and fishing.

Authorities established the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone), which includes the regions of:

  • Kinabatangan
  • Kota Marudu

There's an increased presence of security forces in the ESSZone.

Authorities may extend the water travel curfew each fortnight. If you travel by water during curfew hours without permission, authorities could fine you or jail you for up to 6 months.

Australian Government policy

The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers.

If you decide to travel to eastern Sabah despite our advice:

  • get professional security advice
  • arrange personal security measures
  • check if your hotel has security measures in place
  • be extremely cautious

Civil unrest and political tension

You could encounter protests or demonstrations on the streets or at certain venues.

Protest activity could lead to violence and disrupt public services, including public transport, and cause traffic congestion. However, this is rare.

Police permission is needed for public gatherings and demonstrations. If you take part in a protest or demonstration, authorities could arrest and deport you.

Avoid protests and demonstrations.

During periods of unrest:

  • check the news and other sources for information on planned and possible unrest or strikes
  • plan your activities to avoid unrest on national or commemorative days
  • be ready to change your travel plans

If civil unrest disrupts your transport plans, contact your airline, travel agent or insurer for help.

Demonstrations and civil unrest

Petty crime

Petty crime is common.

Opportunistic pickpocketing and snatch-and-grab robberies happen often where thieves snatch handbags, shoulder bags, jewellery, mobile phones and other valuables from pedestrians.

Hotspots include busy pedestrian crossings near major shopping malls, including within the KLCC area.

Motorcyclists, and sometimes thieves in other moving vehicles, pull bags from victims. This often causes injuries.

Smash-and-grab attacks against slow-moving and parked vehicles also happen.

To avoid petty crime:

  • don't carry bags that are easy to snatch
  • walk on footpaths when you can and stay away from the curb
  • hold your bag on the opposite side to the traffic
  • when driving or parking your car, keep valuables out of sight
  • always keep vehicle windows up and doors locked, even when moving

Handbags, expensive watches, jewellery and cameras are tempting targets for thieves.

Many travellers have lost passports and other valuables to thieves on trains and at airports.

Carry only what you need and leave other valuables, in a secure location.

Thieves sometimes work in groups at busy shopping centres. One or more may approach you with stories of distress or warnings for your safety. When you're distracted, others steal your belongings.

Watch your personal belongings, especially:

  • in crowded areas and during holiday periods
  • when travelling on trains from the airport
  • at airports

Be wary of approaches from strangers, especially in shopping centres.

Credit card fraud

Credit card fraud is common.

Credit cards are often copied for illegal use. This can happen anywhere, from small shops to large department stores and hotels.

Always keep your credit card in sight.

Online scams

Online scams  have increased in recent years. Scammers often pretend to be people in need of financial help.

They prey on people looking for companions on online dating websites.

To protect yourself from being scammed:

  • be wary of people asking for money
  • don't send money or provide your bank details to anyone you don't know
  • be careful when sharing personal information with people you haven't met in person

Scams involving gambling are also common.

Violent crime

You could experience violent crime in Malaysia. Australians have been victims of violent crime in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and other areas of the country. You should exercise vigilance and take sensible precautions. If you're a victim of crime, inform the local police and get a police report.

Criminals have assaulted and robbed travellers after spiking their drinks. This can even happen at places with a good reputation.

To protect yourself from drink spiking:

  • never accept food or drinks from strangers or leave drinks unattended
  • if you aren't sure if a drink is safe, leave it
  • stay with people you trust at parties and in bars, nightclubs and taxis

To stay safe while using taxis:

  • don't hail taxis on the street, especially after dark
  • book taxis by phone at a shopping centre taxi desk
  • check there's a licence with photo on the dashboard or seat back before getting into a taxi
  • check the driver matches the photo.

If you're alone in a taxi, sit in the back seat. Keep your belongings with you in the taxi.

If your taxi stops to pick up other passengers, get out of the taxi when it's safe to do so. Taxi drivers aren't allowed to pick up extra passengers, but it sometimes happens.

E-hailing services are available. Use the same precautions as taxis.

Cyber security 

You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth. 

Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media. 

