MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, MALAYSIA
1. What can you tell me about Malaysian names?
Answer: Unlike in the West, Malays do not have family names. They attach their father's name to their personal names. Example: Razak bin Osman. In this case, Razak is the man's personal name while Osman is his father's name. Bin means 'son of’. In business, this person is often referred to as Encik Razak (Encik means 'Mr'). His friends would call him Razak. If you were writing a letter to him, you would address it to Encik Razak bin Osman. Then begin, Dear Razak.
Married Malay women do not take their husband's name but retain their own names. In the case of a female Malay name 'binti' is substituted for bin, and means 'daughter of'.
Chinese names are made up of the family name followed by the personal name which is normally made up of two words. Example: Tan Me Ling. In this case, Tan is the family name and the woman's name is Mei Ling. Formally, she would be referred to as Ms Tan and her friends would refer to her as Mei Ling. If she had taken a Western name or was a Christian, she may add that name before her family name. Example, Emily Tan Mei Ling. She would then choose to be known as Ms Emily Tan.
Most Indian Malaysians do not use their family names. They use their father's name. Example: Nagaratnam s/o Suppiah. The man's personal name is Nagaratnam and s/o means 'son of'. Suppiah is his father's name. In the case of females, d/o denotes 'daughter of'. Some Indians who are Christians have adopted Western surnames. Example: William Joseph or may add a Christian name before their personal name. Example: Michael Nagaratnam.
All male Sikhs have the name Singh which is not a family name. Example: Manjit Singh s/o Karamjit Singh. All female Sikhs adopt the name Kaur; again it is not a family name.
Many distinguished persons' academics, businessmen and politicians have honorary titles conferred on them by the King of Malaysia or the Sultan of their State. These titles such as Dato', Datuk or Tan Sri are equivalent to the British 'sir' and should always be used in written or verbal addresses. For example, Dato' Razak bin Osman would be used in the written form but in introducing him, you would refer to him as Dato' Razak.
Many Muslim Malaysians, who have made the pilgrimage to Mecca , are entitled to use the term Haji (abbreviated to Hj) in the written form of their name. Although it is not a name, it denotes that the person has been to Mecca .
As a form of respect to an older person who is not a relative, Malaysian children may refer to them as 'Uncle' or 'Aunty' , Bapa saudara or Emak saudara.
2. What can you tell me about gift giving?
Answer: There are several taboos associated with the giving of gifts to Malaysians. Malays are Muslims and the following gifts are forbidden: foodstuff containing pork or made using animal fat; alcoholic drinks or perfume containing alcohol; toy dogs or pigs, or anything made of pigskin.
For the Chinese, the following gifts connote an element of bad luck and should never be given them; clocks, straw sandals, handkerchiefs, sharp objects such as set of knives. If a gift consists of a number of small items, bring an even number of them as this a sign of happiness. Also never give anything having a picture of a stork to a Chinese woman because a stork symbolises a woman's death.
Some Indians are Hindus while others are vegetarians. So avoid giving foodstuff containing beef or meat extracts. In contrast to the Chinese, Indians prefer odd numbers to even numbers, which they consider luckier.
Don't be disappointed if the recipient doesn't open the gift in front of you. Malaysians of all races consider it rude to open a gift in front of the giver.
3. Study In Malaysia
Kindly visit below websites to get further details on Study In Malaysia:
a. www.moe.gov.my b. www.studymalaysia.com
4. Malaysia Immigration Related matters
Kindly visit below website for further details on Malaysia Immigration Related matters: