Malaysia : Safety by City
Malaysia is a country located in Southeastern Asia, partly on a peninsula of the Asian mainland and partly on the northern third of the Borneo Island.
The western side of Malaysia borders with Thailand is connected with Singapore by a causeway and a bridge, and has coastlines on the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca, while the eastern side of Malaysia (Borneo) borders with Brunei and Indonesia.
In time, it has developed into one of the richer nations in Southeast Asia with its investments in high technology and its oil wealth, and since that is the case, Malaysia became a bingo for many tourists: it isn’t a third world country, but a developed one where everything works well with high-tech technology, yet its prices are more than reasonable compared to other developed countries in its vicinity, like Singapore.
So, even though it is crawling with visitors and has a reputation of a safe country, there are definitely areas to be avoided.
Warnings & Dangers in Malaysia
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
Malaysia is generally a safe country to visit. It is a country where you are unlikely to encounter violence, but you should be careful when it comes to petty crime because its rate is high. Apart from that, Malaysia is exposed to a greater risk of terrorist attacks. However, it is still filled with tourists, and if you venture to this country you are likely to have a smooth trip with no incidents.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
As mentioned, some taxis do not have meters so make sure you negotiate the price before entering the vehicle. Also, if you are taking a taxi late at night, never hail them down on the street, but rather call the taxi service, since you might get ripped off. Road conditions in Peninsular Malaysia are mostly fine but in East Malaysia the conditions are poor and there have been reports of crashes and accidents happening along the roads at night.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
There is a great risk of pickpockets. In this country, you definitely shouldn't let your guard down. Avoid carrying your belongings with you, and if you do, never carry anything in your pocket or a purse.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
During the rainy season in Malaysia, which lasts from October to February, flooding and landslides are a common threat, due to heavy rains. Oceanic coastlines may experience tsunamis, and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre website offers more information on the potential for tsunamis.Another threat is the smoke haze that may happen from June to October, during which authorities recommend limited outdoor activities.
MUGGING RISK : HIGH
Mugging is relatively rare in Malaysia, but it does happen. There have been reports of criminals using knives to cut off tourists' bags. The mentioned islands off the coast of eastern Sabah are best to be avoided, especially the islands close to the Sulu Archipelago in the southern Philippines. This is the area where the threat is coming from both terrorist and criminal groups since they've been known to kidnap people.
TERRORISM RISK : HIGH
Terrorist attacks are very likely in Malaysia. There is a risk of kidnapping, for tourists especially, on the eastern coast of Sabah, particularly the islands close to the Sulu Archipelago in the southern Philippines. During the past years, an increase in kidnapping reports has been noted in the southern Philippines.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
There is a number of scams performed in Malaysia, mostly distractions executed in order to separate you from your belongings or take advantage of you in another way. Many taxis do not have meters so be sure to negotiate the price of the ride before entering the vehicle, and do not use your credit card unless it's at established buildings and businesses.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Malaysia is, generally speaking, safe for women travelers. Try avoiding dark alleys, walking alone along with dark, poorly lit or deserted areas, or finding yourself late at night in areas filled with bars or clubs as you might receive some unwanted attention. Apart from that, use your common sense and apply all basic precaution measures.
So... How Safe Is Malaysia Really?
Malaysia is a relatively safe country to visit.
Violent crime rates are low, so getting mugged, kidnapped or assaulted is unlikely, but robberies and assaults do happen, sometimes even involving weapons, so it is best to be wise.
Malaysia’s greatest safety issue is petty crimes such as pickpocketing, purse snatching and other types of petty thefts.
There have even been reports of criminals using sharp knives to cut the bag from a tourist or a passenger.
Be careful and follow the advice you hear from the authorities or other locals.
Like in most countries in Asia, there are areas that are best to be avoided, such as all islands off the coast of eastern Sabah from Kudat to Tawau.
Get well informed with the locals or your tourist organization about the places to avoid in Malaysia.
