Before travelling to Malaysia, or indeed any destination, it is good practise to check the travel advice pages of your own government’s website for up to the minute advice on travel and especially for specific threats to your safety based on your nationality, gender, race, religion or sexual persuasion.

Other than the general threat of global terrorism, there are no additional terrorist threats presently existing in Western Malaysia. However it should be noted that Malaysia is a Muslim country and that the potential for future attacks on foreigners does exist. 

If you are intending to travel to the dive islands of Sabah in Malaysian Borneo, you should be aware that there has been a history of kidnappings of foreigners initiated by the Abu Sayyef Group as part of their strategy for seeking an Islamic province in the nearby Philippines. Increased Malaysian security has improved the situation greatly, but the potential threat remains. 

Earthquakes are very rare and slight in Malaysia, with mild tremors occasionally being felt from neighbouring countries and, as with Thailand, the potential for a Tsunami event is a remote possibility. 

Tourist crime is fairly common in Malaysia with the snatching of portable technology, handbags and luggage, purses, wallets and passports the most usual. Credit Card fraud is also a major concern, and you should not allow a transaction to proceed if the card is removed from your sight. ATM machines have also been skimmed, and it is always best practise to use machines inside banks, where they are less susceptible to interference.

Special attention is required with drinks, which should never be left unattended, as several instances of drugging foreigners as a prelude to robbery and rape have occurred. For the same reason, drinks offered by strangers should be regarded with suspicion and not accepted.

Stay away from drugs. Possession of an illegal drug will lead to a custodial sentence and may also involve flogging. Trafficking offences carry a mandatory death sentence. 

Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia, and ‘punishable’ by a prison sentence of up to 20 years and whipping. 

Oral and Anal sex in Heterosexuals is also illegal and carries similar penalties.

If you are a Muslim, regardless of your nationality, you will also be subject to Sharia Law.

 

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