Malaysia – Business Cards

A quick couple of comments on Malaysian business card etiquette.

In Malaysia, it’s important to have three different set of business cards for the three different demographic groupings you’ll inevitably meet there. If you’re meeting with Malays, the business card you need to give them must have your name and contact details printed in Bahasa Malaysia on one side. If you’re meeting with Chinese, your business card must have these details printed in simplified Chinese (ideally in gold lettering) on one side. A standard English language business card is sufficient if you’re meeting an Indian.

When presenting your business card, make sure you hold your card face up with both your hands or with just your right hand. Never present your card using the left hand. In Malaysia, especially among the Malays, the left hand is considered unclean because it is the hand used to cleanse one’s body. You will end up offending the card’s recipient and losing face if you hold your card with your left hand.