Since it is a multicultural, mostly Muslim country, be sure to show respect for local customs, tradition, and culture, and think about your actions in order not to accidentally offend someone of other religious beliefs our culture.
Since it is predominantly Muslim, you should dress modestly in this country, covering your legs and arms if you’re a woman, and your chest and legs if you’re a man.
How Does Malaysia Compare?
- Visas - Visas for entering Malaysia are given upon arrival and most nationals do need one in order to enter Malaysia. Your passport needs to be valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
- Currency - Malaysian ringgit is the official currency in Malaysia. ATMs are widely available throughout the country and but be careful when handling credit cards in public and money in general.
- Weather - From October to February, the climate in East Malaysia is humid and wet, and heavy rain is to be expected, while the wettest month on the west in August. Mostly, Malaysia has a tropical climate with and the temperatures aren't too high. the average temperature in this country ranges from 20°C to 30°C.
- Airports - Kuala Lumpur International Airport is located 35 miles south of the Malaysian capital and is the busiest airport of the country. It is also one of Southeast Asia's busiest airports and serves as a home base to both AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Malaysia, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Malaysia Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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90 Reviews on Malaysia
the worst country ever…when i went there, my wallet gone…spoil my mood. not much place i visited, as i busy for report police and everything…
why not go to puchong its a great place and much safer
The safest country that I have been so far
My wallet felt on a floor and when I was looking for it, I still saw my wallet on the floor and no body pick the wallet since they know that the wallet is not belong to them. Most Malaysian people believe that if you take money not belong to you, you will lose more in the future.
By the way, I ‘m an expat for more than 3 years in Malaysia.
worstttt country ever
malaysia is probably the worstttt country for holiday visit. they want ppl to spend there but the country is not safe. traffic vvv bad always jam or the road system sucks. train system also too messy..nobody speak english there nor understand english..40 years no improvement at all..working attitude no good,hotel all no standard..ppl all take their own sweet time to do things..u can wait 30 mins for food for nothing and nobody care u..u report police also waste whole day there nothing will be done!! probably the worstttt country i ever visit even 100x worse than india..even the food quality also getting bad from 10 years ago..that’s why many ppl don’t even bother to go there even it’s free..i hope next 10 years at least they can improve by 1%..
is a terrorist country…dont go there.
Hv u been there before? I have four times and I can assure u that Malaysia is not a terrorist country. Absolutely safe country, so pls get ur facts checked. Just cus it’s Muslim majority doesn’t mean that it has to be a terrorist country
True, even I am working in Malaysia since 5 years and not heard of terrorists…
Thank you! I agree, I traveled much of the time by myself or with my daughter, we had no troubles at all, I very much enjoyed our time in Borneo.
Malaysia a safe Country for Tourist's
Yes I agree
I have been to Malaysia 5 times with my wife as we visit my son who works there for 10 years now and is married. A very safe place. I got lost looking for a place and was approached by a Muslim man and a woman who very politely asked if I needed help.
They gave me directions. With no fuss.
😂😂 i already 7 times visit malaysia, its safest country for me, its multicultural, multi religion, muslim,buddha, Christian etc. are life together,😂😂 in malaysia I don’t see any racism issue😂😂
Good country with great good
Sad to break it to you, terrorist attack rate in Malaysia is lower than a lot of western countries.
Malaysia is a great multi cultural country with some of the best food in the world.
It is fine you do not wish to go there, but don’t go round and bad mouthing a good country, when you know nothing about the country
Well they ARREST terrorist. I don’t think they will arrest terrorist if they themselves are terrorist. Check your facts
Sure thing you not arrive at Kuala Lumpur yet🙄
Terrorist country?? Hello, terrorist attacks are almost unheard of in this country compared to western or even the adjacent countries.
**** comment i ever heard..in malaysia no terrorist attack happen yet
Michelle, please elaborate more on which part of Malaysia that surely, obviously represent as a terrorist country? You are giving public a false impression and I am not happy with it.
