Frequently Asked Questions
1. What can you tell me about Malaysian names?
2. What can you tell me about gift giving?
3. Can I drive in Malaysia?
4. How can I arrange a visit to Terendak War Cemetery?
5. How do I obtain a copy of a birth, death or marriage certificate from Malaysia?
6. How soon can I get married in Malaysia?
7. Can I undertake study in Malaysia?
8. How do I transfer financial assets to Australia?
9. Can I buy an investment property in Malaysia?
10. Can I apply for a Malaysian IC for my child/ lost of Malaysian IC or Drivers Licence at High Commission of Malaysia in Australia?
11.What is Malaysia My Second Home?
12. I am pregnant, can I travel to Malaysia?
13. I am not a Malaysian citizen but married to a Malaysian. What type of visa do I need to apply to live in Malaysia?
14. How do I detect a scam?
What can you tell me about Malaysian names?
Answer: Unlike in the West, Malays do not have family names. They attach their father's name to their personal names. Example: Razak bin Osman. In this case, Razak is the man's personal name while Osman is his father's name. Bin means 'son of'. In business, this person is often referred to as Encik Razak (Encik means 'Mr'). His friends would call him Razak. If you were writing a letter to him, you would address it to Encik Razak bin Osman. Then begin, Dear Razak.
Married Malay women do not take their husband's name but retain their own names. In the case of a female Malay name 'binti' is substituted for bin, and means 'daughter of'.
Chinese names are made up of the family name followed by the personal name which is normally made up of two words. Example: Tan Me Ling. In this case, Tan is the family name and the woman's name is Mei Ling. Formally, she would be referred to as Ms Tan and her friends would refer to her as Mei Ling. If she had taken a Western name or was a Christian, she may add that name before her family name. Example, Emily Tan Mei Ling. She would then choose to be known as Ms Emily Tan.
Most Indian Malaysians do not use their family names. They use their father's name. Example: Nagaratnam s/o Suppiah. The man's personal name is Nagaratnam and s/o means 'son of'. Suppiah is his father's name. In the case of females, d/o denotes 'daughter of'. Some Indians who are Christians have adopted Western surnames. Example: William Joseph or may add a Christian name before their personal name. Example: Michael Nagaratnam.
All male Sikhs have the name Singh which is not a family name. Example: Manjit Singh s/o Karamjit Singh. All female Sikhs adopt the name Kaur; again it is not a family name.
Many distinguished persons' academics, businessmen and politicians have honorary titles conferred on them by the King of Malaysia or the Sultan of their State. These titles such as Dato', Datuk or Tan Sri are equivalent to the British 'sir' and should always be used in written or verbal addresses. For example, Dato' Razak bin Osman would be used in the written form but in introducing him, you would refer to him as Dato' Razak.
Many Muslim Malaysians, who have made the pilgrimage to Mecca , are entitled to use the term Haji (abbreviated to Hj) in the written form of their name. Although it is not a name, it denotes that the person has been to Mecca .
As a form of respect to an older person who is not a relative, Malaysian children may refer to them as 'Uncle' or 'Aunty', Bapa saudara or Emak saudara.
What can you tell me about gift giving?
Answer: There are several taboos associated with the giving of gifts to Malaysians. Malays are Muslims and the following gifts are forbidden: foodstuff containing pork or made using animal fat; alcoholic drinks or perfume containing alcohol; toy dogs or pigs, or anything made of pigskin.
For the Chinese, the following gifts connote an element of bad luck and should never be given them; clocks, straw sandals, handkerchiefs, sharp objects such as set of knives. If a gift consists of a number of small items, bring an even number of them as this a sign of happiness. Also never give anything having a picture of a stork to a Chinese woman because a stork symbolises a woman's death.
Some Indians are Hindus while others are vegetarians. So avoid giving foodstuff containing beef or meat extracts. In contrast to the Chinese, Indians prefer odd numbers to even numbers, which they consider luckier.
Do not be disappointed if the recipient does not open the gift in front of you. Malaysians of all races consider it rude to open a gift in front of the giver.
Can I drive in Malaysia?
Answer. Yes, Australian travelers must first obtain an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) to drive or ride a motorbike in Malaysia. The IDP is not a driver’s licence; you must also carry your full driver’s license as well.