More information:  

  • Cyber security when travelling overseas  

Climate and natural disasters

Malaysia experiences severe weather and natural disasters , including:

  • earthquakes
  • severe rainstorms

If there's a natural disaster:

  • secure your passport in a safe, waterproof location
  • keep in contact with your friends and family
  • monitor local media and weather reports
  • check with tour operators before travelling to affected areas

Register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive alerts on major disasters.

Earthquakes and tsunamis

Earthquakes can happen in Malaysia.

In 2018, a 5.2 magnitude earthquake hit Sabah. No deaths or injuries were reported. The earthquake's tremors were felt and climbing activities were suspended.

Coastal regions of the world can experience tsunamis. Malaysia and its neighbours are vulnerable to earthquakes, which make destructive tsunamis more likely.

US Tsunami Warning Centre

Severe weather

Flooding and landslides are common during the wet season which is usually from October to February.

Severe rainstorms can result in deaths and extensively damaged infrastructure.

Essential services can be interrupted.

Tours and adventure activities

The safety standards you might expect of transport and tour operators aren't always met. This includes for adventure activities, such as diving.

Operators may not provide enough safety equipment. They also may not pay attention to maintenance standards and safety precautions.

If you plan to do a tour or adventure activity:

  • check your travel insurance covers you for it
  • ask and insist on minimum safety requirements
  • use available safety equipment, such as life jackets or seatbelts

If appropriate safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.

Piracy in South-East Asian waters is an ongoing problem, especially in the:

  • Strait of Malacca
  • waters between Sabah and the southern Philippines

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) issues weekly piracy reports.

Avoid travelling by boat in the southern Sulu Sea. This includes waters between Sabah, Malaysia and Palawan in the Philippines.

If you decide to travel by boat in these regions:

  • check IMB piracy reports
  • get local advice
  • arrange security measures

Travelling by boat

  • Going on a cruise

Travel Insurance

Get comprehensive  travel insurance  before you leave. 

Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.

You'll probably need a specialised insurance policy that covers travel to high-risk destinations if, despite our advice, you're travelling to the coastal region of eastern Sabah.

If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.

If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.

  • what activities and care your policy covers
  • that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. 

See your doctor or travel clinic to:

  • have a basic health check-up   
  • ask if your travel plans may affect your health
  • plan any vaccinations you need

Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.

If you have immediate concerns for your welfare or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your  nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate  to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.

  • General health advice
  • Healthy holiday tips  (Healthdirect Australia)

Medications

Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Malaysia. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.

Strict rules control the importation of prescription and non-prescription medication. Contact the  high commission or embassy of Malaysia  to check what documentation local authorities may need you to have. Further information can be found on the  Pharmaceuticals Services website.

Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating: 

  • what the medication is 
  • your required dosage 
  • that it's for personal use 

More information: 

Health risks

Smoke haze often happens from June to October, but it can happen at any time.

Check the haze situation and any health warnings the Malaysian Government issues.

When haze levels are high, authorities recommend limiting outdoor activity. Get your own medical advice.

Insect-borne diseases

Dengue  is common, including in major urban areas. Sometimes serious outbreaks happen.

There's no vaccination or treatment available for dengue fever.

Zika virus is a risk. There's no vaccination for it.

If you're pregnant, the Australian Department of Health recommends you:

  • discuss any travel plans with your doctor
  • consider deferring non-essential travel to affected areas

The Zika virus bulletin includes advice on how to minimise Zika virus risks.

Malaria is a risk in rural areas. It's less common in urban and coastal areas. Consider taking medicine to prevent malaria.

Outbreaks of other insect-borne diseases can happen. This includes chikungunya and filariasis .

Reported cases of Japanese encephalitis have increased in recent years. Get vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis before you travel

The risk of contracting insect-borne diseases increases during the wet season.

To protect yourself from disease:

  • ensure your accommodation is insect-proof
  • always use insect repellent
  • wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing

Ministry of Health

Rabies is a potentially fatal viral disease. It's found in dogs, monkeys, bats and other mammals.

The most recent cases were reported in Sarawak. It was transmitted through feral dog and cat bites.

Rabies can also be contracted when a rabid animal's saliva gets directly into your eyes, nose, mouth or broken skin.

Avoid direct contact with dogs and other mammals.

If a dog, monkey or other mammal bites or scratches you, use soap and water straight away to wash the wound thoroughly.

Get urgent medical attention.

Other health risks

Waterborne, foodborne, parasitic and other infectious diseases are common.

These include:

  • tuberculosis
  • hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD)

Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.

  • drink boiled water or bottled water with sealed lids
  • avoid ice cubes
  • avoid uncooked and undercooked food, such as salads
  • wash your hands often and thoroughly

Get medical attention if you suspect food poisoning, or if you have a fever or diarrhoea.

Cases of pertussis (whooping cough) have increased in Sabah since the beginning of 2023. If you're planning to travel to Sabah:

  • ensure you're immunised against pertussis
  • practice good personal hygiene including frequent hand washing, not sharing drinks or lip balm
  • keep your distance from people who appear sick
  • seek medical attention if you develop symptoms

Infectious diseases

Marine stings

Stings from jellyfish and other marine animals can be fatal.

Ask local authorities, your tour operator or hotel about:

  • swimming conditions
  • precautions to take
  • other dangers

Black henna tattoos

Avoid temporary black henna tattoos as they often contain a dye that can cause serious skin reactions.

Medical care

Medical facilities.

You can find private hospitals with international-standard facilities in major cities.

Public hospitals in major cities have a good range of medical services. However, access can be slow. Services are more limited in rural areas.

Most private hospitals need a cash deposit or a confirmation of insurance before they will admit you. They also expect immediate payment for services.

You need to pay up-front for treatment at government hospitals.

There are decompression chambers in:

Medical tourism

Medical tourism , including for cosmetic surgery, is common.

Standards at discount and uncertified medical facilities can be poor.

Serious and possibly life-threatening complications can result.

Before travelling for medical tourism:

  • research and choose medical service providers carefully
  • don't use discount or uncertified medical service providers
  • check your travel insurance covers you if things go wrong with your surgery, as most don't

You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter . But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

If you're suspected of using drugs before you visit Malaysia, you may be required to take a urine test on arrival. This includes if you're travelling from a country where possession and use of drugs such as cannabis is legal. 

Penalties for drug offences are severe, including drug possession and the presence of drugs in your bloodstream. Malaysia still carries the death penalty for drug trafficking.

Carrying or using drugs

Surrogacy laws

Malaysian civil law applies to everyone in Malaysia. Under this law, it's unclear if surrogacy is legal and what conditions apply.

Under sharia law, surrogacy is illegal. However, sharia law only applies to Muslims.

Surrogacy isn't practised openly in Malaysia. If you want to pursue surrogacy, it's mostly a private arrangement between you and the surrogate.

Get independent legal advice before entering into a surrogacy arrangement.

  • Going overseas for international surrogacy
  • Going overseas to adopt

Malaysia enforces some aspects of sharia law. These laws apply to all Muslims, including those from Australia.

Research laws that apply to you before you travel.

Serious crime

Crimes that may attract corporal punishment include:

  • certain drug offences
  • commercial crime

Same-sex sexual relations are illegal.

Punishment can include whipping and up to 20 years in prison for same-sex acts involving either men or women.

LGBTI travellers

Drink driving

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious offence, which can result in fines and/or a jail sentence. Authorities strictly enforce these laws. 

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.

Staying within the law and respecting customs

Local customs

Malaysia is a multicultural but mostly Islamic country.

Standards of dress and behaviour are conservative in many areas. This includes at religious sites.

Always respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions.

Learn about customs at your destination. If in doubt, get advice from locals. Take care not to offend cultural or religious beliefs.

The Islamic holiday month of Ramadan  is observed in Malaysia. Respect religious and cultural customs and laws at this time.

During Ramadan, eating, drinking and smoking may be illegal in public during the day. If you're not fasting, avoid these activities around people who are. Seek local advice to avoid offence.

Explore our Ramadan page to learn more, including dates for Ramadan.