Don’t go there
Malaysia is safe for your visit. Welcome to Malaysia
You are wrong. Everyone is safe here. We are more friendly than the US or western countries.
Fact. Malaysia is my sweet vacay place
This country not for Islamphobos like you racist karen.
Lol what a racist kafir islamophobes
Bet you hear Allah Akbar shouting everywhere. You thought, they will be a suicide bomb somewhere else but as it turns it just adzan to ask muslims to go pray.
You must be an unlucky person. As I’ve been going every year since 1997 and never had a problem. Been all over. Nice friendly people, loverly food, great weather, and amazing wild life. The worst that happened was I got a Thorne in my foot.
Is Malaysia safe to school??
You need to define safe.
If you talking about school bullying, it will happen everywhere.
We do not permit carry guns around and there are no genocide shooting in school before.
However, Malaysia is not famous for their education system. In fact the elite send their children to study oversea.
a different dimension
Hi Michelle – my experience was a country of friendly multicultural appeal, awesome hospitality and some of the most varied and amazing food experiences with heaps of culture and places to explore. A very safe country. Would highly recommend to all (although maybe not during covid times!). Your experience must of been in a different dimension!!!
You trying to show your racism here? It is a nice country. What are you trying to say?? Did you came to Malaysia before? Did the Malaysians welcomed you with a RPG? What do you mean by it is a terrorist country? If you dunno anything about it. Pls be careful of your bad mouth.
I've never been so speechless in my life.
I was born in Malaysia and lived in Malaysia for 17 years. There has never been any terrorist activity! Are you delusional?
I don’t think so
Not the safest of places
Just went… great food, but not the safest place. Got some stuff stolen. Tried to make the best of my time there, but might be a one and done place for me.
Not your lucky day
I’ve been to Adelaide, Australia and got things stolen.
I’ve been to Paris, Fracis witness pickpocketing on the street
Does that make Australia & France not the safest place in the world, and granted them 1 star?
It is unfortunate that your things got stolen in Malaysia. You just had bad luck. I do hope you have travel insurance.
Theft happens everywhere. Kuala Lumpur is a cool city. We hired a taxi from 10am till 4pm and the driver gave us z great tour. Very cheap. Wonderful food and friendly people. Terima kasih Malaysia sampai jumpa lagi.
Malaysia for life
I have been in that country for almost my WHOLE life and you are very true and I never gotten stolen or got any problems and yes you are again same review with me but I am not really smart but their etucational sistem is bad for me but that is not the reason to hate it.
Nice to know
As much as I love my country, gotta admit. We got some professional pickpocket here but compared to other country? I would say we have less probability of that. Be extra carefull and stay safe next time everywhere and anywhere<3
Malaysia is a safe country. The Malaysian people welcomes people of all races and nationality. Most Malaysian people are kind to tourists. Nowadays it is easier to travel via grab if you are around town. Or you can use the MRT or LRT.
Malaysian people are not terrorist. They are from diversified races but have lived peacefully. There were so many interesting and delicious food to eat in Malaysia, wkth every state having their own specialty.
Eventhough some of the reviews state they had a bad experience, I think generally Malaysia is 99% fun place to visit. They have many activities like visiting The National Park, art and crafts of the East Coast area, KLCC, Petrosains, the Island Langkawi and feed the eagles, Kundasang Sabah, enjoying the food in Johor Bahru and Penang area, elephant sanctuary in Pahang, back to nature at Janda Baik, visit the casino or the cool weather Genting Highlands and many more.
Women travelling alone in Msia is generally safe. The usual notes would be to not travel in dark alleys at night. Malaysia is rather warm, cotton teeshirt would be great and because their official religion is Islam, maybe try to dress appropriately without actually having to cover up. All in all Malaysians usually welcome the tourists with open arms.
Absolutely agree with you.
I spend months in Malaysia each year and have never had any safety issues or concerns.
Definitely the best country ever to visit.
