History History


Malaysia established its diplomatic relations with the United States of America since its independence in 1957. The first Chancery was located at the Universal Building, 1825 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington, D.C. The second Chancery at 2401 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. was officiated by Malaysia’s first Prime Minister Al-Marhum YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj on October 14, 1969.
First Location: Universal Building
1825 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC
Second Location: 2401 Massachusetts Ave.
Washington, DC 20008
Current Location:
3516 International Court, N.W.
Washington, DC


The current Chancery building is located in Washington's diplomatic enclave, at the cross streets of Van Ness and Reno Road in Northwest D.C, and was declared open by former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on May 15, 2002.

The architecture of the Chancery building is reminiscent of the early 20th century buildings in Malaysia. It is a juxtaposition of vernacular Malay architecture and imported western, mainly British, architectural elements also known as ‘Anglo-Straits’ architectural style. Visitors will enter the main reception area via an 'anjung', a greeting point in traditional Malay houses, with traditional roof structure called the 'bumbung limas'. The reception area, with a grand eight-foot long multi-faceted crystal chandelier that is shaped to compliment the geometric pattern of the marble flooring, overlooks a beautiful garden path and a set of traditional "Malacca" stairs.
On the left of the main foyer, the Tun Hussein Hall with its ornately carved walls and pillars, was conceived as a replica to the palace of the Malay Sultanate. A bronze statue of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's founding Premier, adorns the pre-function area of this Hall. Across from the Tun Hussein Hall and general reception area, is the Hall of Fame. Here can be seen photographs of past and current Prime Ministers of Malaysia meeting with former and present Presidents of the United States.
Map of Malaysia


Brief History
The Federation of Malaya became an independent country on 31 August 1957. On 16 September 1963 the federation was enlarged by the accession of the states of Singapore, Sabah (formerly British North Borneo) and Sarawak. The name ‘Malaysia’ was adopted from that date. However, Singapore left the federation on 9 August 1965.
Malaysia is a parliamentary democracy. It is a Federation of 13 states and 3 federal territories with a constitutional monarch, His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as the Supreme Head of the country. Executive Authority is also vested in the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and exercised by a Cabinet of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. The Federal Constitution clearly demarcates the separation of powers among the country’s Legislative, Judicial and Executive Authorities. Malaysia has enjoyed a climate of political stability which has brought with it a high level of economic growth based on diversification of the economy, especially through industrialization and stimulated by foreign investment.
Malaysia’s foreign policy is essentially premised on both the internal and external political, security and socio-economic environments. The country’s international approach is guided by the basic objective of seeking friendship for purposes of securing mutually beneficial relations. A peaceful and stable political security environment in the region is essential to the progress and prosperity of the country. Malaysia remains firmly committed to intensifying regional cooperation, primarily by building upon existing ASEAN cooperation as well as enhancing cooperation with extra-regional countries, including between ASEAN and its Dialogue Partners. In this context, Malaysia has taken and continues to take a proactive role in three main foreign policy areas: cementing bilateral relations, fostering regional cooperation and active participation in various multilateral events. In the latter area, Malaysia`s contributions lie in South-South Cooperation, the Organisation of Islamic Conference, North-South relations, United Nations, the United Nations Security Council, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth Group of Countries.
General Data
Situated near the Equator at longitudes 100 to 119 degrees East. Peninsular Malaysia is in the west at the tip of mainland Southeast Asia, while the states of Sabah and Sarawak are on the island of Borneo, in the east.
330,252 square kilometers (Peninsular Malaysia 131,598 sq. km, Sarawak 124,449 sq. km, Sabah 73,711 sq. Km)
Number of States
13 states and the federal territories Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan
Capital City
Kuala Lumpur
Tropical (21ºC - 32º C), High Humidity (80%) with wet (October – February) and dry seasons (March – September)
29.1 million (2012 est.)
Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and others
Malay (National language), Cantonese, Hokkien, Tamil and others. English is widely used especially in commerce and industry.
Local Time
GMT 12 hours (13 hours during daylight saving)
KL (-) Washington (+)
Weights and Measures
Metric system.
Electric System
220-240 volts AC, 50 hz-cycle system.
Tap water is safe to drink.
Ringgit Malaysia [USD1.00 = RM4.2071] (June 2019)
International banks include Citibank, Bank of America, HSBC, ABN Amro Bank, Bank of China, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, United Overseas Bank.
Banking hours: Generally between 0930 – 1500 hours (weekdays)
Closed on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.
Credit Cards
Visa, Mastercard, American Express accepted in major cities.
Business Hours
Government Offices - 0800–1615 hours.
Private Sector – 0900-1700 hours.
Entry Requirements
Visitors must possess valid international passports or other travel documents recognized by the Government of Malaysia. These documents must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry into Malaysia.
Visa Requirements
U.S. passport holders do not require visa for stay less than 3 months. Other nationalities, please refer to Travel Requirements.
Personal Duty Free Allowances for visitors staying a minimum of 72 hours:
- 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 225gm tobacco
- wines, spirits/malt liquor not exceeding 1 litre
- cosmetic, perfume, clothes for personal use not exceeding RM
- crafts and souvenirs to a total value not exceeding RM , except when imported from Labuan and Langkawi where the total value shall not exceed RM500.00
- Narcotics and dangerous drugs. Trafficking of illegal drugs carries the death penalty.
- Firearms and ammunitions (unless under special permit)
- Dagger and flick-knives
- Pornographic materials
- All goods from Israel


National Flag
Malaysian Flag
The Malaysian flag, named Jalur Gemilang with effect from August 31 1997, consist of 14 red and white stripes of equal width, a union of carton of dark blue, a crescent and a star. The red and white stripes stand for the equal status in the Federation of the member states and the Federal government. The union of carton of dark blue in the upper quarter of the flag next to the staff represents the unity of the people of Malaysia. The union contains the crescent which is the symbol of Islam, and the star with its 14 points symbolizes the unity of the 13 states of the Federation with the Federal government. The yellow of the crescent and the star is the royal color of the hereditary Malay rulers.
National Crest
Malaysian Crest
The Coat-of-Arms has a 14-pointed star representing the equal status of the 13 Federation members and the Federal government. The star and the crescent are traditional symbols of Islam, the official religion of Malaysia. The five dagger-like keris represent the former Unfederated Malay States, namely Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis, and Terengganu; while the four former Federated Malay States of Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak and Selangor are represented by the four centre panels, the permutation of whose colours represent their respective colours -- red, black and yellow for Negeri Sembilan; black and white for Pahang; black, white and yellow for Perak; and red and yellow for Selangor. The left hand division of the shield represents the state of Pulau Pinang, and the right-hand division with the Melaka tree, the state of Melaka. The states of Sabah and Sarawak are respectively represented on the lower left and right sections, while in the center is the Hibiscus flower, the national flower of Malaysia. The tigers on both sides of the shield are retained from the earlier armorial ensign of the Federation of Malaya, and prior to that of the Federated Malay States. The yellow color of the scroll containing the motto in Roman and Jawi script is the royal color of the rulers.