Your Legal Rights as a Foreigner in Malaysia

Malaysia Rights for Foreigners

As a foreigner living in Malaysia or visiting this country, it's important to know your rights and understand the legal protections available to you. Here are some important rights that foreigners have in Malaysia.

Here is a review to your right as a foreigner in the country of Malaysia whether you visit this country as a tourist or you are working and living there as an expat.

See also: Understanding Malaysia's Laws for Foreigners.

Tourists and Visitors Rights

Entry Into the Country

To enter Malaysia, foreign nationals must usually have a valid visa. You may need to apply for a tourist visa, a business visa, a student visa, or another form of visa depending on the purpose of your travel. Before travelling to Malaysia, make sure you have the proper visa, as immigration officials may refuse entry to anyone who does not meet the visa requirements.

Right to Stay

Foreign visitors to Malaysia are often permitted to stay for up to 90 days without the requirement to seek for an extension. If you need to stay longer, you must apply to the Malaysian immigration authorities for an extension.

Right to be Safe and Secure

As a foreigner in Malaysia, you have the right to be safe and secure from violence, crime, and other threats. Malaysian authorities take these matters seriously, and police and other law enforcement officials are available to assist if necessary.

Right to Medical Treatment

Foreign visitors to Malaysia have the right to emergency medical treatment at public hospitals and clinics, regardless of their financial status. Non-citizens, on the other hand, may have to pay higher prices for non-emergency medical care, and it is suggested that they carry travel insurance that covers medical expenses.

Right to Free Speech

Foreign visitors visiting Malaysia have the freedom to openly express their thoughts and beliefs, provided they do not break Malaysian laws or customs. However, it is critical to respect local customs and refrain from making controversial statements or engaging in activities that could be considered offensive or inappropriate.

Right to Privacy

You have the right to privacy and protection from unjustified searches and seizures as a foreign tourist to Malaysia. When conducting searches or investigations in Malaysia, authorities are required to follow proper legal procedures, and any evidence obtained illegally may not be admissible in court.

Non-Discrimination Right

Foreign tourists to Malaysia are not discriminated against because of their ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, or other personal traits. Discrimination is against the law in Malaysia, and anyone who is subjected to it can submit a complaint with the Malaysian Human Rights Commission.

The Right to Legal Counsel

If a foreign visitor to Malaysia is accused of a crime or is involved in a legal dispute, they have the right to legal representation. If you require legal assistance, you can contact your home country's embassy or consulate for a reference to a local attorney.

Expats, Workers and Students Rights

In addition to the above-mentioned rights, you will also get the following rights if you're living in Malaysia as an expat, a worker, a student, or in any other type of residence:

Right to Equality

With the exception of work and voting, foreigners in Malaysia have the same rights and protections as Malaysian citizens. Discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, or nationality is illegal.

Right to Legal Presentation

If a foreigner is arrested or detained in Malaysia, they have the right to legal representation. This includes the right to counsel, the right to be informed of the charges against them, and the right to a fair trial.

Right to Healthcare

Foreigners in Malaysia can use public healthcare services, albeit they may have to pay more than Malaysians. Private healthcare is also accessible, however it is more expensive.

Right to an Education

Foreign children in Malaysia have the right to attend school, whether it be private or public. They may, however, be required to pay greater fees than Malaysian nationals, and admittance may be conditional.

Right to Religious Liberty

Foreigners in Malaysia enjoy the freedom to profess their faith as long as they do not break Malaysian laws or disrupt public order. Malaysia recognizes Islam as the official religion of the country, but it also protects the rights of other religious communities.

Property Rights

Foreigners have the right to own property in Malaysia, subject to certain restrictions. Non-citizens are generally not permitted to hold property designated as Malay reserve land or agricultural land.

Cultural Expression Rights

Foreigners in Malaysia are free to express their culture and traditions as long as they do not break Malaysian laws or customs. Malaysia is a multicultural country with numerous ethnic and cultural groups, and foreigners are encouraged to celebrate and promote their own cultural history.

Freedom to Travel

Foreigners in Malaysia are permitted to travel within the country if they have the necessary visas and permits. Foreigners are also permitted to leave and re-enter Malaysia several times throughout the duration of their visa.

The Right to Asylum

Foreigners who are escaping persecution or other risks in their native country have the right to seek refuge in Malaysia. Malaysia has signed the UN Refugee Convention and has a formal refugee policy that protects refugees.

Right to Fair Treatment

Foreigners in Malaysia have the legal right to be treated fairly, including the right to due process and protection from arbitrary arrest or detention. Any legal proceedings against a foreigner must be conducted in accordance with Malaysian law and in a fair and impartial manner.

Family Life Rights

Foreigners have the right to maintain familial relationships in Malaysia, including the ability to marry and start a family. Malaysian law also protects children, including the right to an education and the right not to be abused or neglected.

Right to Social Security

In Malaysia, foreigners have access to social welfare services such as healthcare, education, and public assistance. Non-citizens may be required to pay extra fees or complete particular restrictions in order to participate in these services.

Right to Information

Foreigners in Malaysia have the right to access information, including government documents and public records. Malaysia has a freedom of information law that permits citizens to request and receive information from government agencies and public organisations.

Malaysia is a diversified and friendly country that draws travelers from all over the world. As a foreigner in Malaysia, it is critical that you are informed of your legal rights and safeguards in order to be treated fairly and professionally. You can have a safe and pleasurable visit to Malaysia if you are familiar with Malaysian laws and customs, are aware of your rights, and seek advice from your embassy or consulate when necessary.

While Malaysia is generally a safe and welcoming country for foreign visitors, there have been isolated incidents of discrimination or mistreatment based on nationality, race, or religion. If you believe you have been treated unfairly or that your rights have been abused, you should seek assistance from the appropriate authorities or contact your embassy or consulate.

Remember that as a foreigner in Malaysia, you are also subject to Malaysian laws and regulations. It is critical to observe local customs and laws and to refrain from engaging in any unlawful or offensive acts. You may ensure a safe and pleasurable stay to Malaysia by being aware of local laws and customs, as well as recognizing and exercising your legal rights.

Comments (1)

One thought on “Your Legal Rights as a Foreigner in Malaysia

  1. What if a foreigner has a buisness in Malaysia. it was unfairly snatched by a Malaysian PR. Then to manuvaour the situation and take advantage the snatcher filed a civil suit without any base. then a lot of hiccups in his case. then finally the foreigner filed a suit against the Malaysian PR who’s operating the buisness. now the Malaysian PR is taking postpones by self created reasons to continue to manuvaour the case. the case is ongoing and I have the fullest evidence including from government. but why is the case been going this long. who’s there in Malaysia to protect any foreigner investors.

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