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How to make friends in Malaysia

Anyone in KL wanna catch up? :D

Beeshaw :

Its true, it is hard making friends in Malaysia, some of you say if your white it should be easier, but its not.. theirs a difference between friends and just being friendly... Locals are very friendly, but they stick to their own kind, as it is easier.. Ive been here for 2years now,and i find it easier being friends with foreigners than locals... Locals dont realize that speaking another language in your company is rude, So they kinda make me feel left out...

This is true, most people here tend to be in their own group, but the same can be said about foreigners I think. I am local, but I studied in an international university, and usually the locals and foreigners will be in their respective group. There are some exceptions, some people get along with everyone, but majority don't. I am not sure how it is for working people, but I would assume its much difficult to make friends.

I've been here for three years now...you're right it's not easy to make local friends but actually there are some cool local people easy to be friends with..depends on the person

I agree that changing language in a group is very rude and its happened to me too. One time, ok; many times, very rude because its seen as a deliberate attempt to exclude you, which is true. Malaysians are friendly but when they are rude they know they are and simply dont care. Its been talked about in all expat forums.

I still say its easy to make friends, its been for me. But it depends on the character of the individual whether or not he or she will find friends. Yes, it can be said groups tend to stick together but saying that just functions as another excuse.

Im from US (which gives me less advantage than you think)  where we dont change our tone or ways of conversation to talk to anybody, its pretty consistent no matter the religion or color of the other person. But Malaysia, being racist almost to the point of apartheid, begs a person to treat the groups differently to get along. I find myself doing it, i talk to Chinese, Indians and Malays and Iban each differently. I regret it but thats the way it is, im a guest, im not going to transform the country to suit my desires.

If you are here three years and still not making friends, i will suggest the problem starts with not having first observed the groups and then learning to talk to them their way.Second, to stop being in your own group. Indians coming here look for Indian shops. Look for Chinese shops and when you are in there, talk to them, dont just be silent. Americans or Euros look for their groups to hang out with. Stop doing that. In other words stop doing the things that are normal and comfortable for you because it feels safer to you. Get outside of that. To get along here, and really  all of Asia, you need a paradigm shift. But it works.

Last, Malaysians, though yes friendly, are NOT at first. They are shy and fearful, you can see it in their faces. If you fail to clear that face in the first 5 minutes of conversation you will never be their friend. Malaysians are only friendly after they can and have relaxed about you, and, after having done that will be your friend more or less forever.

1) Respectfully observe and learn their ways
2) Practice the differences until its comfortably automatic
3) Dont be overly friendly, this works against you. Dont be so "familiar," as if you have always known their intimate details. Be relaxed, semi-serious, straight forward, confident and most of all, genuine, and genuinely interested.  Fakery and lies are spotted quickly. Malaysians are just human and this is human.
4) Clear that shy and fearful face of theirs--and yours. You both are observing each other and nobody wants to stay with someone who makes them uncomfortable for any reason.

FRIENDS!

With this information even a pure newcomer should be able to make 10 new friends in the next three months and with practice until its all naturally automatic, soon more friends than you need. It really is easier than you think if you will just stop doing things the way you have in your home country.

Speaking of home countries, Ive been here 15 years and when I take trips back, people think I have changed and you know what? I probably have, for all the work ive put into letting Asia tranform me instead of the other way around. Let yourself go, its really OK.

Moderated by Kenjee
Reason : For security reasons please do not give over personal contact infos on the forum

Not being too difficulty in Malaysia people's are too friendly

Well just do some ice breaking and jokes... friendly is always a plus point to get more frens

Chockety Rishu :

Not being too difficulty in Malaysia people's are too friendly

It depends. If young white male no difficulty in making lots of new friends. Usually I advise any new white single males under 45 to get a reinforced bed as those bed springs will get tested a lot   :whistle:

If female things are a lot better these days as so many expat type events in KL that getting new friends is easy and a bf quite easy (10 years ago that was hard).

If black - then I have to be blunt - rascism raises it ugly head. Although again in last ten years got a lot better and at expat events will make friends. But locals are very shy of black people. especially women. But harder! And hard to rent sometimes as well (agents/owners tend to be rascist). Agents will go all funny if a black person is in a condo area when you visit had one say "don't worry only one of them here.." I walked out and didn't talk to that agent again. You can't change mindsets easily but I can withdraw my business from rascists.

nemodot....im trying to remember....there was a black american who married a malaysian, they lived in my building in damansara, they seemed happy. And i remember malaysian women saying they liked black nigerians, they nicest people they ever met. Personally i think it was a silver tongue at work but thats what they said. Some malaysians wont entertain a black, some will, it depends. But bringing a black home to parents and aunties would definitely be a problem, sorry to say. Also, i met many malaysians who said they were black-curious because of anatomical stories they heard. Blacks are a separate category of prejudice, prejudice has its hands full locally, as it is.