I can only talk about KL. Had a 2-day stopover traveling with 3 children.
Felt very safe and the overall experience was good. I loved the vibrancy of all the different cultures living in what appeared to be harmonious.
The food was great. Will return.
Malaysia isn’t bad country
isn’t much cultural to visit in main city of Kuala Lumpur mostly modern society and less cultural
but other states such as Langkawi and sabah and the rest.
just be aware surrounding and all
Good place to visit
Malaysia is a lovely place. I went there once a year with my family members and we never encounter any dangerous. Malaysian are friendly and most of them able to communicate in English.
Great Holiday Destination
We Visit Malaysia every year for a month. We have always found the people friendly and helpful. If you get a local SIM card cabs can be ordered in line and are safe and cheap. The food is good and personally we have never witnessed any crime , except maybe the driving !!! Watch out for motor bikes.
I alway visit Johor Bahru alone, walking around or taking grab, didn’t have any problem with that. Other places like Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, Penang also no problem with that.
Im malaysian, never heard of terrorist attack happen in malaysia so far..where the hell you got this info and warning people of terrorist attack??? 🤣🤣🤣
i can ensure you that i have never heard of any terrorist attack in my 25 yaers living there. i think most of you that says there are terrorist attack is because you visit there when the raya festival as may locals play mercun and bunga api as a tradition .
This site says the risk of terrorism is HIGH?
I’ve never been to Malaysia but this site describes the chance of terrorism as HIGH (see above) and says ‘terrorist attacks are very likely in Malaysia. There is a risk of kidnapping, for tourists…’ On that basis, I wouldn’t go!
Never experienced terrorists attacks yet
Yeah it does but gladly, we’ve never experience any terrorists attack yet. But that’s your choice and I will respect it.
Hi, the terrorist attack were most likely to happen in east malaysia ( the right side of the map across the sea). It have famous rate of kidnapping by terrorist from southern philiphine. But rest assure, the rate is highly decreasing after establishment of Eastern Sabah Security Command and Eastern Sabah Security Zone. Just keep vigilant if you go there but generally the other part of malaysia is mostly safe ✌🏻
If you read the review, it says the kidnappings are in the Philippines, which is different from Malaysia….. just saying. Different countries. They don’t even touch each other.
Mate that does not happen in the Peninsula, most happens near Sabah or Sarawak which is connected to Borneo (Where the terrorist comes from) so its 60/40 safe
Don’t be such a coward – terrorism can happen anywhere
Must see country
I’m a experienced traveller and travelled all over the world- Risk of terrorism is high in islands near Philippines, no where near mainland! in fact closer to Philippines lol, so not relevant as most tourists don’t go there anyway. I been to Malaysia dozens of times over 25 years and travelled all over, very safe country. East Malaysia has some issues so be more mindful there, in K.L Usual stuff like pickpockets like most countries not as bad as many places in Europe. I’m more concerned in Barcelona, Rome and Paris with pickpockets than K.L (I’m a big lad who can certainly look after myself) People in Malaysia are very friendly and police everywhere. People don’t tend to mess about in this country as you can go to jail for a very long time!!!! There still had death penalty when I was there years ago, not sure if they still do. Everybody speaks English, the food is probably the best in the world. Not kidding..there are 1000s of ex pats living there from all over the world and is so westernised. Shopping food attractions are better than most western countries. The country is beautiful and truly a place everybody should visit. Only down side is- don’t go late August and september onwards until late november, to K.L as this is when fire season starts in Indonesia when they burn don’t their forests for oil palm planting, which causes huge pollution issues in Malaysia. 15 years ago blue skyies all year , now when fire season starts pollution blocks out the sun! very bad. Some tropical islands have been neglected from tropical paradise to litter problems and over developed tourists areas. When I first went 1992 it was crystal blues waters blue skies and tropical jungles. Malaysia has grown rapidly and this has taken its tool on some areas. I last went 2019 and still love the country just unfortunate I went to K.L in sept (no sun) went to east coast and blue skies. Travelled down to Singapore, that’s always a must. Sorry some people have had a bad experience, that’s always crap. I live in UK and that can happen anywhere.
