For foreigner, Malaysian
etiquette is formidable. It is easy to
make a mistake. Do not worry, Malaysians
are most considerate and understanding.
First thing to realize is that you are
dealing with a multi-cultural and multi-racial
society where each ethnic group has its
own customs and way of life. Food and
drink is a good example, the non-Muslim
drinks alcohol and consume pork both of
which are against the teaching of Islam
and forbidden to Muslims. Although it
is perfectly acceptable for a non-Muslim
foreigner to drink and consume pork, good
manners dictate that you should be aware
of your Muslim hosts sensitivity.
have a special place in Muslim society.
A male normally would not shake hands
with Muslim women unless she lends her
hand. Again you would not be offended
if you erred innocently but is would be
best if you are aware of the surrounding
are many titles bestowed by Governor of
Melaka to the individuals. Some of the
titles are; 'Datuk Seri Utama', 'Datuk
Seri', 'Datuk Wira' and 'Datuk'. All recipients
should be addressed by their titles. For
example Datuk Wira Mohd Ali bin Mohd Rustam.
in the Western sense do not exist. A Malay
is referred to as the son or daughter
of their father using his first name.
Datuk Wira Mohd Ali bin Mohd Rustam
(Title) (name) (son of)(fathers name)
Encik Mustadza bin Abu Bakar
(Title) (name)(son of)(father's name)
Malay is always referred to by his or
her proper name, not the family of father's
name. Title infront signify the status.
is equivalent to Mr.
Puan is equivalent to Mrs.
Cik is equivalent to Miss
Chinese name starts with the family name
followed by the proper name.
should address him as Mr. Lim. A close
friend might address him as Boon Huat,
Ah Boon or Ah Huat. Quite a number of
Chinese l carry Christian name infront
of this name, say Mr. Jimmy Lim Boon Huat.
you find they have an initial followed
by a proper name. Mr. M Ramayah would
be commonly called Mr. Ramayah with the
M being the initial of his fathers
name. Many Indians carry Christian name
before their first names.