When visiting Malaysia be ready to be among multi-cultural and very active and sincere society where lots of people not only will quite openly express their thoughts but also will really want to know more about you. As a visitor from the west, prepare yourself for some extra attention – For Malaysian people it is nothing unusual to stare at a stranger (yes, even if they already know that you are aware of the person looking at you). Simply get used to it and do not be offended by this behavior.
As for a foreigner, who perhaps visits Malaysia for the first time, there will be many interesting things and people to discover. Due to the rather complicated historical development, today Malaysia basically consists of people from three nations – Chinese, Indians and Malays. That means, in Malaysia you will have a great chance to observe the interaction between these three cultures and the best way to experience it is of course by watching the everyday life of the locals. There are many examples of this – from Chinese language that can be heard on the radio and to Hindu traditions that can be seen in the local weddings. Malaysian people have put these small cultural pieces together and basically formed their own, unique culture.
When speaking about the mentality and behavior that characterizes Malaysian people the best, the key words could be openness and overtness. Malays are very honest about their feelings, even if you know each other just for a couple of minutes. They most probably will not hide anything and will tell the truth no matter what. They are good listeners too, but not because of being polite – more of being really interested in what you think and what you have to say. However, they are quite talkative themselves, even at some usual situation as shopping you could find yourself talking with the salesperson about everything but your purchase.