A Paradise of great food, scenic & good experiences
I agree with those who have good experiences. Not safe to carry money or documents in handbags or stuff in backpacks. Be on the lookout in crowded places. A slight push or jostling you may find your purse or stuff gone. Avoid lonely places at night. Better travel in small group. An American who visited Kuala Lumpur with me last October explored Chinatown on his own, a couple of times. Took the train/ light transit here & there. Enjoyed himself 100%, after being told by me what to avoid. No incidents. He loved his adventures in Bungsar areas too.
Malaysia is as safe if you know to take safeguards. We also visited Trengganu, Kelantan, Genting Highlands, Boh Tea Plantations in Cameron Highlands, also Penang.
We returned without losing anything except what we spent on food & accommodation & transport.
Best place to stay
Very safe place
I am a 38 years old Malaysian, I’ve lived in KL all my life. I have never had any pick pocket incidences or encounter any terrorist attack. I have taken public transport a lot when i was younger. To be honest, regardless of where you go, you keep your belongings where you can see them or at least not easily accessed. Some Western movies wrongly portray Asian countries which give tourists a bad impression. I would say,you are more likely to encounter a great sale that use up all your money than it being stolen from you.
Malaysia very safe
Yes I agree
Malaysia and especially Kuala Lumpur are beautiful places to visit.
I have visited from Australia 5 times as my son works and got married there.
Safe at night at the markets, I’ve seen young family’s there having a great time.
My wife and I got lost and were approached by two Muslim people a man and his wife who asked if we needed any help. They showed us the way walking there with us.
Remember to show respect for customs and cultures when in a foreign country and you won’t have any problems.
Another islamist country.
Islamist nation, behaviour changes if you aren’t a Muslim, minorities are oppressed.
Yes. Extremist Malay Muslims !!!
Global Peace Index 2020
1 Iceland 1.078
2 New Zealand 1.198
3 Portugal 1.247
4 Austria 1.275
5 Denmark 1.283
6 Canada 1.298
7 Singapore 1.321
8 Czech Republic 1.337
9 Japan 1.36
10 Switzerland 1.366
11 Slovenia 1.369
12 Ireland 1.375
13 Australia 1.386
14 Finland 1.404
15 Sweden 1.479
16 Germany 1.494
=17 Belgium 1.496
=17 Norway 1.496
19 Bhutan 1.501
20 Malaysia 1.525
21 Netherlands 1.528
22 Romania 1.541
23 Mauritius 1.544
24 Hungary 1.559
25 Slovakia 1.568
26 Croatia 1.615
27 Qatar 1.616
28 Bulgaria 1.628
Malaysia rank no 20 world safest country for year 2020 ahead some western country
They Have Destroyed The Rain Forests On The Island of Borneo
That’s Indonesia bruh check your fact first before commenting xD. Malaysia only get the haze effect from them
i dont think so
This article is fake
and need help 🙁
They have Xenophobia
Toxic locals, worst choice for tourism.
True. The people are horrible
Crime in Malaysia? Is it a joke?
As a person living as an expat in Malaysia after for more than 3 years after spent 2 years in singapore, I never heard any such crime in Malaysia.
The only crime in Malaysia that you should consider to sue all Malaysian is thier food. Thier food made me 11 KG more.
Another crime in Malaysia, thier beaches and forest are so beautifully.
i been to about 40 countries, lived in 6. Malaysia food is the number 1. Best of the best. Same problem, I always need to buy bigger pants and longer belts after visiting.
Enjoyed Malaysia always.
Variety of glorious food.
Travel inexpensive. Hotels air-conditioned. People speak English.
Hard to find Police around
Please recruit English speaking Police.
I recommend KL and Penang cities.
