5 Things You May Not Know About Malaysia

Last updated:

By Balogun Kamilu Lekan

Photo: Hotels.com

Malaysia, a Southeast Asian country, is multi-racial and shares its borders with Thailand and the South China Sea with Brunei and Indonesia. It has some fascinating and weird experiences when you visit.

Here are some weird reasons why you must visit Malaysia to experience something exciting but different from your norms.

1. You need your passport to travel within the country.

Photo: Wonderfly

Imagine needing your international passport to travel from Lagos to Ibadan. In Malaysia, it is possible.

Sabah and Sarawak are two isolated states on the island of Borneo in Malaysia.

Even Malaysians must pass through strict immigration checks to access the states.

Photo: Dreamstime.com

The two states are partially sovereign, and they have little independence.

So when next you visit Malaysia, stay glued to your passport, as you might need it to access interstate trips.

2. A sentence can contain four different languages.

A sign in Malaysia written in English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Malaysia is known for its multi-racial diversity. English, the lingua franca, also has its variations with a blend of native local Malaysian dialects known as “Manglish” because it blends vocabulary and grammar from various languages.

In addition, finding a weird sentence containing four different languages in Malaysia is not impossible or surprising.

For instance, the famous phrase “Wei macha, you want makan here or tapau?” (translation: Do you want to eat in or take out?) contains terms from Tamil, English, Malay, and Chinese.

As weird as this sounds, it’s a norm in Malaysia.

3. Number 4 is an unfortunate digit

Photo: Unsplash

Tetraphobia, the fear of the number 4, is a prevalent phobia expressed in Malaysia.

Interestingly, this influences their day-to-day lives and even their businesses. 

If a company hopes to succeed in Malaysia, it should remove the number 4 from corporate phone numbers, product serial numbers, and office addresses. 

You find buildings with many floors, excluding the fourth floor from their numbering. However, instead of having a fourth floor, it has the floor numbered 3A, 14 as 13A etc. Just avoid the number four in Malaysia.

The number 4, pronounced (Sei) is considered a very unlucky number because it is homophonous to the word “death.” ( séi). This makes the Malaysians avoid the number 4 like plaque.

For example, Four Seasons hotels or Foursquare may require a different brand name to create an impact when entering the Malaysian market. 

4. Dry Food Taboo

Photo: naruepon ponglungka

If you have the habit of leaving food remnants on your plate overnight without washing the plate, then you need to rethink before visiting Malaysia.

In Malaysia, it is forbidden to let your food dry out on a plate after dinner as it is associated with the risk of having your food supply or wealth dry out for the rest of your life. 

Accordingly, Malaysian cuisine is terrific. You definitely won’t have a reason to leave leftovers.

5. Milo is more than a beverage

Photo: Nestia

Pronounced ‘my-low’ in Malaysia, unlike the popular ‘mee-low’ pronunciation in Nigeria.

Milo is a national beverage in Malaysia. Locals, adults, expats, babies, adults, and animals all include Milo in their diet.

The chocolate-malt drink is so integrated into Malaysian food that it comes in different forms – iced, jellied, caked, cocktailed, and dinosaured. 

Photo: Food Business Africa

Malaysians attributed the brand to their childhood memories of when Milo first came to the country. You can find it in almost all major sports events and schools’ sports days to serve the product for free and then commercialize it to their customers.

Photo: Quora

The generation passed the attachments they had with the brand to the newer generation, so you find it in every home in Malaysia.

Let’s glimpse some of the Milo variations you’ll find in Malaysia.

‘Milo Tabur’ or Milo Dinosaur, a cold Milo drink with heaps of Milo powder on top

Photo: Quora

Milo Godzilla – Milo added with cream/ice-cream on top

Photo: Quora

Milo sandwiches – Milo powder spread to bread

Photo: Quora

Milo Muffin

Photo: Quora
%d bloggers like this: