How to make friends in Malaysia

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

Hi, I guess its a little difficult to make friends on Malaysia, especially with local people. I actually do not know the reason behind that.

it's very difficult to make friend in malaysia

it is because malaysian hardly trust on people due to the environment here...but i found out very hard to make friends with expats too

i am an expat,,want to be my friend,,,send me an email or sms,,,***

The thing is that in general, Malaysians tend to be very selective of who they talk to and are very closed minded. Best way to mix around is to be nice to people, try to talk same topics as they do or mix around with friends of your friends and get to know more people from there onwards.

Well, just be nice n start talking i guess. this rule never fails in any country. :) i am a local but while i was abroad in US n UK, at first it was a lil uneasy to talk to ppl with different background and culture but, sincerity definitely counts. we will feel it. :)


Well, the local here is not difficult to make friends with but their very friendly indeed. In order to make friends, gotta start talking to them. That's easy :)

as an agriculturalist i want to know more about farming and how to process food as malaysia is well known because of agric i prefer to be there for one year to study alot about my programe.

Well..Make frens are easy in Malaysia.I experienced it since my college time which was 10 years ago till now.As long as we show our sincerity,smiley,and start to talk bout general topics,people here are welcome.

This rule applies anywhere.

     I malaysian lived in kuala lumpur.Making friends with local is easy.They are friendly
people you soon realise.If you need suggestion depends on what you like etc.
Drop a line 


Not so difficult as Malaysia people are so friendly

yes they are friendly

I always found it easy but as a western white male it could be a factor in it! Plenty if social groups to join lime couchsurging meets (younger cows) and the exist mingle (can be a bit meat market army tome) and internations.

All have lots if locals in them as well

Wow, how to make friends in Malaysia ... interesting. I imagined myself an Expat (actually I am a Malaysian) to see if its easy to find friends in Malaysia.

Honestly, I do not think its easy. I mean, you can't just go over and talk to anyone on the street like a friend or try to become a good friend to a service provider or even some retailer, though sometimes, that is how the ice gets broken! Social gatherings may help but I have never attended one - so, I am not sure about that.

But I know one way you can surely get to meet & make more friends in Malaysia; by joining some Association/ Society (mostly charity based or social concern issues related)and you will get to know its members. When you become a member of an Association, automatically you share the causes of the other members in it. You do not only get to meet new friends, but also find a good cause to spend your excess time with.

Well, I am not saying all expats should do this. But I just feel its a great platform to find people to interact.

i need a female
friend in malaysia

Hi noncybrow,

Can you please introduce yourself briefly ?

Thank you :)


I agree.  It seems the locals don't trust you and the expats only hang out in their own groups.

Yes, but where do you go to mingle and meet these new friends to chat with?

I'm a local, and i want to make friends with expats near my age.

Hi guys. Its kinda funny tho to say its not easy to make frens in Malaysia. Being a Malaysian I would say its rather easy to make frens in Malaysia.

Malaysians are generally friendly and thats how we are. First of all if ur looking for frens dun miss to 'lepak' or in english 'hangout' in local mamak shops, or Nasi Kandar restaurants. Plenty to eat and to talk. Especially if its during football season.

Now stop writing how to make frens and hit the streets. Im definite you will be welcomed. Smile and you will get more than a smile back! Cheers

Counts me out, but good luck to you.


Good and Nice word.

welcome if you like.

expat doc working in sarawak for last 10 yrs

like to have you as my friend as im coming to live in kl next month. hope you do

Now guys i have been living here for a few years and what i have strongly noticed that it depends where you are from when making friends in Malaysia. Generally it depends on your race, color of your skin, nationality etc.I mean every country has its pros and cons . for example. An American would have more chances to make friends easily compared to a Bangladeshi. Or it would be easy for a British or Australian to make friends or even girlfriends  compared to a person from  a third world country. I mean people feel proud to say Oh i have an American friend or Italian friend rather than OH I have a Srilankan friend or Pakistani friend.Same goes to women when they wanna impress their other girlfriends.Not having a boyfriend or a partner for the personality but for the sake of future in a first world country or to brag in front of their friends .hey its an ugly and bitter truth but i still love Malaysia.

Believe it or not, it is easy to make friends with the locals. We have high admirations for people from the west.

It is just that most of the locals have limited vocab when it comes to english, hence it is hard for them to comminicate effectively. The english slang may not be easily understood, no offence intended... :/

Anyone from Penang may email to me if you need a hang around local friend, but I gotta warn you, even the sight of beer makes me dizzy! Coffee is OK :lol:

Email is [email protected]

well in my point of view you should have an initiative step.Greetings,talking to people,and engage your self in the community around you so as to get close interact with people.

Drop me a line at manmohan_com (at) yahoo (dot) co (dot) uk

Time permitting,will show you around to feel the warm hospitality of Malaysia.