Hello all

For your info, some posts have been removed from this thread. The initial post here invites members to share tips about 'How to meet people in Malaysia'.

Expat.com :

We have been talking about loneliness when you are abroad, let's now talk about how to make friends (locals and other expats) when you're living in Malaysia :top:

Which are your best tips to meet people and to make friends in Malaysia??

Thanks in advance for your participation

Regards
Kenjee

How do I make friends with Malaysians, am a student here.

People who have something in common usually manage to be more social. So talking is a very good way to start off friendships. Asking a question is often a good ice breaker.

kissdommy :

How do I make friends with Malaysians, am a student here.

I think you answered your own question. As a student arent you sitting next to potential friends all day long? Dont you talk to your neighbors in a classroom?

I haven't moved to Malaysia yet, but from my experience here in Egypt, learning the language helps.

We have a large Malaysian student community in Egypt, but they tend to stick to themselves. And without language courses or resources, most Egyptians have no idea about Malay.

I've started teaching myself Malay ever since I came back from a visit to Malaysia. When I first started meeting Malaysians here, my Malay was pretty basic, but it helped people warm up to me. And once I met my first friends, they introduced me to their friends and so on.

It's been 5 years now, but I'm still in touch with people and some of them I consider close friends.

This way doesn't guarantee making friends. Many people I've met are just curious about this foreign woman learning their language, or want help learning Arabic, but at least it intrigues people to talk more or ask more questions. Will see if it works when I get to Malaysia again some day.

Agreed..

I have actually met a lot of expats that are in Rotary. Its an excellent platform to socialize, have a drink or two and get together and see how we can make the world a better place starting with our communities.

I am a Rotarian with Rotary club of Subang and we meet every Wednesday at 7.30pm at Subang Lake View Club. Want to know more, either send me your question here or PM me.. I'll do my best to reply..

ajitpalgill :

I have actually met a lot of expats that are in Rotary. Its an excellent platform to socialize, have a drink or two and get together and see how we can make the world a better place starting with our communities.

I am a Rotarian with Rotary club of Subang and we meet every Wednesday at 7.30pm at Subang Lake View Club. Want to know more, either send me your question here or PM me.. I'll do my best to reply..

Nice to see Rotary here. My father is 60 years Rotarian in the US and still active but I myself never joined.

My only connection to Rotary was winning a world essay competition in 1968 and the prize from Rotary was a year stint with a family in the country of Sikkim (near Nepal). Since no american had ever been there except the Queen who was american herself, the protectorate of India believed I was a CIA spy and refused to issue a visa. The Sikkimese government brought the matter before the UN which was written about in US newspapers but I was still disallowed from entering had to forego the prize.

Over the years I have participated with my father and other Rotarians in US events and believe strongly in the club.

Some years ago when my business was developing, I contacted Rotary in KL but they refused my membership request even if I had letters of recommendation from Rotary in the US. I was treated in a very arrogant and elitist manner, as if the service club is only for VIPs by special secret invitation and frankly I wouldnt want to join a club with people like that in it. Thats not the way of a Rotarian but then again this is Malaysia Boleh so what can be said?

In spite of this I wish the Rotary Club good luck and hope that all members remember their true mission of selfless community service. The world certainly needs it.

I'll add something about service clubs, they were formed by local business leaders to perform community service, sometimes on a large scale, not to socialize, make friends or network.

I cant say my father ever made friends in Rotary because all those guys already knew each other outside of the club and brought each other in. In the US anyway, membership fees and dues come about to about RM8000 a year and thus keep out people who arent really serious about the duties.

That said, there are many service clubs and many types and kinds of clubs and its a good way to meet people and do important community work at the same time. Im mostly familiar with the name brand clubs like Rotary, Lions Club and Kiwanis. My grandfather was one of the four founders of the Lions Club but strangely nobody else in the family was a Lion.

Chockety Rishu :

Not being too difficulty in Malaysia people's are too friendly

Yea, agreed with this statement,,Malaysians are toooo friendly XD!

