WORKING PRACTICES IN MALAYSIA

  • Prayer Time: Take into consideration the importance of prayer times in Malaysia when scheduling business meetings or activities.  Fridays are a particularly religious day of the week for Muslims, and, if possible, important company activities should not be scheduled on this day.
  • Language: If your business requires interaction with Malaysian government officials, ensure that all communication takes place in the language of Bahasa Malaysia.  The majority of transactions and correspondence with Malaysian companies, however, will generally be conducted in English.
  • Greeting: A firm handshake is the standard form of greeting.  However, you should only shake hands with a Malay businesswoman if she initiates the gesture.  Otherwise a nod or a single bow is appropriate.
  • Gift Exchange: Gifts are not usually exchanged as they may be perceived as a bribe. But when presented with one, it is polite to accept it with both hands and not open it on the spot. It is also considered customary to reciprocate with a gift (of equal value) to avoid loss of face.
  • Business Card: Business cards are customarily exchanged after an initial introduction.  If you have many business dealings with Malaysian Chinese, you might want to have your card printed in both English and Chinese.  Details of your educational and professional qualification and business title are usually included.  Cards should be presented and received with both hands and the information should be read before keeping the card.
  • Being On Time: Puntuality is a good habit that shows care and concern for everyone around us. Being punctual is a form of mutual respect and helps keep a positive mood going, showing responsibility as well as good manners to colleagues and friends.
(Source: www.communicaid.com/country/malaysia)

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