Mobile Telephones in Malaysia

Find out how to get yourself a mobile cellular phone in Malaysia...

Mobile/cellular telephones are generally referred to as handphones in Malaysia. There are three main service providers:

Subscribers can choose between pre-paid and contract mobile telephone services

Mobile Telephone Contracts

Mobile contracts are available from Celcom, DiGi and Maxis. To get a mobile contract, go to the relevant shop and provide:

  • A work permit or long-term visa to stay in Malaysia
  • A permanent home or office address
  • A photocopy of passport

A registration fee has to be paid, as well as a fee to activate the mobile telephone line. A deposit, usually MYR 300 to MYR 500 depending on the package, must be paid.

Once registration is complete, it takes about two hours for the line to be activated. An itemised monthly bill in English is sent to the user's address. Non-payment results in the telephone being cut off, and further non-payment of the outstanding amount results in the user being blacklisted with all service providers, until the outstanding amount is cleared in full.

An agreement between the different service providers means that the numbers from the three providers can be ported within the network. An original subscription from a DiGi number can be used with Maxis or Celcom, giving the user flexibility to choose their preferred service provider.

Bills are generally paid monthly. Mobile telephone companies may place a limit on contract mobile telephone accounts, and if this limit is exceeded, no further calls can be made until the bill is paid.

Pre-paid Mobile Telephones

Pre-paid Malaysian SIM cards are available throughout Malaysia and do not require a contract. SIM card top-ups cost from MYR 10 for a starter pack, and are easily available from kiosks, convenience stores, dealers or retailers, and at airport arrival areas. Proof of identity is required to purchase a SIM card, as all mobile telephone numbers are required to be registered in Malaysia.

Top-up coupons or vouchers have instructions in English and Malay on the back or on the bottom portion of the voucher. Follow the instructions for the reload access number, which is usually 122 or another number depending on the service provider.

  • After the access code, type in the reload number which is usually a 16-digit coupon or voucher number followed by the # sign
  • Click "send" or "call". A reply indicates that the top-up is successful and gives the new balance

Lost Mobile Phones in Malaysia

If a mobile telephone is lost or stolen, a report should be filed at the nearest police station. The report should include the number of the mobile, the place and time it went missing, and under what circumstances. The service provider should be given a copy of the police report.