Death and Dying in Malaysia

Information on how to proceed if you need to report the death of a family member in Malaysia. Also information on the repatriation of remains...

In the event of the death of a family member, friend or relative in Malaysia the first thing to do is to call an ambulance and the nearest police station. If the death has occurred at home it is important that the body is not moved. Malaysian law stipulates that the body of a person who did not die in hospital can only be moved by official personnel - the police or ambulance staff. A medical officer must also be present.

After the death has been recorded by the police, the body of the deceased is then taken to a hospital. If taken by the police this will be a government hospital, although the family can choose to take the body to a private hospital by ambulance if they prefer. A fee is charged for the ambulance.

The deceased's passport and any medical information should be taken to the hospital. Family members may collect the body from the hospital after the deceased has been examined by a doctor, and a Letter of Release and Burial (Surat Kebenaran Pengkebumian) has been issued. The body is prepared, and a funeral company can then be contacted. Note: An autopsy will normally be performed to certify the cause of death if a doctor was not in attendance.

Registering the Death

The following documents should be taken to the police station within seven days to register the death:

  • Deceased's passport
  • Next-of-kin's or appointed person's passport
  • Copy of Form JPN.LM09 or JPN.LM10 certifying the cause of death (post mortem report), issued by a medical practitioner
  • Fee

A police report and statement is drafted at the police station. A copy of the statement and the original police report will be ready within seven days. These documents should then be taken to the deceased's embassy to officially declare the death.

Obtaining a Death Certificate

Any death in Malaysia must also be reported to the National Registration Department - NRD (Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara), which issues the death certificate (sijil kematian).

Form JPN.LM02, available at the information counter of NRD offices, should be completed. The form is available in English and Malay, and staff can help with filling it out.

The following documents are required:

  • Deceased's passport
  • Next-of-kin's or appointed person's passport
  • Copy of Form JPN.LM09 or JPN.LM10 certifying the cause of death (post mortem report), issued by a medical practitioner
  • Copy of the police report

There is no fee for registering a death by natural causes. It takes a week for the NRD to issue the death certificate.

Further information is available from the National Registration Department.

Visa Status

In Malaysia, the deceased's visa status determines whether the body is cremated or buried. The cause of death has to be established because, according to Malaysian law, different procedures have to be carried out and regulations implemented. If the deceased held a work permit, the body is cremated and repatriated. Only in exceptional cases is the body not cremated. If the deceased held a Malaysia My Second Home visa (MM2H), the body may be buried in Malaysia. When a foreigner on a working visa dies in Malaysia, their employer must also be informed.