Local laws and customs

Malaysia is a multicultural, majority Muslim country. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions, especially during the holy month of Ramadan, other religious festivals or if you intend to visit religious sites. See Travelling during Ramadan

You should also dress modestly, particularly in conservative and rural areas and when visiting places of worship.

If you’re a Muslim you may be subject to local Shari’a law.

There are severe penalties for all drug offences; this includes amphetamine-type stimulants. Trafficking incurs a mandatory death penalty. Possession incurs a custodial sentence and possible whipping.

You could be asked to take a urine test on arrival in Malaysia if you’re suspected of having used drugs before your visit. Urine tests can also be taken when individuals are detained following raids on bars and nightclubs. If the test is positive, you could be detained, charged and/or deported and blacklisted.

Importing unlicensed firearms and ammunition into Malaysia is prohibited and can carry the death penalty.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Malaysia and punishable under federal law, and in some states, shari’a law. You should avoid any behaviour which could attract unwanted attention, including public displays of affection. Openly gay and lesbian support groups exist. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.