It is inevitable that during your stay in Malaysia, you may wish to call back home to tell your loved ones of your safe arrival and what you have done and going to do.

Though in the age of the Internet, the phone still cannot undermine the delight of hearing that person's voice.

For many, the cellular (handphone) era has arrived. In Malaysia, there are three notable cellular phone operators:-

  • Maxis  -  012  or  017
  • Celcom  -  019  or  013
  • Digi  -  016
  • U Mobile- 018
  • Yes 4G- 018

Do check with your cellular operator back home if they have roaming capacity in Malaysia.

So, when you have the handphone, the battery needs recharging. the electricity is 220 volts, 50 cycles and the power point is of the British Standard BS 1363 which requires use of a 3-wire grounded and fused plug for all connections to the power mains (including Class II, two wire appliances) British power outlets incorporate shutters on line and neutral contacts to prevent someone from pushing a foreign object into the socket. However, in Malaysia, you can also use the two-pin European plug (which is flat and has two round metal pins) by getting a two pin plug adpadter from mini-marts or shopping malls in Malaysia. They are quite cheap, around MYR3.00 (About US$0.80), or some hotels might have plugs with two pin support, but this is rare as only DVD Players, certain kitchen appliances, radios and CD players in Malaysia use two pin plugs. The plug is rated at 3-13 amps, depending on the fuse. BS 1363 was published in 1962 and since that time it has gradually replaced the earlier standard plugs and sockets (BS 546). It s used throughout the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, Malaysia and also in Singapore.

Malaysia Time Standard Time = GMT +8 hours   (GMT is Greenwich Mean Time)

No Daylight Saving Time in 2007

00 is the International Access / Dial Code to make an overseas call from within Malaysia.

60 is the International Country code for Malaysia.

Emergency Service Numbers 

112 or 999  from a Mobile Phone
999  -  Ambulance,  Civil Defence,  Fire  or  Police

Before looking at how a phone number look like in Malaysia and how to call a number, just a brief info on Malaysia.

Malaysia comprises Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo Island. There are 11 states in Peninsular Malaysia and the states of Sabah and Sarawak, making the 13 states, and of course the Federal Territories of Malaysia (Kuala LUmpur, Putrajaya, Labuan)

The eleven states in Peninsular Malaysia are : Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak,  Selangor, Negeri Sembilan,Malacca, Johor, Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan and the two states of Sabah and Sarawak.

Now that you have these states in mind, here are the telephone area codes for :

  • KL, Putrajaya, Selangor- 03
  • Labuan - 087
  • Perlis - 04
  • Kedah -04
  • Penang - 04
  • Perak - 05
  • Negeri Sembilan - 06
  • Malacca -06
  • Johor - 07
  • Pahang - 09
  • Terengganu - 09
  • Kelantan - 09

In Sabah, the several cities have different area codes, as below:-

  • Kota Kinabalu - 088
  • Sandakan ,Tawau- 089

Similarly in Sarawak :-

  • Kuching :- 082
  • Sibu - 084
  • Bintulu - 086
  • Miri -085

Now that we have sorted out the area codes, how do you call Malaysia if you are still in your home country?

Please note that the access code 00 in this example is not universal. Make sure you know the International Access Code to call overseas from within your home country.

1. dial 00 60

2. followed by the local code, omitting the initial zero

3. followed by the number you want.

So to make a call to KL for the number : 12345678, you would than dial 0060312345678, for Langkawi and of the same number, you would then dial 00 60 4 12345678, as the area code for Langkawi is (04),as Langkawi is under the state of Kedah.

Now, if you want to make a call to a cellular (say Maxis- 012) and the number is 1234567, you would then dial 00 60 12 1234567

Most phone numbers in KL have changed to eight digits, while in other states, still seven digits similarly to cellular phones.

The main national operator for Malaysia Telecommunications is Telekom Malaysia with Time dot com as another competitor.

When making a call, say from KL to Langkawi, you would then dial the area code, including the intial zero: 04 12345678

When calling Singapore from Malaysia, just dial 02, followed by the number you want.

The access codes for US phone companies are as below:-

  • MCI - 1800-800-012
  • Sprint : 1800-800-016
  • AT&T :- 1800-800-011

For operator assistance, call 103.

You could even buy pre-paid cards for your cellular phone, though at time of writing, the government is requiring pre-paid card users to register, so wonder if this applies for visitors.

Telekom calling cards are also available in most bookstores and grocery stores in KL and other states of Malaysia. Even on AirAsia flights, you could purchase the Celcom pre-paid cards.

The GSM networks you would be using in Malaysia are:

Network Name:

Celcom (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (CELCOM GSM)

Network Frequency:

GSM 900


Network Name:

Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd

Network Frequency:

GSM 1800

Maxis is on GSM900 frequency.

And if you have a 3G phone with video mode, both Maxis and Celcom supports it.

Malaysian Networks use 900/1800MHz for GSM, 1800/2100MHz for 3G/WDCMA and 2100/2600MHz for 4G LTE. 4G LTE Network coverage is only available in Urban areas, and not rural areas. Maxis and Celcom provide Prepaid 4G LTE Network support, but Digi supports 4G LTE Network only for postpaid plans, which is not recomended unless you are staying in Malaysia for more than a year.

Please note that if you are planning to buy an Android smartphone in Malaysia, ask wheter the phone is only for Southeast Asian SIM cards first or not. If it is, you will have to make 5 minutes of voice calls from a local SIM card before you can use a foreign SIM card. If you are planning to buy an iPhone 5S, 5C, 6 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus or SE in Malaysia, there should be no problem with using foreign SIM cards when you return home.