Beware of pickpockets and scams! Unfortunately, Malaysia is not as safe as some other countries. You have to be vigilant of your belongings and pay attention to your surroundings. Never leave your children unattended. Best to avoid walking alone in the dark.
its not safe
i dont feel safe here i wan move another country lah 🙁
a lot of people said that this country was a ”terrorist country”. I have some advice for you guys. PLEASE!!! do a research before you judge somebody/something. i’ve been in this country for over 13 YEARS. sure crime might happen here but think again, its your own fault because you dont be aware of your own things.
i hate these kind of people who judge earlier. please go to this place first before judging it :/
Safe for LGBTQ+?
Could you include in this article how safe it is for LGBTQ+ visitors?
Comments here say ‘safe for everyone ‘ will be great if it really does mean everyone- including the country’s own LGBTQ* citizens 🙂
very dangerous country now because of criminals and covid 19 is out of control don’t come here lah
Its not sorry, you will get arrested
Well, living in Malaysia for few years as a queer. Nothing happen to me as long as you’re not muslim yourself. If you just come to travel or work as an expat like myself, probably nothing to be scare of being lgbtq here. Just as you know, there are alot of muslim here. As a sense of respects for their religion and also culture , you won’t go around and telling everyone you are a lgbtq. You do you, and respect others then everyone will be cool with it.
If youre not muslim, you are free to do whatever you want. To remind you, we are not yet on the level to make lgbtq public toilets so you need to use the toilet depends on your ‘original’ gender or you could be arrested. As long as you not making problem to the public, youre safe
I’ve lived here for 41 years and it has become so dangerous. The police don’t protect us. That’s why I’m packing up my stuff and moving to a safer and better country. Goodbye Malaysia!
No terrorist in Malaysia
I never heard Malaysia had a terrorist attack. Where u get the info🤡.
I’ve been couple of times in KL, Penang and Langkawi. Never felt any kind of problem. People can be pushy for some sales or similar, but if you firmly deny, no any kind of trouble.
I’ve been in KL, Penang and Langkawi and felt perfectly safe everywhere. Heaviest thing there is weather.
I am sacred the way you people are commenting about the country, because am hoping after my HND program I will go to Malaysia and do my degree. please, can someone tell me how safe is Malaysia?
Nice to know
As far as i know, we have a loooooooot of overseas student here. There is low to non terrorist problem. Pickpocket might happen but you can avoid it as long as you did not being careless or take things way too easy. Be extra carefull, a lot foreigners says we are friendly too, well, we are extra friendly when it comes to foreigner.
Overall risk medium why? Answer:petty and terrorist attacks
ALSO GOT TORNADOES
TORNADOES ALSO CAN HAPPEN but quite rare
Ive been to Malaysia, in 2019, in Kuala Lumpur and Lankawi Island and it was just fine 🙂
Veeeeeery tasty food. I have felt safe, the only thing that made it unsafe were the monkeys…damn their nosy.
A most favorite place but be very cautious
I’m from malaysia, and I living in malaysia for at least 17 years and having no problems, I really love malaysia country as it’s so diversified, many kind of food, many places to go, the forest are almost everywhere, the animal are free to flee, cheap, high standard of living and educational, modern, rich and multicultural, travelling to malaysia is a *Must*
Be alert that since malaysia is very safe country, there is some case of petty crime especially pick pocketing and purse snatching, so be very cautious all the time, the kidnapping has been noted in eastern coast of sabah due to conflict with Philippines.
I’m planning to go to Malaysia in January. After reading all this, I am skeptical. Don’t know what to believe ?
live in malaysia for 30 year. It is safe for non-asian looking tourist only.
MALAYSIA IS NOT A TERRORIST COUNTRY
It is wild how racist some people are. When I went there didn’t experience any terrorism. Mosques are awesome, people are lovely, and they have heaps of cool shopping centers to explore such as the one under the Petronas towers, there is also the KL tower to visit which is a 360-degree spinning tower with good food. Malaysia is a great Muslim country to visit (one of the safest too).