Yewwiz09 :
Chockety Rishu :

Not being too difficulty in Malaysia people's are too friendly

Yea, agreed with this statement,,Malaysians are toooo friendly XD!

I saw it too and all I can say is whatever his home language is, he sure speaks English better than I speak his so he gets praise from me!

If you want to make friends, there is an event on Saturday 1 August.

You can see details below and RSVP here: http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.ph … 18&p=3

"Venue: The Tea Republic, S132, 2nd Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre
Date: 1/8/2015 (Sat)
Time: 2.00pm-5.00pm
Objective:
1) Social Event
2) Networking
Plus:
a) Icebreaker games/
b) Q&A Sessions

Be rest assured this is not a multi-level-marketing meeting. This is purely a social and some networking get-together.

Hi, I'm a Malaysian currently working overseas. If you plan to move Malaysia, I would suggest you check around to see if you can meet with Malaysians who are working or living in your area / country. You can check Facebook page such as Malaysians in the USA or UK or whatever. Get to know them. They can give you plenty of tips and suggestions. If they like you, they can even help you with all the preparations before you move to Malaysia. Sad to say, many Malaysians are racist and prejudice so it is best to find some Malaysian friends in your home country who then can help you to connect to others in Malaysia.

WRosli :

Hi, I'm a Malaysian currently working overseas. If you plan to move Malaysia, I would suggest you check around to see if you can meet with Malaysians who are working or living in your area / country. You can check Facebook page such as Malaysians in the USA or UK or whatever. Get to know them. They can give you plenty of tips and suggestions. If they like you, they can even help you with all the preparations before you move to Malaysia. Sad to say, many Malaysians are racist and prejudice so it is best to find some Malaysian friends in your home country who then can help you to connect to others in Malaysia.

Wrosli,
Great idea but how would you do that, exactly? List three ways to connect to Malaysians in a foreign country. I cant think of any!

In 1998 I got on www.matchdr.com and searched for Malaysians and met several, including the person who eventually became my fiance. For about a year before my first trip I traded notes with maybe 5-7 Malaysians who gave all sorts of tips and info and I was very grateful even though most of it turned out to be dead wrong. They painted this beautiful, lovely, rosy picture of the country, especially in the areas of racial harmony and how easy it was for a foreigner to live here and open a business and how everyone was just so excited and willing and happy to help foreigners. Literally, I was lured. The reality was nothing like that and I still carry resent.

By the time I arrived, and was alone, I had a good starting point and also met all the people I had previously gotten to know on online. Except for my fiance, they turned out to be rotten liars and cheats and I have lots of stories about them and my early time but I did have at least a head start which had been supplemented by reading. In 1998 and 1999 I read Malaysian newspapers, Malaysian/Melayu history, introduction to the language, and also followed sites like www.kuali.com to learn about food. Whatever I could find, including the Encylopaedia Britannica which had some fascinating things to say about the people which I'll leave for some other time.

I dont know how many pre-visitors take the time to learn about a country before they go but its valuable work. Trying to make a friend is one thing but I wouldnt leave it at that, there is much more research to do to help ensure a good beginning.

So what are the methods to connect to Malaysians in foreign countries? I assume you were talking about actually meeting, not simply like here on a forum?

I don't really have 3 ways for you but Facebook / internet is always a good place to start. I guess you still have to be careful on who you are dealing with. In most cases, you pretty much can read somebody's real intention when you meet them face to face. Malaysian in general are kinda lazy to help others, especially if you are asking for something that require a lot of effort, unless they really like you, and consider you as a close friend. Just like what you've experienced, be wary of those who only give rosy pictures, and say they can do anything or everything.

Wrosli,

Yes you are right. See, that time I didnt know anything about the Malaysian personality, I was a sponge for whatever info came my way. I didnt know what a "big mouth" was, I didnt know to believe or disbelieve anyone.

Thats really a key word, "big mouth", which is someone who can promise the moon and deliver exactly nothing. Im from US and we call that the "California Promise" in which its like, "hey lets have lunch next week," and you say that to someone you absolutely know you will never see again. Big Mouths cost me dearly at the beginning, I truly believed them and waited and waited for the ship that never came to port. I know why people do that, to make themselves look valuable and important because they are going to lose face when they have to say they dont have your answer and in fact cannot help at all. Its looks big to promise help and solutions because YOU AND ONLY YOU know the magic answer and then you simply disappear.