Dual citizenship

Malaysia doesn't recognise dual nationality.

If you're a dual citizen, this limits the consular services we can give if you're arrested or detained.

Always travel on your Australian passport .

If Malaysian authorities find out you hold both Australian and Malaysian citizenship, you may need to renounce either your Australian or Malaysian citizenship straight away, or you may not be permitted to depart Malaysia.

Dual nationals

Visas and border measures

Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering. 

I n most circumstances, Australian passport holders can get a 90-day tourism visa on arrival. 

Arrange a visa before you travel if you're visiting for:

  • volunteer work

Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest high commission, embassy or consulate  of Malaysia for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.

If you breach your visa conditions or overstay your visa, authorities may fine, detain or deport you.

Always check the correct dates are on the visa stamp placed in your passport.

Follow immigration rules, including your visa conditions.

Border measures

Malaysia has an auto gate facility for visitors from several countries, including Australia. The option to use the manual counter for a visa is still available. To use the auto gate facilities, Australian visitors must have a passport valid for at least 6 months and must complete and submit their Malaysian Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) 3 days before arriving.

The auto gate facility is unavailable for Australian passport holders with Malaysian permanent residency or a long-term pass. This auto gate facility is available at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 1 and 2. Further information can be found on the  Malaysia Digital Arrival Card  website.

Entry requirements may change at short notice. Monitor the websites of the  Malaysian Department of Immigration ,  My Safe Travel , the  Malaysian Ministry of Health , and social media for any changes. Before travel, confirm entry requirements with the  Malaysian High Commission or Consulate-General in Australia .

Staying in Malaysia

You should ensure you keep your visa up to date.

Other formalities

Foreigners need to provide biometric identification (fingerprints and/or face) on arrival.

Children aged younger than 12 years and visitors with finger disabilities don't have to do this.

Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.

Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.

You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.

The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport .

Lost or stolen passport

Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.

Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.

If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:

  • In Australia, contact the Australian Passport Information Service .
  • If you're overseas, contact the nearest Australian embassy or consulate .

Passport with ‘X’ gender identifier

Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can’t guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest  embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination  before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers. 

  • LGBTI travellers  

The official currency is the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR).

When you depart, declare any MYR over MYR30,000, $US10,000 or equivalent. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.

You can take larger amounts out of the country if you declare it when you arrive.

ATMs are widely available.

Local travel

If you travel between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia, you need your passport. East Malaysia includes Sabah and Sarawak.

Check if your travel insurance policy covers you for any related damage and injuries if you plan to hire:

  • a motorcycle
  • any other vehicle

Driving permit

To drive in Malaysia, you need both:

  • a valid Australian driver's licence
  • an International Driving Permit (IDP)

Get your IDP before you leave Australia.

If you don't have both, you need to apply for a Malaysian licence.

Driving or riding

Road travel

Motorcyclists are a common traffic hazard. They often:

  • weave through traffic
  • drive through red lights and pedestrian crossings
  • travel on the wrong side of the road

Motorcyclists have been increasingly confronting drivers who shout, gesture or toot their horn at them. They sometimes assault drivers.

You're more likely to die in a car accident in Malaysia than in Australia.

To stay safe, drive carefully and avoid road rage.

On a motorcycle, always wear a helmet.

Some taxi drivers, especially in tourist spots or when roads are jammed, don't use their meter. This is illegal.

Malaysia's taxi regulator has an English-language hotline for reporting problems. To make a report, call 1 800 88 7723 and provide the:

  • vehicle number
  • taxi company name
  • time, date and location of the incident
  • name of the driver if known

Always ask if the driver will use the meter, or agree the fare, before you get in a taxi.

At the start of your trip, take note of the vehicle number, the taxi company name and the name of the driver.

Public transport

There have been fatal and other serious accidents involving long-distance tour buses. This often happens at night or in bad weather.

If you plan to travel by bus, choose a company with a good reputation and avoid overnight travel.

Transport and getting around safely

In recent years, several passenger boats have sunk due to overloading and poor maintenance.

Before booking tickets on a passenger ferry, speedboat or other vessel, check there is appropriate safety equipment available.