Interesting topics. Well, i'd say probably because language problem, and they are mostly shy, they wont just come to you and say hello like in China.. even if they don't speak English and they knew the foreigners couldn't' speak Chinese.
and at this point- i also agree with Omar salim, comment#27 =).

But actually, if you found that its hard to make friends in Malaysia, in my experienced, its harder to make friends in Europe.. (sorry), and they are more into their groups, than mixing with foreigners or even their own people. I lived in Finland for almost 2 years, often drove from there to Sweden, Estonia, Norway..and lived quite some time in Germany- traveled to Poland, Italy, Austria, Switzerland.. and other countries and found out, its not easy to make friends there. Only made friends though my university, friends of friends, something like this.. so i guess no matter where you are in this world- you gotta know how to adapt, and have to learn how to mix with people surrounds you. That's basically what i did.

Anyway, don't wait until someone says hello to you, smile and greets first =)

Hey I wanna make some friends of people too. I moved here from Floridaas I grew up there but I am originally from Pakistan. So  who wants to be friends ?

Hello everyone,
Im neww here in need of new friendss

Born and breed in UK

Please dont hesistate to contact me very friendly and here on a buissness venture..
Looking forward to speak to neww peoplee 😊☺️

Wow you have travelled aint ya

i'm a local, and can hardly find a friend... a trusted one of course! So, mingling around is not that hard, but for a long term commitment, just show our credentials to stay loyal, right? does that apply to every country?

If you are a white person , it will ne easy to make friends . If from a third world country then I guess  not many. Sorry guys truth is bitter.anyway good luck making friends

Its not that difficult to make friends here in Malaysia, c'mon guys I've been here almost 3 years and I have Expat and local friends boys and girls,
but I think here in KL all the people trying to be worry to make new friends from other cultures :)

I never found an easier place on the planet to make friends than Malaysia. They have highly developed social skills, much higher than my own and are curious about expats.

Im a single american and have been in Malaysia 15 years. It must be that ive met more than 3000 people in that time, maybe its 5000. How? By doing nothing more than being quiet and being open. In that time I have only known 2-3 expats, I never hung out with them, never went to bars or expat meetings. I also never TRIED to make friends. If I sat in a coffee shop, or on a bench at a train station, or sat waiting to see a doctor, the Malaysian always started talking first and in 10 minutes we are like best friends already.  My friends are Malay, Chinese, Indian, Iban and others too.

Sometimes I made friends when I didnt expect to. I was in a market and went up to an Indian man and asked how to cook a certain dish. Soon his wife and family appeared, we chatted a storm and they invited me to their house for dinner. Another time, just recently, I was standing in front of a shop waiting for it to open and an elderly man on the sidewalk walked right up to me and shook my hand and we chatted for a while. I was waiting in a bike shop for a repair and another customer just started a chat and we became friends. What did we all talk about? Anything, everything.

This happened because I was open to new things. I dont know if I would like any person until I hear their story and everyone has a story. I was never suspicious or distrustful or cold, maybe people sense that and its disarming to them.

Did I meet people I didnt like or who didnt like me? Of course. If I sense they hate westerners or will try to take advantage of me, yes im out of there but that hasnt happened much. And who have been the best? Village people. The worst? City people. THAT is something I think most all counties have in common. And what types of people? I talk to everyone--street sweepers, office clerks, dishwashers, shop owners, hotel bellmen, presidents of companies. And I treat all the same. Do you see the secret here? I didnt arrive in Asia with an arrogant chip on my shoulder which ive seen in many expats. Im not better than anyone and dont talk up or down to anyone. What I have learned in Malaysia more than any other place ive been is if you are sincerely interested in a strangers life, are willing to listen, treat them well, they respond in kind 100-fold.

This doesnt mean all people are great, ive known my share of horrible and untrustworthy friends, but ive also become close to several, close enough to highly trust them.

There are two types of Malaysians pertinent for this post, those who got out, traveled, went to school outside, read widely, and those who never left their village. The underexposed folks are the distrustful ones, they dont like you or want to talk to you. But when you go slowly and take people one at a time you can change their minds about you and ultimately they make the best friends. Likewise, you the expat cant fear or stereotype or pre-judge people, thats how sour evaluations occur and you'll never learn anything or meet anyone.

One cannot say i got this opinion because of so long in the country. Whatever my attitude is i had it from the first day and thats why i never once had a problem making friends--and you wont either.

Hi Richard,
I am a food scientist, and might be of some help if you want to know anything about food processing.  Product development is my specialty (just about any foods).  My wife and I are traveling to Asia in August, for about 6 weeks, with a plan to move to Malaysia to retire, if we like it there.
Dick Bennett
Strongsville, Ohio, USA

I want to be your friend. How that sounds. :lol: