Cultural Considerations: Malaysia

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Cultural Considerations: Malaysia by Mind Map: Cultural Considerations: Malaysia

1. Holidays and celebrations : Malaysia has a lot of holidays.

1.1. Muslim: 1. Hari Raya 2. Hari Aidilfitri 3 Hari Raya Haji.

1.1.1. Chinese: 1. Chinese Lunar New Year Indian: 1. Hari Deepavali 2. Thaipusam

2. Communication Protocols

2.1. Initial greetings should be formal and denote proper respect.

2.1.1. To demonstrate respect Chinese may look downwards rather than at the person they are meeting. It is important that professional titles (professor, doctor, engineer) and honorific titles are used in business. Malays and Indians use titles with their first name while Chinese use titles with their surname.

3. Religious Beliefs :

3.1. All Malay ethnic people must be Muslims and cannot convert to another religion. Conversion is punishable by the state through fines or imprisonment. Muslims: 1. Do not eat any type of food that are not considered halal. 2. Do not partake in any halal activities.

3.1.1. Chinese: 1. The idea of Heaven (T'ien) plays a prominent role in indigenous Chinese religion. 2. Yin and yang are the two opposing and complementary forces that make up all phenomena of life. 3. The world is populated by a vast number of spirits, both good and evil. Many Hindu practices and beliefs under Chola rule were interwoven with the royal family’s authority.

4. Customs: signs of respect

4.1. Malaysia is a Muslim country, physical touch between sexes might be seen us inappropriate. Malay women do not necessarilly shake hand with men.

4.1.1. When you shake hands with Chinese business partners, it is appropriate to shake hands with a woman, but wait for her to reach out her hand first. When being introduced to Indian business partners a nod and a smile might be sufficient, but shaking hands is allowed.

5. Levels of education

5.1. Primary level of education is compulsory.

6. Business Etiquette

6.1. When making appointments for a business meeting, avoid scheduling them to a Friday, as this day is reserved for Muslims to pray.

6.1.1. Arrive in time for a meeting but be prepared to wait. Malays and Indians usually have a relaxed attitude to time while Chinese are normally punctual. Make sure to treat persons of senior ranks with great respect. When communicating be very polite. Under no circumstances should you show anger in public as this is considered very rude.