Don't travel on any vessel that looks overloaded or in poor condition.

When you board, confirm there are enough life jackets for all passengers. Know where they are.

In bad weather, wear a life jacket, even if others don't.

There is a curfew on travel by water from 6pm to 6am in the coastal districts of eastern Sabah. See Safety

Airline safety

DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.

Check Malaysia's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.

National parks

National parks are protected areas, and some are home to ethnic minority groups.

Be respectful of the law and customs in these areas. If in doubt, seek local advice.

Don't remove any wildlife or plants from the park.

Before entering a park, register your plans with park officials and let someone you trust know where you're going.

Emergencies

Depending on what you need, contact your:

  • family and friends
  • travel agent
  • insurance provider

Call 999 or contact the Royal Malaysia Police Operations Centre on +60321 159 999 or Royal Malaysia Headquarters (Bukit Aman) +603 22662 222.

Always get a police report when you report a crime.

Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Consular contacts

Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

For consular assistance, contact the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.

Australian High Commission, Kuala Lumpur

6 Jalan Yap Kwan Seng 50450 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Phone: (+60 3) 2146 5555/2146 5575 Fax: (+60 3) 2141 5773 Website: malaysia.highcommission.gov.au Email: [email protected] Facebook: Australia in Malaysia Twitter: @AusHCMalaysia

Check the High Commission website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.

You can get limited consular help, including lodging Australian passport applications, at the following Australian consulates headed by honorary consuls:

Australian Consulate, Penang

Level 3 Jalan Macalister  10400 Penang Malaysia Phone: (+60 4) 226 8955 Fax: (+60 4) 228 3366 Email: [email protected]

Australian Consulate, Kota Kinabalu

Lot 01-05, 11th Floor Jubili Tower (Menara Jubili) 53, Jalan Gaya 88000 Kota Kinabalu Sabah Malaysia Phone: (+60 88) 267 151 Fax: (+60 88) 266 509 Email:  [email protected]

Australian Consulate, Sarawak

E39 Level 2 Taman Sri Sarawak Mall Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman 93100 Kuching Sarawak Malaysia Phone: (+60 19) 898 9787 Email: [email protected]

24-hour Consular Emergency Centre

In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:

  • +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
  • 1300 555 135 in Australia

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Malaysia charges two with ‘wounding religious feelings’ in now-banned film

Mentega Terbang, about a teenager exploring religion in the face of her mother’s terminal illness, was banned in September after criticism from conservative Muslim groups.

People walking in front of a wall painted with the Malaysian flag

Two Malaysian filmmakers have appeared in court charged with deliberately “wounding the religious feelings of others” with their now-banned independent film Mentega Terbang (Butterfly).

Director Khairi Anwar and producer Tan Meng Kheng pleaded not guilty to the charge, which carries a jail term of as long as one year as well as a possible fine, when they appeared in separate courts in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, according to Malaysian online media.

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Magistrates Noorelynna Hanim Abd Halim and Aina Azahra Arifin allowed the two men conditional bail and imposed a gag order to prevent them from speaking about the case.

Mentega Terbang was released on streaming channels in 2021 and is a coming-of-age story about a Malay Muslim teenage girl who begins to explore religion and the question of the afterlife as her mother battles a terminal illness.

The government banned the film last September amid complaints from conservative Muslim groups and after the Islamic affairs department said some scenes went against Islamic teachings in Malaysia.

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said the prosecution was taking place under a “vague and arbitrary statute” and urged Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and his government to direct prosecutors to drop the case.

“[Anwar’s government is] fundamentally failing to protect freedom of expression, and pursuing criminal cases for political motivations,” Robertson said in emailed comments. “This sort of crude political pandering at the expense of human rights is precisely the sort of thing that Anwar accused previous governments of doing when he was in the opposition – but now he’s hypocritically changed his tune after assuming power, and is using the same censorship and persecution.”

Anwar came to power promising reforms after a hotly-contested election in November 2022.

Robertson urged the government to lift the ban on the film.

