Health and Safety
Of all the countries in Southeast Asia Malaysia is one of the safest both in terms of crime and disease.
Drug trafficking is punishable by death in Malaysia and several foreigners have been executed by hanging in recent years. Do not get involved in buying, selling, or taking drugs in Malaysia as the penalties are severe.
General vaccinations recommended for all travelers to Malaysia include diphtheria, hepatitis A, tetanus, yellow fever, hepatitis B and Japanese encephalitis.
Dengue fever is prevalent in Malaysia and visitors should take precautions to avoid being bitten. These include using insect repellent, avoiding going out at dusk, and covering up using long sleeved clothes at night. There is no vaccination or treatment as such for dengue fever.
The risk of malaria is low in Malaysia although there are seasonal outbreaks in some parts of Sabah and Sarawak so if you plan to travel to these areas make sure to consult with a healthcare professional and consider taking anti-malarials.
With regards to healthcare in Malaysia you can expect it to be of a high standard particularly in centers like Kuala Lumpur and many foreigners travel here for medical treatment from Indonesia or other countries in the region. Although the healthcare standards are good here, we advise to always have comprehensive travel insurance. In rural areas don’t expect the standards to be as high and if you become seriously ill you will need to get to a big city as soon as possible. For some more general information, view our page about health precautions.