The truth is as you say, people are in fact quite lazy and unable to help a new foreigner unless, as you say, its like a girlfriend or something. And even then.........................

Long time ago a wise Indian uncle, maybe 80 years old, said a good thing. If you go to a country and expect any results for your efforts, dont go alone. Go with a team of 3-4 people all committed and energetic to a certain end. Go to all meetings in that group, do everything together, compare notes and opinions and in effect become the group of friends you would otherwise try to make until you are stronger. Very good advice.

I dont think its digressing in the thread to offer that its a very good idea to befriend older people when you come to Malaysia, the older the better. You see them everywhere and they have great perspectives and advice, especially for newcomers and younger people. What they lack in raw horsepower they make up for in wisdom. I never overlook them and am so comfortable I just walk up and start talking. They are pleased for the attention and can talk for hours. Among the good things about them is that they are never a Big Mouth and do not lie. I love them and thank them for all they have done for me.

Im Helmi,  local malay guy from Kuala Lumpur. if youre looking for tourist guide in kuala lumpur or maybe looking for a local friends please feel free to contact me.
thanks!

i am Iban. There are few of us in this world! Please do ask me questions if you are curious. glad to help whenever i can.

Yehaa.. another Rotary member here too!..

Cvco,
What u say has truth in it. Malaysian is reserved and scared of the unknown and definately language is a barrier. Sometimes in their head, foreigners are considered bad, criminals or has devious intention. Well, even some Malaysians are not 'angels' too.
Only few malaysians whom travel abroad or lives in big cities can tolerate and be open to expats. Definately not all coz those in the big cities are from smaller states and from reserved family background.

Usually its best to get some info from friends that can do referrals, office colleagues and Tourist Information centers (sounds lame but start asking the questions will lead to a long conversation). Another good source, ask a local hotel's reception, concierge. Surely its a 1 question and 1 answer thinggy but its an ice breaker and things could be better from there.

Ive written a lot about friends in here and will just say i never had any problem meeting lots of people. That aspect has always been ok all through Malaysia.

meeting friends here is DEFINETLY hard, I have been two years here, and never have ANY local friends, all my friends are foreigners...as other said here, I find its easier to make friends with foreigner, with Malaysian like WOW, so hard, and needs like huge efforts and plans in order to do so

I am Arab and I don't know if thats a disadvantage, I feel so, Malaysian seems don't think making friends with arab is any good thing

I am still searching to expand my social cricle

JuneAziz is organizing a meet up. Hope it helps.

Since some of us are alone here why don't we organise a trip to Penang war meseum next week Sunday. Anyone interested?.I will be alone and have a meet up with you guys bunch of stranger ;). By the way i am local from penang

I am in staying in Malaysia almost 5 years but I got very few friends near my place that to myself housewife its very hard to get friends even neighbours also won't be friendly they never talk  sometimes I feel loneliness of staying here and to talk to local people language  problem most of them do know english

Making friend with locals is hard..I have feeling that even among malaysians from different ethnic is not easy to make friends..like Malaysian chinese being friend with Malay? I don't really see that

unless you know malay, or chinese...I don't know these language, so I havn't tried this

I do know why they do like that I think mostly its a language problem but any way I think even you also facing this problem I hope you are a student so you can get more friends soon

social media . it's simple

very nice to know that i can make friends and share experience with people I have loved since my childhood,although i m readin g that its hard to make friends with locals I had a primary school teacher who was Malay and i think shes the kindest, friendliest person I know so I am surprised to read here that shes a one-off

Hello
I am an agronomic engineer and I want to find job in malaysia.I have been there twice for tourism and my next trip will be next October.
I think it is a litlle bit difficult to find a job there if you are not working in oil ,gaz or IT field. Moreover local companies require chinese or bahasha malaysia .
Can  someone help me please!!!

Hello everyone here. As a local the best tips to make friend is to address that person humourly...when addressing to older man try caling him "uncle" ...older woman "aunty". Raise ur hand a bit n nod slightly. this can be use for any race here. If u go to any convinience or local shop call the elder guy " abang" , elder gurl "akak"...if they are younger than u then call them "adik".  Learn few basic words...apa khabar(how r u), sihat?(doing good tday), sudah makan?(have u eat yet?)...try order foods in malay. Not all can speak good english. Some just shy. This is how my ex husband wons his local friend's heart. Go beyond ur social status/level. Get urself comfortable with the community around u. Dont just mix around with ur own kind.

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