Malay Muslims make up just over half the Malaysian population, but there are also large communities of ethnic Chinese and Indians as well as Indigenous people who follow other religions.

Khairi and Tan have said the decision to ban their film was “irrational” and a breach of their constitutional rights to freedom of speech.

Last month, they filed an application to commence a legal challenge against the government over its decision to ban the film, according to Free Malaysia Today.

IMAGES

  1. Immigration Dept Releases List of Countries Involved In Travel Ban Into

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  2. The Reason Behind Malaysia's New Travel Ban To North Korea

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  3. Malaysia imposes new travel ban

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  4. NO ENTRY: Malaysia Travel Ban Effective March 18

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  5. Government bans travel from Sabah effective Oct 12

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  6. Malaysia travel ban compounds Singapore virus woes

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VIDEO

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  5. Penang Malaysia 🇲🇾 is AMAZING!

COMMENTS

  1. Malaysia Travel Advisory

    July 24, 2023 Malaysia - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions K Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed. Exercise normal precautions in Malaysia. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory. Exercise Increased Caution in: The eastern area of Sabah State due to kidnapping.

  2. Malaysia Lifts Ban On Interstate, Overseas Travel In Transition To

    Malaysia has become the latest country in Southeast Asia after Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia to relax its COVID-19 travel restrictions by reopening its state borders and allowing overseas...

  3. Malaysia International Travel Information

    Quick Facts PASSPORT VALIDITY: Six months beyond date of arrival BLANK PASSPORT PAGES: At least one blank page required for entry stamp TOURIST VISA REQUIRED: Not normally required for stays of less than 90 days. VACCINATIONS: None CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY: $10,000 or equivalent CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT: $10,000 or equivalent ALL /

  4. Malaysia bans travelers from countries deemed Omicron risks

    KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Malaysia has temporarily banned the entry of travelers from countries that have reported the Omicron COVID-19 variant or are considered high-risk, its health...

  5. Malaysia and Singapore travel: international restrictions eased ...

    Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Sunday the country would end its domestic and international travel restrictions for fully vaccinated residents from Monday, after reaching its ...

  6. Malaysia lifts travel restrictions for fully vaccinated people

    KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Malaysia on Sunday lifted interstate and international travel restrictions for residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as the country achieved its target...

  7. Malaysia to reopen borders from April with quarantine waiver

    Malaysia will reopen its borders fully from April 1 and allow entry without quarantine for visitors vaccinated against COVID-19, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on Tuesday.

  8. MALAYSIA READY TO WELCOME INTERNATIONAL TRAVELLERS AS BORDERS ...

    PUTRAJAYA, 11 March 2022 - Malaysia is all set to welcome back international travellers after the government announced the full reopening of its borders for the first time after nearly two years of COVID-19 pandemic-related closures as the nation is transitioning to endemic phase, beginning 1 April 2022.

  9. MALAYSIA RELAXES COVID-19 TESTING RULES & TRAVEL INSURANCE ...

    PUTRAJAYA, 28 APRIL 2022 - Starting 1 May 2022, fully-vaccinated inbound travellers are no longer required to undergo pre-departure and on-arrival COVID-19 tests, including children aged 12 and below as well as for those who have been infected with COVID-19 within six to 60 days before departure to Malaysia. Travel insurance will also not be a prerequisite for foreigners entering the country.

  10. The Latest: Malaysia extends ban on foreign tourists

    The Latest: Malaysia extends ban on foreign tourists 1 of 19 |

  11. Malaysia bans travellers from countries deemed at risk from Omicron

    Updated Dec 1, 2021, 4:50 PM SGT KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia has temporarily banned the entry of travellers from countries that have reported the Omicron...

  12. Malaysia Ends Travel Ban on 8 Countries Classified as High-Risk

    On December 28, 2021, Malaysia has decided to lift the temporary travel ban that had been placed on eight countries suspected to have the Omicron variant.

  13. Malaysia (Travel Restrictions, COVID Tests ...

    From 1 April 2022 Malaysia has now fully opened to international visitors. Entry requirements for Malaysia are the same for all travellers, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. Travellers to Malaysia have NO pre-departure and on-arrival Covid testing requirements. Travellers do not need to undergo COVID-19 screening to enter the country.