Only a full-licensed holder aged 18 and above can apply for an IDP. Probationary license holders are not allowed to drive in Malaysia.
Application should be made in Australia prior to travelling to Malaysia and can be made at your local state motoring associations http://www.aaa.asn.au/about/members.htm
Traffic in Malaysia moves on the left side of the road which is the same in Australia. However, both right hand and left hand drive cars may be driven on Malaysian roads. There are many excellent highways and toll roads and traffic regulations that are similar to those in Australia.
How can I arrange a visit to Terendak War Cemetery ?
Answer: As Terendak is still a Malaysian Military Camp, you need permission to visit the Cemetery. You should contact the Australian High Commission Defence attache' well before you leave on your trip, providing the names, passport details, dates of birth and occupations of the persons concerned, as well as the date and approximate hour of the day you wish to visit the cemetery. He will arrange permission from the Malaysian military authorities and advise you.
The address to contact is:
Australian Defence Attache
Australian High Commission
No. 6, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
50450. Kuala Lumpur . Malaysia .
Tel: 0011 (603) 246 5555
Fax: 0015 (603) 241 5773
How do I obtain a copy of a birth, death or marriage certificate from Malaysia ?
Answer: You should contact the national headquarters of the National Registration Department ( Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara) at Putrajaya and provide all relevant details and date of birth concerning the individual's, name, occupation, parents, place of residence in Malaysia, etc. Payment is to be made by bank draft payable in Malaysian ringgit. Some time may elapse before the document can be found and sent, particularly if the event occurred 10 or more years ago.
National Registration Dept. HQ
(Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara)
Public Relations Officer
Federal Government Administrative Centre
62100 Putrajaya Malaysia
Tel (603) 8880 7000
Fax (603) 8880 7059
How soon can I get married in Malaysia ?
Australian (and foreign) citizens must be physically present in Malaysia when they submit documents relating to their proposed marriage. The normal time for a Civil Marriage at an office of the Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (National Registration Office) is seven days with submission of the application on the eighth day to the local registrar of marriage. These regional offices are in all states of Malaysia .
However, the seven-day waiting period may be dispensed with by special license. The form Borang JPN KCP1 must be submitted and approved by the registrar's office and payment of RM100 made. The marriage will then be solemnized within seven days from the date of application. Apart from documents from Australia concerning their single status and identity (sighted and confirmed by the Malaysian High Commission in Canberra), Australian citizens must present their passports and have two witnesses to sign the registry. The fee for solemnizing the marriage is RM30, paid in cash. A marriage celebrant may perform a ceremony away from the office but the couple will have to visit the office to officially record the marriage. Many resort hotels provide marriage packages for those intending to marry in Malaysia .
Can I undertake study in Malaysia ?
Answer: Yes. Foreign citizens who wish to study in any government or private school or university in Malaysia need to apply for the student pass in Malaysia. Before submitting the application to the Immigration Department in Malaysia, the intending student must have a letter of offer (acceptance) from the school or institution in which he or she plans to study. Parents accompanying their children are allowed to stay for up to six months. The forms and documents required are:
- Letter of offer from educational institution.
- Two copies of Students Permit Application Form –IMM.14
- Two copies of Students Detail Form.
- Two copies of BTK Form ( if student is 18 years old and above).
- Student's passport/travel documents (original and photocopy).
- Four recent passport size photos of the student.
Australian students may enter Malaysia and then submit the application form at the State Immigration Office where the relevant educational institution is located.
Alternatively, the educational institution that has accepted the student may forward the application on behalf of the student to the Immigration Department.
No visa is required by Australian, European Union , USA or New Zealand passport holders.
Further information: The Director, Visa, Pass and Permit Division, Immigration Department Headquarters, Precinct 2, Pusat Pentabiran Kerajaan Persekutuan, Putrajaya , Malaysia . Tel: 0011 (603) 8880 1000 Fax: 0015 (60s) 8880 1200,
How do I transfer financial assets to Australia ?
Answer: You should contact the Foreign Exchange Administration of the Bank Negara Malaysia and provide your personal particulars, status in Australia with certified documents, amount to be transferred as a result of sales or inheritance and the manner of funds to be transferred and the name of the Bank from which, and to whom, the transfer is to be effected.
