Doing research in Malaysia: officialdom

In the last month or so, this topic has come up twice in discussions with students from abroad, so I thought I'd just post on it.

If you are a foreign researcher (student / established scholar) and wish to conduct research in Malaysia, what do you need to do? Lots of prep, obviously, but to get official permission you need to go through the Economic Planning Unit in Kuala Lumpur. In their words:

A foreign researcher or a Malaysian national domicile overseas who intends to conduct research is required to obtain prior permission from the government. A research pass will be issued to enable the research to be conducted. A researcher is only permitted to start the research after he/she has received approval from the Economic Planning Unit (EPU).

What do you need to do to get the research pass? Fill in the official application form online and provide supporting documents. Find out all about it here. Download the application forms here.

Google search string: research permit Malaysia.


  1. This is very helpful! Thank you, Dr. Lye!


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