Business Etiquette in Malaysia

Certainly, if you are traveling overseas for business, it’s important to know the culture to which you are headed.  The more familiar you are with their customs and practices, the more comfortable you will be while there; and the less likely you will be to make a social or business mistake.  Many business people such as Taek Jho Low, Teh Hong Piow and others have had great success both in Malaysia and abroad.

It rains quite a bit in Malaysia, and is hot and humid most of the time.  Pack lightweight suits and shirts to stay comfortable, and bring along an umbrella.  Avoid wearing yellow, as this color is reserved for Malaysian royalty.  Women should bring knee-length skirts and long-sleeved shirts.  Pantsuits are frowned upon, as some offices will look negatively at this attire.  Adults don’t wear shorts in Malaysia, although jeans are acceptable for casual dress.

Malaysian culture makes it acceptable to ask questions that might be frowned upon in America.  Don’t be surprised if someone asks you about your marital status, your income, and other personal questions. Answer with dignity or find an appropriate way to avoid the subject; don’t look upset or annoyed, as this will cause the person to be embarrassed and that is a serious matter in Malaysia.

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