Foreign Exchange Control Department
Bank Negara Malaysia
Jalan Dato' Onn
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603 - 2916545, 2928736
Fax: 603 - 2937732, 2912990
Can I buy an investment property in Malaysia ?
Answer: Yes. You may purchase an investment property in Malaysia and advise the Economic Planning Unit at the time of purchase. When selling the property you will be subject to capital gains and other taxes as may apply at the time.
Can I apply for a Malaysian IC for my child/ lost of Malaysian IC or lost of Malaysian Drivers Licence at the High Commission of Malaysia in Australia ?
No. You must return to Malaysia to apply in person for the MYKad at a Government Service Centre (GSC). The data will be sent to the National Registration Department HQ before the personalized IC is sent back to the GSC for collection by the applicant. The supporting documents required are a passport, the child's birth certificate and the father or mother's IC. The applicant's thumb print will be taken as well as a photograph.
If you have lost your Malaysian Identity Card or your Malaysian Drivers Licence you must first obtain a full police report from the Police Station at the area where you've lost the documents, you will then need to go back to the Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara in Malaysia to obtain replacement of your Malaysian Identity Card or to Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalanraya (JPJ) to obtain replacement of your Malaysian Driving Licence. Refer to www.jpn.gov.my or www.jpj.gov.my for more information.
What is Malaysia My second Home?
Answer: Malaysia My second Home (MM2H) Programme is promoted by the Government of Malaysia to allow foreigners, who fulfil certain criteria, to stay in Malaysia on a social visit pass with a multiple entry visa for 10 years. This is renewable, depending on the validity of the applicant's passport.
It is open to citizens of all countries recognised by Malaysia regardless of race, religion, gender or age.
The visa extends to the spouse of the applicant and unmarried children under the age of 21.
Successfull applicant may purchase residential properties (subject to minimum rates established for foreigners by the different states and minimum residential price of RM500,000 for most states).
Each applicant can import a motor vehicle for their personal use OR purchase a locally-assembled car without the need to pay import duty, excise duty and sales tax.
You may check on the criteria and obtain more information by contacting:-
Malaysia My Second Home Centre (MM2H)
Ministry of Tourism Malaysia
Level 10, No. 2, Tower 1, Jalan P5/6
Presint 5, 62200 W.P Putrajaya
Tel: (603) 8891 7424/28/32
Fax: (603) 8891 7415
*Application should be made directly to MM2H.
I am pregnant, can I travel to Malaysia?
The Malaysian Immigration does not have any restriction for pregnant women from Australia entering Malaysia but a letter from doctor/GP stating that they are fit to travel would be advisable. Pregnant women should contact the relevant airline to find out if they are allowed on board.
I am not a Malaysian citizen but married to a Malaysian. What type of visa do I need to apply to live in Malaysia?
Answer: You can apply for Entry Permit to reside in Malaysia. Entry Permit (EP) is a permit issued to foreigners who are not citizen of Malaysia entering to reside in this country. Those who have been issued with EP are exempted from applying for any type of Pass either for employment or other purpose.
1. Wife of Malaysian Citizen residing in this country on long stay Social Visit Pass / Temporary Employment Pass / Employment Pass on a year-to-year renewable basis CONTINOUSLY for 5 years or more. Application can be made using an IM.4 Pin 1/93 Form with a local sponsor by husband of applicant.
2. Children of Malaysian Citizen below 6 years old. Application can be made using an IM.4 Pin 1/93 Form sponsor by father / mother / close relative of applicant who is Malaysian Citizen / Permanent Resident of Malaysia.
3. Spouse and children of Malaysian Citizen who posess expertise / skills and overseas working experience, planning to return and work in Malaysia (under the programme to encourage Malaysian Citizens with expertise residing overseas to return to Malaysia). Approval of this application will be given within 6 months from the date submition to the Immigration Department.
Enquiries can be forwarded to :-
Visa, Pass and Permit Division
Entry Permit Unit,
Department of Immigration, Malaysia
Level 3, Block 2G4 (PODIUM) Precint 2,
Federal Government Administration Centre,
Tel No : 603-88801391, 603-88801373
Fax No : 603-88801374
or any department nearest to applicant.
Ministry of Human Resources.
Tel No : 603-8886500
Fax No : 603-8882378
Website : www.jaring.my/ksm
The payment for issuance of Entry Permit is RM 120.00