Most visits to Malaysia are trouble-free.
Malaysia shares with the rest of south-east Asia a threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate and against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
It is believed that terrorists and criminal elements are continuing with plans to kidnap foreign tourists from the islands and coastal areas of Eastern Sabah. Action taken by the Philippines Armed Forces in January 2007 against terrorist groups in the southern Philippines may heighten this risk. Boats travelling to and from offshore islands and dive sites are possible targets. Travellers who wish to visit resorts on, and islands off, Eastern Sabah should exercise extreme caution.
Malaysia has periodic problems with air quality reaching hazardous levels because of smoke haze.
Travellers planning to travel over the border to Thailand should be aware that there has been a resurgence of terrorism in southern Thailand, particularly in the far southern provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla. All but essential travel to these Thai provinces is advised against. Travellers should also maintain high levels of vigilance when travelling to, or through, the neighbouring province of Satun. There have been reports that Thai military presence in Satun is being increased due to insurgency fears.
Malaysia is a multicultural but predominantly Muslim country, and as such visitors should respect local social conventions. During the fasting month of Ramadan, eating, drinking and smoking between sunrise and sunset is forbidden for Muslims. As a courtesy, visitors may wish to avoid eating, drinking and smoking in public places.
Travellers should not become involved with drugs of any kind: possession of even very small quantities can lead to imprisonment or the death penalty.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organisations for the latest travel advice:
British Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Tel: 0845 850 2829.
US Department of State