  14. Malaysia: Authorities continue to enact COVID-19 restrictions ...

    International Travel Restrictions Malaysia continues to ban most foreigners from entry, with exemptions for several groups, including resident diplomats, foreign spouses and dependents of Malaysian citizens, long-term pass holders, and workers in essential industries and their dependents. Travelers must undergo a PCR test within 48 hours before ...

  15. Malaysia

    Government will ban all inter-district and interstate travel from 10 May until 6 June because of COVID-19 (Straits Times, 09.05.2021). Malaysian government to temporarily ban flights to, from India (New Paper, 26.04.2021) International Restrictions: *Entry to Malaysia: Entry to Malaysia for foreign nationals is prohibited.

  16. Travel Advisory

    TRAVEL ADVISORY- BANGLADESH GENERAL ELECTION 7 JANUARY 2024: LATEST POLITICAL AND SECURITY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE REPUBLIC OF THE SUDAN: Choose Your Color . ... Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia, Wisma Putra, No 1, Jalan Wisma Putra, Precinct 2, 62602 PUTRAJAYA +603-8000 8000.

  17. Semakan Status Perjalanan

    Bagi kemasukan ke Sabah dan Sarawak tertakluk kepada undang-undang kerajaan negeri. This website enables Malaysian to check their status on application for passport and travelling overseas. For the purpose of entering Sabah and Sarawak depends to the authority of state law and regulation. Sila masukkan nombor kad pengenalan dan tekan butang Semak

  18. Malaysia travel advice

    23 January 2024 Updated: 15 December 2023 Latest update: Information on filling in the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card to enter Malaysia ('Entry requirements' page). Download a more detailed map...

  19. Malaysia Reviewing Travel Bans On UK, Australia, Netherlands ...

    As of December 1, eight countries have been placed on Malaysia's travel ban list: South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. At least 20 countries across Africa, Europe, Asia, and Northern Canada have so far reported Omicron infections.

  20. Malaysia Travel Advice & Safety

    Updated: 08 December 2023 Latest update:From 1 January 2024, you'll be required to submit a Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) three days before arrival in Malaysia (See 'Travel'). If you're suspected of using drugs, you may be required to take a urine test on arrival in Malaysia.

  21. Malaysia travel restrictions, quarantine and entry requirements in

    The travel advice is Exercise normal safety precautions to Malaysia. Malaysia is Open for travel. Get travel ban, restrictions alerts and advice before travelling to Malaysia. Malaysia is part of Asia with main city at Kuala Lumpur. Its Developing country with a population of 31M people. The main currency is Malaysian Ringgit. The languages spoken are Malaysian.

  22. Malaysia Visas & Entry Requirements Made Simple (Inc. Covid)

    Malaysia offers visa exemption for the vast majority of passport holders for up to 90 days. This period cannot be extended so if you find it too hard to say goodbye to Malaysia, you can obtain a new visa by leaving and re-entering the country on a border run.

  23. Malaysia bans Israeli owned and linked shipping citing 'cruelty ...

    Malaysia's government announced Wednesday it was imposing a ban on all Israeli owned and flagged ships, as well as any vessels headed to Israel, from docking at its ports.

  24. Malaysia charges two with 'wounding religious feelings' in now-banned

    Two Malaysian filmmakers have appeared in court charged with deliberately "wounding the religious feelings of others" with their now-banned independent film Mentega Terbang (Butterfly).

  25. Penang council issues three-day booze ban during Thaipusam for 'orderly

    Penang council issues three-day booze ban during Thaipusam for 'orderly, peaceful' celebration. ... According to the Free Malaysia Today portal, the council issued a letter dated January 22 to premises serving alcohol that said the decision was to allow the Thaipusam festival to be celebrated in an "orderly and peaceful" manner.

  26. Malaysia to review migrant labour deals to stamp out exploitation

    The plight of the migrants coincided with concerns over workplace abuses in Malaysia, with several companies facing U.S. bans over the use of forced labour in recent years. Many labourers said ...