Being a Muslim country, Malaysians are generally more conservative. Therefore, it is important that travellers take note of the various factors. (Do note that there are more factors but I felt that the ones below are more applicable to the business context for the Australian members.)
1. Dress appropriately – Ensure that your body is covered especially your chest, arms and legs to avoid unwanted attention and as a form of respect
2. Meeting and greeting – Don’t offer to shake hands unless you know the opposite party is fairly westernized. Even so, let them offer the hand shake first. Never shake hands with a woman unless they offer to do so first.
3. It is not recommended to show public displays of affection as it is considered inappropriate behaviour, especially with someone of the opposite sex.
4. Always use the right hand to pass or accept anything as the left is traditionally “dirty” because of its washroom connections.
5. As a form of respect, avoid alcohol and pork. Ensure that food items are “Halal” (meaning permissible for Muslims). It is acceptable to eat with your fingers (right hand only)
6. It is important that you respect your elders. In order to show a sign of respect when passing by an older person, younger people are expected to bow their heads.
Courtney from Study Moose
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